USA Visitor Visa Photograph Requirements

Please Note: Some embassies or consulates no longer require you to upload a digital photograph while filling out the DS-160 form. In such cases, the photograph will taken at the OFC (offsite facilitation center) or VAC (Visa Application Center) along with the fingerprinting. To learn more visit: Changes to DS-160 Form


A digital photograph is required for each applicant while applying for a US visitor visa (also called tourist visa or B2 visa). The photograph must meet certain criteria. A studio can take the picture for you if you mention "photograph needed for Visitor Visa".

The head height or facial region (measured from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin) must be between 50% and 69% of the height of the photograph. The eye height (measured from the bottom of the photograph to the level of the eyes) should be between 56% and 69% of the height of the photograph.


Requirements for Digital Photograph

Acquisition

The image file may be produced by acquiring an image with a digital camera or by digitizing a paper photograph with a scanner.

Dimensions

Image pixel dimensions must be a square, meaning the height must be equal to the width. Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 x 600 pixels. Maximum acceptable dimensions are 1200 x 1200 pixels.

Color

Must be in color (24 bits per pixel) in sRGB color space (common output of most digital cameras).

File Format

Must be in JPEG format (.jpg extension)

File Size

Must be less than or equal to 240 kilobytes.

Compression

The image may need to be compressed in order for it to be under the maximum file size. The compression ratio should be less than or equal to 20:1.


Requirements for Scanning a Photograph

Print Size

If scanning the image from a paper photograph, the size of the paper photograph should be at least 2 inches x 2 inches (51 mm x 51 mm) square.

Resolution

Printed photographs should be scanned at a samppng frequency of at least 300 pixels per inch.


Image Requirements Composition

Content

The image must contain the full face, neck, and shoulders of the apppcant in frontal view with a neutral, non-smipng expression and with eyes open and unobstructed and directed at the camera. All facial features must be visible and unobstructed. No extraneous objects, additional people, parts of the body below the apppcant's shoulders, or other artifacts. The image must be from a recent (within 6 months) photo of the apppcant.

Head Size

The head height or facial region size (measured from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin) must be between 50% and 69% of the height of the image. The eye height (measured from the bottom of the image to the level of the eyes) should be between 56% and 69% of the height of the image.

Head Orientation

Subject must directly face the camera. Head must not be tilted up, down, to the side, or toward the shoulders. Head must be centered within frame.

Background

Subject must be surrounded by a plain, pght-colored background with no distracting shadows on the subject or background.

Focus

The entire face must be in focus and not overly sharpened.

Brightness / Contrast

Brightness and contrast should represent subject accurately.

Color

Image must be in color (24 bits per pixel). Black and white photos are not acceptable. Color should reproduce natural skin tones. Color must be continuous tone no posterization.

Exposure / pghting

Photo may not be over- or under-exposed. Avoid shadows on face or background.

Resolution

Fine facial features should be discernible. No discernible pixels/pixepzation, graininess, or dot patterns.

Compression

Image must not be overly compressed (the compression ratio used should be less than or equal to 20:1).

Alteration

Digital or other alterations or retouching are not permitted. When resizing, the aspect ratio of the image must be preserved (no image stretching is allowed).

Eyeglasses

Effective November 1, 2016, eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos.

Decorative Items

No sunglasses or other items that obscure the face. Hats or head coverings are only allowed if worn for repgious reasons AND if they do not obscure any facial features.

Related Links

For those who have currently applied for this visa or are planning to apply for the visa in the future, here is some useful information on the process.