In order to safeguard the traveling public and utilize the latest biometric identification techniques, all applicants for nonimmigrant visas must present full-face photographs. These photographs must be taken against a white background and show the entire, uncovered head. Female applicants who wear a head covering for religious reasons may continue to do so only if the head covering does not obscure any portion of the face, hair line, or jaw line.
- The photograph for each visa applicant must be an un-mounted, full-face photo, as described below.
- The photograph must have been taken within the last six months.
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.
- 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. The photo must meet the requirements listed on Department of State travel web site.
- Side or angled views are NOT acceptable.
- The photograph should be in color and must be taken against awhite 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.
Digitally reproduced photographs must be reproduced without discernible pixels or dot patterns. Photocopied photographs are NOT acceptable.