Photo for US visa, passport applications

Ask the US Embassy

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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Q: Is my photo acceptable for my visa application or US passport application?

A: Thank you for raising this important question before submitting your application. Every application requires a photo. Please ensure that your photo is acceptable, otherwise your application will have some delays.

It is important that your photo was taken within the last six months to reflect your current appearance. It should be taken in full-face view directly facing the camera with a neutral facial expression and both eyes open. Eyeglasses are not allowed in photos, so please remove any glasses before you take your photo.

The photo should be printed on photo quality paper and can be taken at a professional visa photo service to ensure that the requirements are met. The photo must be 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size. Your head should be between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22mm and 35mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.

Additionally, your photo should be in colour with a plain white or off-white background. In your photo wear clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis. Uniforms are not allowed, except for religious clothing that is worn daily.

Your hairline must be showing in the photo. This means you should take off your hats, headbands, scarves or anything else that would obscure the hair and hairline. The exception is if something is worn for religious purposes. Your face needs to be visible and there should not be any shadows on your face. Remove any headphones or wireless hands-free devices before you take your photo.

You can find more information on visa and passport photos on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at and, along with a handy photo sizing tool. This information also includes helpful tips on obtaining suitable photos of babies and small children.

Please note: The scheduled time of your interview appointment refers to the time you will be admitted to the Embassy, not the time of the actual interview. Applicants are admitted according to scheduled times. For your comfort and safety, please do not arrive at the embassy more than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.

You can find more information on our website, and the Department of State's travel website Keep on top of Embassy news on our Facebook page, and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter and Instagram. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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