Photos and Fingerprints
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When applying for a nonimmigrant visa, you are required to upload a digital photograph taken within the last six months as part of completing and submitting the Form DS-160. You should also bring a copy of your photograph to the Embassy on the day of your interview.
Visa applicants are fingerprinted by the U.S. Embassy as part of the visa interview. During the visa application process, but prior to the actual interview with a U.S. consular officer, an embassy staff member will quickly take an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan. There are some applicants whose fingerprints are not required, including:
- Applicants traveling on official government business, except for A-3 and G-5 applicants
- Applicants under the age of 14 or over the age of 79
- Brazilian passport holders under age 16 and over age 66
Digital Photo Requirements
Your visa application photo must meet certain criteria regarding size and content. Submitting photos that do not meet these criteria can delay the visa application process. Digital photos uploaded with your Form DS-160 must be in color, have been taken within the last six months, and must meet the guidelines shown in the image below:
Your head height, measured from the top of your head, including the hair, to the bottom of your chin, must be between 50% and 70% of the photo's total height. Your eye height, measured from the bottom of the photo to the level of your eyes, should be between 55% and 70% - or roughly 2/3 - of the photo's height.
Your photo must be square-shaped, meaning the photo's height must be the same as its width. The minimum dimensions for your photo are 600 pixels x 600 pixels (height x width). The maximum dimensions are 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels (height x width).
Eyeglasses must NOT be worn in a photo provided for a visa application – this requirement is effective for applications filed on or after November 1, 2016. Only in rare circumstances when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons can they be worn in visa application photos. A medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner must be provided in these cases. If the eyeglasses are accepted for medical reasons please ensure that:
- The frames of the eyeglasses must not cover the eyes
- There must not be glare on eyeglasses that obscures the eyes
- There must not be shadows or refraction from the eyeglasses that obscures the eyes
7 Steps to Successful Photo
- is important when taking your visa photo. Frame yourself within the photo so that your full face shows. Face directly toward the camera and make sure your eyes are open.
Fill the Frame
- Your photo must show your
- , from the top of your hair to the bottom of your chin. In a good photo, the height of your head will measure 1-1-3/8 inches (25 to 35mm), or fill between 50%-70% of the photo, like this:
- Center your head within the frame.
Show Your Eyes
- Make sure your eyes are open. Your eyes should be 2/3 of the way up the photo, or between 1-1/8 inches to 1-3/8 inches (28 mm and 35 mm) - about 60% - from the bottom of the photo.
- The area behind you in the photo should be uncluttered and either white or off-white. Sit in front of a plain white or off-white
- for best results.
- so that your face is fully-lit and there are no
- across your face or in the background.
Relax and Look Natural
- Be sure to have a natural expression on your face when you take your photo, like those shown here:
For more information about visa application photo specifications, visit the Department of State's website.
The Department of State also has a photo FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) here.