Green Card Photo Requirements

It is highly recommended that you spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the green card photo requirements. The green card photo requirements could possibly be the biggest reason for application disqualification.

A digital photo (image) of each applicant, his/her spouse and children must be submitted on-line with the Green Card Application form. The image file can be produced either by taking a new digital photograph or by scanning a photographic print with a digital scanner.

Please note: Entries are subject to disqualification in which the photographs have been determined not to be recent, or which contain photographs that have been manipulated or that fail to meet the specifications explained below.

As part of the service it provides, USDVL will review your submitted photos and whenever possible, convert them to required technical specifications so that your Green Card Application will not be disqualified. If the compositional requirements are not met (please see below), we will advise the applicant in writing, and ask them to provide a different photo that meets the the compositional requirements of the US Department of State. We will also provide a clear explanation of what is wrong with the photos you’ve provided and how those should be fixed.

Instructions for Submitting a Digital Photo (Image)

The image file must adhere to the following compositional specifications and technical specifications and can be produced in one of the following ways:

  • Taking a new digital image.
  • Using a digital scanner to scan a submitted photograph.

Compositional Specifications:

The submitted digital image must conform to the following compositional specifications or the entry will be disqualified.

Head Position

  • Person being photographed must directly face the camera.
  • Head of the person should not be tilted up, down, or to the side.
  • Head of the person should cover about 50% of the area of the photo.

Background

  • Person being photographed should be in front of a neutral, light-colored background.
  • Dark or patterned backgrounds are not acceptable.

Focus

Photo must be in focus.

Decorative Items

Photos in which the person being photographed is wearing sunglasses or other items that detract from the face will not be accepted.

Head Coverings and Hats

  • Photos of applicants wearing head coverings or hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and even then, may not obscure any portion of the face of the applicant.
  • Photos of applicants with tribal or other headgear not specifically religious in nature will not be accepted.
  • Photos of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats will not be accepted

Technical Specifications:

The submitted digital photograph must conform to the following specifications or the system will automatically reject the Green Card Entry Form and notify the sender.

Taking a New Digital Image. If a new digital image is taken, it must meet the following specifications:

Image File Format: The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
Image File Size: The maximum image file size will be sixty-two thousand five hundred (62,500) bytes.
Image Resolution: 320 pixels high by 240 pixels wide.
Image Color Depth: 24-bit color or 8-bit grayscale. [Note: Monochrome images (2-bit color depth) will not be accepted.]


Scanning a Submitted Photograph.
 Before a photographic print is scanned, it must meet the following specifications:

Print Size: 2 inches by 2 inches (50mm x 50mm) square.
Print Color: The image must be either in color or grayscale.

 

The photographic print must also meet the Compositional Specifications. If the photographic print meets the Print Size, Print Color, and Compositional Specifications, scan the print using the following scanner specifications.

Scanner Resolution: Scanned at a resolution of 150 dots per inch (dpi).
Image File Format: The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
Image File Size: The maximum image file size will be sixty-two thousand five hundred (62,500) bytes.
Image Resolution: 300 by 300 pixels.
Image Color Depth: 24-bit color or 8-bit grayscale. [Note: Monochrome images (2-bit color depth) will not be accepted.]

 

Download the complete green card photo requirements guide (includes image samples)