US passport photo requirements

One of the first rules when applying for a new U.S. passport or visa (both on the travel.gov website or offline): always make sure your photo meets official passport photo requirements. Incorrect size, format, eye placement, facial expression or clothing can result in your application being rejected.

In this article we list in detail passport photo requirements the USA government imposes for all applicants.

Note that the USA passport photo rules are the same as the photo requirements for USA visa and for Diversity Lottery. The following information is valid for all these photo types.

USA passport photo

USA passport photo format and size

The standard photo size for all major documents in the U.S. is 2x2 inches (51x51 mm). For online submission its pixel size should be 600x600 pixels (i.e. 2x2 inches at 300 DPI), and width to height ratio is 1:1.

USA passport photo specifications include not only the size of the image, but also the position of the head: it must be centered and sized between 1 and 1 3/8 inches (about 25 and 35 mm). The optimal head height, including the top of the hair, is 1.3 inches. The distance from the bottom of the image to the eye line must be within 1 1/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches (that is 1.125 to 1.375” or 29 to 35 mm). The picture should include shoulders.

Background

USA passport photo background must be plain white or off-white with no shadows and any objects.

Color and lighting

The photo must be clear and in color, with no strong shadows, blurring or visible pixels.

Pose and facial expression

The applicant should look directly at the camera with eyes clearly seen. Shoulders should be kept straight. The facial expression should be neutral, although a natural smile is acceptable.

Some passport officers require that ears should be visible too.

Passport photo clothing requirements

USA passport photo rules do not allow the following items and accessories:

US passport photo guidelines

One of the fastest ways to make a compliant U.S. passport or visa photo is to use speсialized online tools. Visafoto.com instantly converts a photo so that it meets all the U.S. passport photo criteria.

Getting the passport photo online: instructions

You can use the same instructions for the USA visa photo guidelines as well.

How to check if my U.S. passport or visa photo matches the requirements?

For this purpose you can use the US passport photo checker from the DVLottery.me website. The tool has been specifically designed to check the photo for the criteria set by the US Department of State.

Example of an incorrect us passport photo

Incorrect photo example

Example of an incorrect us passport photo

Valid photo example

If for any reason the photo purchased at Visafoto.com doesn't pass the checks, contact our support. We will fix the photo for free. For your convenience, the support is available 24/7.

Get the U.S. passport photo online now!

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