Green Card Photo Requirements

When you’re ready to take your photo for your green card, it’s not the time to get artistic. U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (the agency that runs US embassies and consulates) require that all visa and green card applicants follow specific requirements for their photos. The requirements are found here. The U.S. State Department website provides examples of acceptable visa photos.

Green Card Photo Requirements:

Requirements for visa photos include the following:

• Your photo must be in color;
• The picture should show the full head from the top of your hair to the bottom of your chin;
• Center the head within the frame;
• In your photo, you should be facing the camera and have a neutral expression. You should not smile;
• Take the photo in front of a white or off-white background
• The photo should be from the last six months;
• You should have both eyes open;
• You should not wear a uniform in the photo, except for religious clothing that you wear daily;
• You should not wear a hat or head covering that covers your hair unless worn daily for religious reasons;
• You cannot wear headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or other electronic devices in the photo;
• If you usually wear a hearing aid or similar device, you may wear it in your photo.

You can no longer wear eyeglasses in your visa photo, even if you wear them daily. You can only wear eyeglasses in your photo if you must wear them for medical reasons. For example, if you’ve recently had ocular surgery, you can wear glasses in your photo with a doctor’s signed medical statement. If you wear glass in your photo:

  • The eyeglasses frames can’t cover your eyes;
  • There cannot be glare from your glasses that obscures your eyes in the photo;
  • There cannot be any shadows or refraction from the lenses that obscure your eyes in the photo.

Whether you are beginning your green card application or are further in the process, you should discuss your situation with an experienced immigration attorney. I’ve helped hundreds of individuals and couples from all over the world navigate the path to U.S. residency and citizenship. I’d love to help you too.