Visa Photo Guidelines

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The photograph format required for the nonimmigrant visa has changed. This new format is similar to that required for U.S. passport processing. Submit your Nonimmigrant Visa Application, DS-156 with the new photo format, as explained below.

The photograph  for  each  visa  applicant  must  be  an  unmounted,  full-face  photo,  as described below: – 

  • The photograph must have been taken within the last six months.
  • One photograph must be submitted stapled or glued to the application DS-156.
  • The photo for each visa applicant submitted must measure: 2 by 2 inches (roughly 50 mm square) with the head centered in the frame. The head (measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin) should measure between 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches (25 mm to 35 mm) with the eye level between 1 1/8 inch to 1 3/8 inches (28 mm and 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo.
  • Photo Appearance – Photos should be printed without borders.
  • The photograph must be a full-face view in which the visa applicant is facing the camera directly.
  • The applicant should not look down or to either side, and the face should cover about 50 percent of the photo area.
  • Side or angled views are NOT accepted.
  • The photograph may be in color or black and white, but must have only a white or off- white  background.  Photos  with  dark,  busy,  or  patterned  backgrounds  will  not  be accepted.
  • In general, the applicant’  s head, including both face and hair,should be shown from the crown of the head to the tip of the chin on top and bottom and from hairline side-to-side. It is preferable that ears be exposed.
  • Head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and even then, may not cover any portion of the applicant’  s face.
  • Sunglasses or other wear, which detracts from the face, are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons (an eye patch, for example).
  • A photograph depicting a person wearing a traditional facemask or veil that does not permit adequate identification is not acceptable.
  • Photos  of  military,  airline,  or  other  personnel  wearing  hats  are  not  acceptable. Photographs  of  applicants  wearing  tribal,  national  costume,  or  other  headgear  not specifically religious in nature are not acceptable.
  • Digital  Photos  –  Digitally  reproduced  photographs  must  be  reproduced  without discernible pixels or dot patterns. Photocopied photographs are NOT accepted.
  • Attaching the Photo to the DS-156 – Staple or glue the one photograph to the DS-156 in the designated space. If the photograph is stapled, staples should be placed as far away as possible from the applicant’  s face.
  • Do not enclose photographs in glassine or other types of envelopes. The photograph must be stapled or glued properly to the DS- 156 in the designated space.

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