What Are the Photo Requirements for a Green Card Application?

In a Nutshell

As part of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) requirements, you must submit photos of yourself with your green card application. This article explains the U.S. government’s green card photo requirements, how you can get a photo that meets these requirements, and the number of photos to include with your application.

Written by Jonathan Petts
Written April 12, 2022

What Are the Green Card Photo Requirements?

The photos you must submit with your green card application must meet a list of requirements from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These are the requirements:

  • Your photo must be in color.

  • Your photo must be two inches by two inches in size.

  • Your photo must show your full head, from the top of your face to the bottom of your chin. Your eyes, nose, and mouth should all be visible.

  • Your head must be centered within the photo frame.

  • Your photographer should ensure that the height of your head measures 1 inch to 1 and 3/8 inches (25mm–35mm). They should also ensure that your eye height is between 1 and 1/8 inches to 1 and 3/8 inches (28mm–35mm) from the bottom of the photo.

  • Your photo background must be white or off-white.

  • You should wear a neutral expression and be facing the camera in the photo. Your eyes should also be open in the photo.

  • Your photo must be recent, that is, it must have been taken within the past six months of applying for the green card.

  • In your photo, you shouldn’t wear:

    • A uniform unless it is religious clothing that you wear daily.

    • A hat or headdress, unless it is religious clothing that you wear daily.

    • Headphones, wireless headsets, or other hands-free electronic devices.

    • Eyeglasses, unless you absolutely must wear them following a medical procedure like surgery. In such cases, a medical professional must provide a signed medical statement to include with your application.

There are examples of acceptable photos on the USCIS website that you can use for reference.

How To Get a Photo That Meets the Green Card Photo Requirements

Fortunately, it is a simple process to get a photo that meets the green card photo requirements. In the United States, you can have your photo taken at a pharmacy or a post office. Some Walgreens and CVS stores have photo booths where you can have your passport photo taken on the premises. You can also take your passport photo at select UPS and FedEx stores.

Alternatively, you could choose to take the photo yourself. Places like Walmart and Target have services that will print your passport photos out for you after you’ve taken them yourself. If none of these options are available to you and you’d rather not take your own photos, you may opt for a professional visa photo service. 

How Many Photos Do You Need To Submit With Your Application?

The number of photos to submit with your visa application will depend on where you’re applying from and the application process you’re following.

If you’re applying for a green card from the United States, both you and your green card sponsor will have to submit passport photos with your physical green card application. Your green card sponsor will submit two passport photos that meet the requirements outlined above, and you must submit eight passport photos.

If you’re applying for the green card from abroad using Form DS-260, you’ll have to submit two passport photos at your consular green card interview.

If you’re applying for a nonimmigrant visa using Form DS-160, you’ll only have to upload the digital version of your passport photo on the online application.