How to edit a photo for a USA visa application

Written by ken macdonald Google
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How to edit a photo for a USA visa application
USA visa applications require photos with strict specifications.. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

If you're a UK citizen and you plan to visit the USA for less than 90 days for business tourism or transit, you'll most likely qualify for the visa waiver scheme, so you won't have to apply for a visa in advance. If you want to visit for more than 90 days you will need to apply for a visa from the Immigrant Visa Unit at the US Embassy in London. Part of the application process includes providing two identical photographs and there is a strict set of rules about their format. You can submit digital photos and use any image editing software to get them in the correct format.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Digital imaging software

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  1. 1

    Arrange to have a colour photograph taken of yourself. The photograph must be a full face portrait of you looking straight into the camera and have a plain white or off-white background.

  2. 2

    Crop your photo with your photo-editing software, such as Photoshop, PaintShop Pro or Windows Live Photo Gallery, so that it is square with the dimensions 51 by 51 millimetres (2 inches by 2 inches). Your face should be centred in the picture, occupying between 50 and 69 percent of the image.

  3. 3

    Size your picture so that it's at least 600 by 600 pixels and at most 1200 by 1200 pixels. Print your pictures on matte or gloss photographic paper.

Tips and warnings

  • Take off tinted glasses or sunglasses for your photo. If you usually wear clear glasses, you can keep them on, but your eyes should be clearly visible. Head coverings of any kind, other than those worn because of religious beliefs, are not permitted. Wear everyday clothing for the photo and not a uniform.
  • If you've dyed your hair or grown a beard since your photo was taken, it should still be acceptable as long as you are clearly recognisable.
  • Your photo must be from the last six months. It won't be accepted if your appearance has changed significantly since it was taken for reasons such as surgery, tattoos or gender change.

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