US Visa Photo Requirements

You might have been wondering what the US visa photo requirements are when you are applying for your visa, worry not this article will ensure that you understand everything that involves the US Visa photo requirements while applying for a US Visa.

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A US Visa is a document that allows any foreign person entrance into the United States. And anyone who seeks entrance must first obtain a US Visa which is placed on the traveller’s passport.

A passport is a document used for travelling that is issued by the travellers country of citizenship.

What Types of Visas Are There?

There are various types of Visa that one can obtain and it is determined by the US immigration law, and also show the purpose of your travel.
There are two main categories of US Visa:

Nonimmigrant visas

The is a type of visa that is used by tourists, business people, students who want to stay for a particular duration of time in the United States to fulfil a specific purpose.

Immigrant visas

This is a type of visa that is for people who wants to reside in the United States permanently.

US Visa Photo Requirements

Your basic US visa photo requirements should be:

  • The size 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) . it should be in the position that the head is between 1 and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm).
  • In colour.
  • Taken within the last 6 months.
  • With no shadows.
  • With a plain white background.
  • You must face the camera in the photo.
  • Have a neutral expression.
  • Have both eyes open.
  • You should not wear any uniform, preferably you should wear your everyday normal clothes for religious people, you should put on the one you wear every day.
  • Your head should not be covered so that your hairline can be visible unless the person wears a headdress for religious purposes but the headdress should still not cover your face.
  • Without any worn electronic devices. Unless you need a hearing device or something similar.
  • You are not expected to wear any form of eyeglasses apart from the one that is as a result of medical reasons. And for it to be accepted there has to be a statement from the doctor to show as proof. and in cases its to be worn, the frame should not cover your eye and there must be no glare or shadow in the face from the glasses.

Nonimmigrant Visa Photo Requirements

There are different US visa photo requirements for various types of visa and the required photo for a Nonimmigrant US Visa include:

  • Applicants using Form DS-160 might need to submit a digital photo which must meet the digital US photo requirements.
  • In addition to the digital photo, you might also have to submit 1 physical photo as per their requirements

Immigrant Visa Photo Requirements

There are outlined US visa photo requirements for a US immigrant visa to reside permanently in the US. You are expected to submit two pictures in the picture quality paper that goes with the standard of US Visa Photo Requirements

Diversity Visa Photo Requirements

Anyone who wishes to enter the diversity visa program or lottery, the photo must fulfil these requirements:

  • You should upload a digital photo.
  • The photo must be in JPEG format.
  • The photo must be square and its dimensions must be 600×600 pixels.
  • The size of the photo must be 240 kilobytes (kB).
  • If you scan an existing photo, it must meet these requirements:
  • The resolution of the photo must be 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimetre).

When selected for the diversity visa program, come with more photos that are in line with the US visa photo requirements.

Where to Take US visa Photos?

The requirements for the US Visa is quite much, it’s hard at times to fill them out all by yourself. This is why it is important to get help from a professional photo service to take the photos to match the US visa requirements and ensure that they are submitted to the embassy that you applied to.

There are various professional services that are good at taking photos and fit into the US visa photo requirements and can send you a digital copy and a physical one based on your request.

But you should know that they are more expensive than the normal ones you take. Using these professional photo services creates a better chance of acceptance at the embassy.

If you are to use a camera that isn’t good, the embassy will reject them and you will then have to submit another one again. This will prolong your visa time and you will have to wait much longer to get your visa.

But if your photos are taken with a camera of high quality, then you have fulfilled the basic US visa requirements and that you don’t change your appearance using computer software, except to remove the red-eye effect.

How to Get a US Visa Photo for Your Baby or Toddler?

If you apply for your baby or toddler to get a US Visa, you are expected to submit a photo of them. this can be very interesting because babies a d toddlers can’t sit for long, so you can either try to take the photo by yourself or ask for professional services. the requirements for a babies visa are:

  • The photo must be of the baby or toddler and no one else must be in the picture.
  • The baby must have the eyes open for the photo.
  • You can lay the baby down on a white sheet and take the photo, but make sure there are no shadows on the baby’s face.
  • You can put the baby in a car seat, but cover the car seat with a white sheet to provide a blank background.

What if I Changed my Appearance Significantly in the Last Months?

If you have a photo that is not older than 6 months, but your physical appearance has changed then there is a need to submit a new one. This would be necessary if you have done the following:

  • Went through extensive facial plastic surgery.
  • Added or removed piercings or tattoos on your face.
  • Gained or lost a significant amount of weight.
  • Transitioned to a different gender.


You can now understand the various US visa photo requirements and what it takes to have an eligible photo that meets all the US visa photo requirements that are peculiar to your visa type.

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