Photo Requirements for U.S. Passports and Visa

American citizens should bring a photo when they apply for a U.S. passport.  The following minimum requirements must be met or your application will not be processed. Please see the paragraphs below for more details.

  1. The photograph must not be older than six months
  2. The photograph must measure 2×2″ (5×5 cm)
  3. The photograph of the applicant’s head must be between 1″ to 1 3/8″ (2.5 to 3.5 cm) when measured vertically
  4. The photograph must have a white background
  5. Must face the camera directly, with both ears visible

The photograph of each passport or visa applicant must be an unmounted full face photo, taken within the past six months. A “full face” photo is one in which the applicant is facing the camera directly. The applicant should not be looking down or to either side, and the face should cover about 50% of the area of the photo. The key requirement is that the photograph clearly identifies the applicant.

The photograph should measure 2″ square (5 cm x 5 cm) with the head centered in the frame. Photos should be in color and must be taken against a white background. Photos should be printed without borders. Photos taken in front of busy, patterned, or dark backgrounds will not be accepted.