USCIS Photo Online

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services is one of the government agencies that every foreigner residing in the US should be familiar with, as they handle a lot of documents related to the legal stay in America. In this article, we’ll break down one part of applying documents in USCIS: the photo.

USA flag with a letter from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Table of contents

What documents can you apply for through USCIS?

USCIS administers the US’ naturalization (citizenship) and immigration systems. The agency processes documents and applications related to work visas and permits, residencies, asylum, and citizenship. That covers fresh applications, renewals, changes, and other related operations.

The most important documents issued by USCIS are:

Biometric photo for USCIS: general requirements

The photo used for applications in USCIS has to fulfill the exact requirements as the application photos for US passports. As these are biometric photos, they have to follow certain size parameters and be accurate to your current appearance. The general USCIS photo specifications are:

Here is an example:

Photo for USCIS

USCIS photo size requirements in detail

As mentioned above, the standard USCIS photo format is 2x2 inches, equal to 51x51 millimeters. The picture does not only have to follow the set frame size of 2 by 2 inches but also the head size. The height of your head in the image must range between 1 and 1.4 inches.

The digital photo size in pixels is 600x600.

Can I take a USCIS application photo with glasses?

No, you cannot have your glasses on for USCIS photos except for medical reasons (meaning that your doctor doesn’t recommend you to take your glasses off at all). In that case, a signed statement from a medical professional explaining your condition is required.

USCIS photo check

You can use our free DV Lottery photo checker to validate your application photo. The DV Lottery photo and USCIS photo requirements are exactly the same.

USCIS photo editing tool

To instantly get a correct passport-size photo for your USCIS application, you can use our Visafoto service. Visafoto has been editing photos to fit US documents, including passports, visas, permits, and others, since 2013. With Visafoto, you can get a fully compliant photo in an instant.

Just take a photo in the daylight with a neutral facial expression. Don’t care about the background: Visafoto will adjust it automatically. Upload it here to convert it into a professional-quality USCIS photo! Use this guideline to print photos for as low as $0.5.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

First, take a photo of yours under daylight like this one:

The original picture

You will have two kinds of photos. A digital one is suitable for online submission and the other one is for printing. Here they are:

Example of a photo for USCIS
Photos for USCIS suitable for printing

USCIS passport photo guidelines and tips

To fulfill the above requirements, you can follow several tips and guidelines we gathered here.

You can take your passport photo at home, so you can choose the one you like best and have complete control over your photos. Make sure you have a good camera and lighting, preferably daylight. Make sure your natural skin color is shown in the photo.

Pay attention to the dress code, too. No uniforms are allowed, except for religious clothing worn daily. In general, you will need to ensure that you have the right background, outfit, lighting, and other details required for identity photos.

How to send printed photos to USCIS?

Obviously, have your photo in one package with the rest of your documents. But there’s an additional tip to avoid having your photos damaged during transportation and having to send it again: protect your photo by putting it in a little ziploc bag or something similar that can protect it.

What should you write on the back of the USCIS photo?

On the back of the photo, write your name and admission number with a pencil.

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