Your photo is a vital part of your visa application. To learn more, review the information below on how to provide a suitable photo. Digital images are required for some visa categories, while photos are required for other visa categories. The acceptance of your digital image or photo is at the discretion of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply.
We recommend you use a professional visa photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements.
Review the Photo Examples to see examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos. Photos copied or digitally scanned from driver’s licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.
Please review the additional photo requirements for:
Applicants using Form DS-160 or Form DS-1648
If you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa by filling out the DS-160 or DS-1648 online form, the form will instruct you to upload your digital image as part of completing the online visa application form. Review the Digital Image Requirements, which also provide additional requirements if you are scanning an existing photo.
Some embassies and consulates require visa applicants to bring one (1) photo, which meets requirements, to the interview. Review the embassy or consulate instructions where you will apply to learn more.
Diversity Visa Program Entrants
If you are entering the Diversity Visa (DV) Program online, you must upload your digital image as part of your entry. Your digital image must be:
Do you want to scan an existing photo? In addition to the digital image requirements, your existing photo must be:
Each DV applicant will need to bring two (2) identical photos to the interview. Your photos must be:
While we recommend you use a professional visa photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements, you may take the photo yourself. Photos must not be digitally enhanced or altered to change your appearance in any way. Please review the following technical requirements and references for guidance on taking your own photo.
Use the Department of State’s free photo tool to:
Please note: This tool is intended for photo cropping only. A Department of State employee will make the final decision whether your visa photo is acceptable or not for your application.
When taking a photo of your baby or toddler, no other person should be in the photo, and your child should be looking at the camera with his or her eyes open.
Lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. This will ensure your baby's head is supported and provide a plain background for the photo. Make certain there are no shadows on your baby's face, especially if you take a picture from above with the baby lying down.
Cover a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat. This will also ensure your baby’s head is supported
If your photo(s) or digital image does not reflect your current appearance, even if it is not older than 6 months, the U.S. embassy or consulate will request that you provide a new photo with your application.
Applicants will be requested to obtain a new photo if they have:
Generally, if you can still be identified from the photo in your visa application, you will not need to submit a new photo. For example, growing a beard or coloring your hair would not generally be considered a significant change of appearance.
If the appearance of your child under the age of 16 has changed due to the normal aging process, he or she will generally not have to provide a new photo. However, the acceptance of your photo or digital image is at the discretion of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply.