All visas require photos for identification purposes. To guarantee an accurate image, the photograph must be taken within six months of the immigration application.

Also, immigration agencies now sometimes employ the use of fingerprinting and possibly other forms of biometrics to identify persons. For example, the Secure Communities Program uses fingerprints to identify possible deportees.

What Type of Photograph Is Required?

The requirements for a green card photograph are very important, and failure to meet any may result in an immigration application being denied. For instance, there are size and positioning specifications that a photograph must adhere to in order to be accepted.

1) In General

While some photographers are familiar with the requirements of immigration photographs, it is best to arrive prepared with the most up-to-date information available.

Again, it is important to follow all the requirements for green card photos. Failure to submit a proper photograph may result in a denied application. Photograph requirements are generally the same for a green card that establishes permanent resident status, U.S. visa, and passports.

2) Size & Type

Photographs must be on quality photograph paper, in color, and measure 2 by 2 inches. The photograph must be in color, and the background may only be white or off-white. Photos with dark, busy, or patterned backgrounds are not accepted.

3) Positioning

The applicants face should cover about 50 percent of the photograph and be centered in the frame. The applicant should be facing the camera directly and not look down or to either side. Side or angled views are not accepted.

4) Appearance

The purpose of these photographs is to clearly show ones face. Therefore, one should follow these requirements regarding appearance:

  • A head covering or hat is only acceptable due to a religious belief, but may not conceal any portion of the face.
  • A tribal costume, national dress, or other headgear not specifically religious in nature is not acceptable.
  • A traditional facemask or veil that obscures the face and does not permit adequate identification will not be accepted.
  • Unless required for medical reasons, sunglasses, dark eyewear, or other tinted lenses that cover ones face will not be accepted.

Do I Need A Lawyer?

An immigration lawyer can offer you applicable and current information regarding visa or green card regulations and aid you in preparing your application or replacing a lost green card.