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US Passport / Visa Photo Requirements and Size

iVisa | Updated on Jul 28, 2022

When renewing a United States passport, your photo needs to meet their requirements in all aspects. iVisa Photos will save you time and money by making sure that your photo is right the first time. Simply review and follow the Quick Facts below and iVisa Photos will process the correct photo each time.

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Passport Dimensions

A passport must be of a certain size to adhere to international standards. Luckily most countries are compliant and your passport will be delivered to regulation standards when ordered.

What are the dimensions of a US passport?

A US passport follows international convention and measures 4 15/16 x 3 7/16 inches. The size of the passport photo is 2 x 2 inches.

Photo Specs

  • Size: 2x2 inches.
  • Color: Photo must be in color and not in black or white.
  • Head size and position: The head should be between 1 and 1 3/8 inches from chin to the top of your head.
  • Recency: Cannot be older than the past six months.
  • Background: Solid white or a shade off white.
  • Smile: It’s encouraged to use a neutral expression, however, you can use a soft, natural smile if preferred.
  • Eyes: Open and visible.
  • Glasses: No glasses are allowed to be worn
  • Headgear: No hats, beanies or other head coverings are allowed unless it’s for religious reasons.
  • Dimensions and size (pixels): 600x600 pixels minimum and 1200x1200 maximum.
  • Attire, clothing, dress code: No uniforms. Most other clothing is acceptable.
  • Beard: If you normally have a beard, keep it. If not, then don’t grow one for the picture.
  • Quantity needed in application: 2 per person and per application.

US Passport Photo Size Requirements Guide

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United States Passport Photo and Visa Photo Requirements, Rules, Guidelines, and specifications

Here is a more in-depth idea of what you should and shouldn’t do when taking a professional passport or visa photo.

How Strict are passport photos?

All passport photos must strictly conform exactly to all guidelines specified by the State Department. Any deviation from State Department passport guidelines can result in your passport photo being rejected and your application being placed on hold. Follow the passport photo requirements and best practices to avoid getting your passport application getting placed on hold.

What should the passport picture size be?

The passport picture size may be vary in size depending on the requirements of the country. The passport width and length can be anywhere between 3.5 cm and 7 cm (1.378 inches to 2.76 inches). Please refer to the specific requirements of the country's passport.

What is the passport picture size for the US?

A US passport picture must measure 2 inches wide x 2 inches length. You can get the right US photo online or through a professional photographer.

Should the Passport Photo Be Glossy or Matte?

A passport photo can be on glossy or matte paper. The photo should have been taken in the last 6 months.

How big should a US passport sized photo be?

A passport photo sized for the US passport should be 2 x 2 inches. The head size must be between 1 and 1 3/8 inches from the chin to the top of the head.

What should the passport photo resolution be?

The passport photo must be a minimum of 600 x 600 pixels and maximum of 1200 x 1200 pixels.

What are the requirements of a US work Permit photo?

The requirements for a US work permit photo are the same as the passport photo. The work permit photo must be 2 x 2 inches and have been taken in the last 6 months.

List of all photo guidelines

  • Be sure the lighting is correct as an underexposed or overexposed photo could be rejected.
  • It needs to be recent. Any photo more than 6 months old will need to be retaken.
  • A good rule of thumb is your nose should be the center of the photo.
  • Solid background only. No designs or colored background permitted.
  • Clothing: Avoid wearing a military uniform or any other type of work uniform. Attire for religious purposes is acceptable. Be cautious of wearing bulky scarves around the neck as they can decrease the visibility of the head.
  • No eyewear is permitted.
  • If hearing aids are worn on a daily basis, they are allowed in the photo. Other devices such as wired or wireless headphones, Bluetooth, and any other device other than a hearing aid are not to be worn.
  • Printed pictures to be submitted with passport application should be on glossy or matte paper.

If you are looking to take the photo yourself or scan an existing one, there are a few checklist items to be aware of:

  • Photos may not be digitally enhanced or altered.
  • You can use the government’s free tools to help get the correct photo for submission.
  • Be sure to use a plain background and that your face covers about 55% of the photo with face-centered.
  • Use correct pixel dimensions as stated earlier.

Rules and requirements for babies, infants, and newborns Passport and Visa photos

One important note about infant and children photos is you cannot be in the photo with them. Each child needs to have their own separate photo taken and submitted with their own application. Below are some tips for acceptable photo taking:

  • Use a plain white sheet for infants to lay on when taking a picture. This is for either professionals or your own personal use.
  • If you prefer to use a car seat for support of the infant’s head, be sure to have a plain white sheet on it.
  • Before snapping the picture, check for shadows on his or her face. Both eyes need to be open and the infant looking at the camera.

For older children, the above rules and guidelines are applicable. If a child’s photo differs from their appearance, the government does not require a new image if the change comes from the natural aging process.

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Price and Cost

Choosing where to have these snapshots done is the next question. Whether you are looking for a place in town or somewhere online, there are plenty of options. A traditional route is going to the post office or local drugstore. These can be a bit more costly, not to mention you have to drive and wait for prints. This is about $10-$15 for two photos per person. A family of four can cost up to $60 just for the pictures. Another alternative to the traditional method is getting a passport photo online. Cost for these average around $5 for two photos. So a family of four could spend $20 instead of $60. Quite a deal!

How do I make a passport size photo for a United States Passport Photos Online?

To make a passport sized photo you will need to select the type of photo you need, the country the photo is for and your country of residency. You will then select how you will like to receive your photo and upload your headshot.

Technology has truly made it easier, cheaper, and much more convenient for people to accomplish daily tasks. At iVisa Photos, we can assure 100% government compliance for all your passport or visa photo needs. Take a photo in the comfort of your own home and leave the editing and submission to us. If for some reason your photo is not accepted by the government, we allow retakes. In addition, you can take as many photos you like until you get one you are happy with. We offer quick processing and allow for downloads or photos can be sent to a local drugstore for printing. Got additional questions? No problem. We are here to assist you with step-by-step guidelines and email if you require additional support. The best part of allowing us to help with your travel needs is pricing. Our photos begin at $0.99. Save time and travel funds by choosing iVisa Photos.

How do I know if my passport photo is acceptable?

Your Photo must meet all State Department guidelines outlined for passport photo requirements. Acceptable photo requirements include adequate lighting, correct pixel dimensions, and correct photo measurements.

Can I take a passport photo with my phone?

Yes, a passport photo may be taken with your phone. You will need a will-lit area and white background and it will help if you have a friend that can take the photo. You will then upload the photo with the correct size and order prints online.

iVisa Photos is a full service platform that can guide you through the entire process of taking the perfect passport photo.

How do I crop a photo to a US Passport Size?

To crop a photo to a US Passport size you will need to use your crop selector so that your shoulders and and top of the head is selected with a gap right above the top of your hair. A variety of different software have been created to aid you in cropping your photo.

iVisa Photos can assist you in your photo cropping requirements. Simply select the document that you need the photo for and how you would like to recieve the photo. Upload and take your headshot.


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