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There is one thing that people who want to enter other countries must understand the importance of a visa photo. It’s no secret that even frequent travelers overseas can get into a bit of trouble if they have the incorrect photo on their visa applications. Their application will invariably be denied and travel plans may change or be canceled entirely.

What is a Visa?

Basically, a visa is a document that allows a person to travel to another country, one in which he/she is not a citizen. It is the paperwork that is officially delivered by the country’s foreign affairs personnel, and, in most cases, is valid only for a certain amount of time.

There are some visas that are valid for a lifetime. One example is the Diversity Immigrant Visa or the green card of the United States, which grants immigrants the ability to travel in and out of the United States anytime they want. Visa applications are usually handled in person at the host country’s consulate or embassy.

As implied previously, there are many types of visas. Here are some of the more common types and their uses:

  • Work visa – these are documents that are required for people who want to work in the host country. Under the work, visa category are several types of visas that are provided for migrant workers depending on the length of their stay and the nature of their work. One example is the working holiday visa where the traveler can take on paid work in the host country while traveling.
  • Business visa – this is closely related to the work visa, but this type offers the added benefit of the person holding being able to work without officially joining the host country’s labor force. An individual representing a company may need a business visa to attend a business conference or conduct business with another company located in another country.

To acquire this type of visa usually requires the visiting individual to show that the income they receive is not from the labor market of the host country.

  • Student visa – is a type of visa that allows a person who carries it enroll in an educational institution, usually a post-secondary one, in the host country. Typically, these are used to allow enrolment to top universities. It is a type of non-immigration visa but still allows the bearer temporary residence in the host country.
  • Transit visa – are provided for travelers that only wish to enter a country in order to get to another country, which is their intended destination. For example, people wishing to pass through India to get to Nepal may be required to apply for a transit visa depending on their point of entry. The conditions for acquiring a transit visa may change from country to country depending on their immigration laws.
  • Spousal visa – these documents allow married partners to visit their spouses when they are living in different countries. As is the case of transit visas, these may or may not be required by the host country. Spouses may also acquire another type of visa to visit each other in lieu of a spousal visa if it is not available in the host country.
  • Refugee/asylum visa – these are visas that are provided for individuals who are fleeing from religious persecution, natural disasters, war, and situations that may put their lives at risk. These can sometimes be precursors for green cards or Diversity Immigrant Visas in the United States since the country aims to diversify their immigrant populace.
  • eVisa – as the name implies, it is a visa that is stored in a digital database. In contrast to other types of visas, these are not stamped on to the traveler’s passport but are linked to the passport number of its bearer. Most applications are typically done online, and the process concludes with the applicant receiving a file that can be printed and presented to immigration officers while traveling.

What is an Acceptable Visa Photo?

Obtaining the correct photo for a visa application is of utmost importance. There’s no telling how many days or weeks or months an individual’s travel plans may be delayed because of an incorrect photo botching a visa application. Travelers may spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a skiing or photography trip to another only to find out that their visa application has been denied because the photo is unacceptable. Visa photos may change with the host country (some may not even require one), but we will have the requirements for a United States visa as our example.

Here are the requirements for a US visa photo:

  • The size must be 2 inches by 2 inches, the aspect ratio of a perfect square. It must be taken by a digital camera or scanned digitally from a 2-inch by 2-inch paper photograph. If taken through a digital camera, the minimum should be 600 pixels on each side, with the maximum acceptable dimensions having 1200 pixels on each side.
  • It should be in color, and the format should be in jpeg.
  • The size of the file must be 240 kB (kilobytes) at the most.
  • The age of the photo must be within 6 months prior to the application and must reflect the entrant’s current appearance.
  • The entrant should face the camera fully and should be standing in front of a white or off-white background. Patterns are not acceptable.
  • The photo should clearly show all facial features of the entrant and the face area should not be obscured by hats or other headwear.
  • The photo should not include anything other than the entrant.
  • Eyeglasses are prohibited except in cases where the eyewear cannot be removed due to medical reasons.
  • The entrant should wear clothes that one wears daily, except for uniforms.

It’s easy to mess up even the simple things. Let the experts help you get the perfect visa photo so you can plan your trip without worries. Visit iVisa Photo services for more details.

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