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Photo Requirements for US Passports & Visas

US citizens must bring two identical photos when applying for a US passport. The following requirements are essential and must be met, or your application will not be processed. Please read the paragraphs below for details.

  • Photographs must be taken within the last six months
  • White photographs must measure 2 × 2
  • The applicant should appear looking at the camera directly, with both ears visible

Photo of each applicant for passport or visa should only have photo face, and should be taken within last six months. A face only photograph is a photograph in which the applicant is looking directly into camera. The candidate mustn’t look down or sideways, and the face should cover about 50% of the photo area. Although differences in hairstyles and headgear (see Information below) make it difficult to accurately define the term “face”, in general the applicant’s head, including the face and hair, should be shown from the crown of the head. At the top of the photo to the edge of the chin, at the bottom end of the photo and the hairline on the sides of the photo. Ears should be open. The main requirement is that the photograph clearly identifies the applicant.

The photo should measure 2 ″ square (approximately 50mm square) with the head centered in the frame. The head (measured from the top of the hair to the end of the chin) should measure between 1 to 1 3/8 ″ (25 to 35 mm) with eye level between 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 ″ (28 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo. Photos can be coloured or black and white, but must be taken on white background. They should be printed borderless and should be stapled or glued to the DS-82 or DS-11 form (US passport application). If the photo is stapled, staples should be placed as far as possible from the face of applicant. Photos taken with funds occupied by objects, with prints or dark will not be accepted.

Hats are acceptable only because of religious beliefs, and even then, they must not conceal any part of the applicant. Sunglasses or other accessories that impair visibility of the face as defined above are not acceptable unless medically required (such as a patch). Photo of a man in a mask or a traditional veil, that is not personally identifiable, is not allowed. Photos of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats will not be accepted. Photos of applicants with ethnic clothes, typical national costume or other headgear not religious in nature are unacceptable.

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