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US passport/visa photo requirements and size
3 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Planning a journey to the United States or renewing your US passport? Knowing the precise requirements for a US passport photo is the first step towards a hassle-free application.

We simplify the process, ensuring your passport photo easily meets all necessary government standards. Just follow this handy guide!

United States passports

Essential specifications for US passport photos

Dive into the specifics of the US passport photo requirements, crafted to guide you through every detail:

  • Size: Your photo must be 2×2 inches (ca. 5 cm), adhering to international passport standards.
  • Color: Ensure your photo is in full color; black and white images are not accepted.
  • Head size and position: Your head must occupy 1 to 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head in the photo.
  • Recency: Photos must be taken within the last six months to reflect your present appearance.
  • Background: Opt for a solid white or off-white background, free from patterns, shadows, and distractions.
  • Expression: Neutral expressions are preferred, though a subtle, natural smile with mouth closed is acceptable.
  • Eyes: Must be open and fully visible.
  • Glasses: Glasses are not permitted in passport photos to avoid glare or obstruction of the eyes. If you can't remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with the application.
  • Headgear: Head coverings are only allowed for religious purposes and must not obscure the face.
  • Photo quality: Minimum 600×600 pixels to a maximum of 1200×1200 pixels for digital submissions.
  • Dress code: Uniforms are prohibited; however, everyday clothing is suitable.
  • Facial hair: Present your usual appearance; maintain existing facial hair or opt for a clean-shaven look.
  • Quantity: 2 identical photos are required per application.

US passport photo requirements for a US work permit

The photo requirements for a US work permit mirror the general passport photo guidelines: 2×2 inches (ca. 5 cm) in size and taken within the last six months for an up-to-date representation.

US passport photo requirements for children and babies

U.S. passport photo requirements for children and babies are similar to those for adults, with some allowances made for infants and young children's behavior and posture:

  • **Position and expression: It’s acceptable if the baby does not look directly at the camera or if their expression is not neutral. Older children should have a neutral expression and face the camera directly.
  • Eyes: Eyes must be open, but for infants, this requirement is more flexible.
  • Supporting hands: If you need to support an infant to take the photo, your hands should not be visible. One method is laying the baby on a plain white or off-white sheet to take the picture from above.
  • Recent photo: The photo must have been taken within the last six months.
  • Digital alterations: Avoid digitally altering the photo, especially to remove red eyes.

How strict are passport photos?

All passport photos must strictly conform to all guidelines specified by the State Department. Any deviation from these passport guidelines can result in your passport photo being rejected and your application being placed on hold.

Need help with your passport renewal or visa for the United States?

We offer a handy passport renewal service that takes the hassle out of the process. If you're applying for a US visa, check out our online application process to focus on your trip, not paperwork.

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