Digital Image Requirements for Online US Visa Application

Examples of well-composed images
The submitted digital face image must adhere to the following specifications.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be advised that failure to comply with any of the following requirements may result in rejection of your image by the online image quality assessment test or by a human reviewer.

Image Requirements - Technical Specifications
The image file may be produced by acquiring an image with a digital camera or by digitizing a paper photograph with a scanner.

Image pixel dimensions must be in a square aspect ratio (meaning the height must be equal to the width). Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 pixels (width) - 600 pixels (height). Maximum acceptable dimensions are 1200 pixels (width) - 1200 pixels (height).

Must be in color (24 bits per pixel) in sRGB color space (common output of most digital cameras).

File Format
Must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) file interchange format (JFIF).

File Size
Must be less than or equal to 240 kilobytes.

The image may need to be compressed in order for it to be under the maximum file size. The compression ratio used should be less than or equal to 20:1.

Additional requirements if scanning:
Print Size
If scanning the image from a paper photograph, the size of the paper photograph should be at least 2 inches - 2 inches (51 mm - 51 mm) square.

Printed photographs should be scanned at a sampling frequency of at least 300 pixels per inch.

Image Requirements Composition
The image must contain the full face, neck, and shoulders of the applicant in frontal view with a neutral, non-smiling expression and with eyes open and unobstructed and directed at the camera.
All facial features must be visible and unobstructed.
No extraneous objects, additional people, parts of the body below the applicant's shoulders, or other artifacts.
The image must be from a recent (within 6 months) photo of the applicant.

Head Size
The head height or facial region size (measured from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin) must be between 50% and 69% of the image's total height.
The eye height (measured from the bottom of the image to the level of the eyes) should be between 56% and 69% of the image's height.
Composition Checklist

Head Orientation
Subject must directly face the camera.
Head must not be tilted up, down, to the side, or toward the shoulders.
Head must be centered within frame.

Subject must be surrounded by a plain, light-colored background with no distracting shadows on the subject or background.

The entire face must be in focus and not overly-sharpened.

Brightness/ Contrast
Brightness and contrast should represent subject accurately.

Image must be in color (24 bits per pixel). Black and white photos are not acceptable. Color should reproduce natural skin tones. Color must be continuous tone no posterization.

Exposure/ Lighting
Photo may not be over- or under-exposed. Avoid shadows on face or background.

Fine facial features should be discernible. No discernible pixels/pixelization, graininess, or dot patterns.

Image must not be overly compressed (the compression ratio used should be less than or equal to 20:1).

Digital enhancement or other alterations or retouching are not permitted.
When resizing, the aspect ratio of the image must be preserved (no image stretching is allowed).

Eyeglasses are acceptable in photo only if the lenses are not tinted and there is no glare, shadows, or rims/frames obscuring the eyes. Glare on eyeglasses can usually by avoided by a slight upward or downward tilt of the head. Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons.

Decorative Items
No sunglasses or other items that obscure the face. Hats or head coverings are only allowed if worn for religious reasons AND if they do not obscure any facial features.