What Are Green Card Photo Requirements?

Requirements green card

The 20th century has normalized the requirement of photos for legal works. Your regular job cannot be completed unless you attach your photo. Likely, when you apply for a green card, your image is a must. When your green card is issued, USIC will print your picture on it.

It might be fascinating that you can attach cool photos for your green card. But sorry to tell you, it doesn’t work like this! You cannot attach any random photo. Candidates make the mistake of attaching their passport photo for the green card. No doubt, green card photos and passport photos are the same, but glasses are not allowed for green card photos.

What Is A Green Card Photo?

A green card photo is an essential document. It will be printed on your green card along with other details. You have to attach this green card photo with the green card application form. After your application is reviewed, USCIS issues your green card. But if your image does not meet green card photo requirements specified by the USCIS, your application will not be entertained. You get only one chance per year to apply for a green card, and you certainly don’t want to miss it due to an incorrect green card photo. 

What Are Green Card Photo Requirements?

There are specific requirements that your photo needs to meet. These requirements are somehow complex to complete, but your application will be denied if you fail to qualify for the picture.

USCIS provides a complete list of green card photo requirements. The agency recommends using a professional visa photo service to ensure that their photo meets all the requirements.

Here is a list of green card photo requirements; we have tried to break them down in the section.

Size and type

  • Your photo must be in color. It should not be black and white.
  • Its size should be 2 inches * 2 inches.
  • It must be a fresh photo taken within the past six months. The image must reflect your current appearance.


  • Your photo must present your full head from the top of the hair to the chin’s bottom.
  • Your head must be in the center of the frame while directly facing the camera.
  • Your face must be in a position that covers 50% to 69% of the photo.
  • The height of your head should be 1 inch to 1 and 3/8 inches.
  • The height for your eyes should be 1 and 1/8 inches to 1 and 3/8 inches.
  • Your expressions must be neutral.


  • You are not supposed to wear any uniform, dress in usual clothes.
  • The background of the photo must not be colored. It should be black or white.
  • There must not be any shadow or dark color.
  • Hats and head covering are allowed for religious reasons, but they must not be shadowing your face. However, you can wear a turban, as it doesn’t cover your face.
  • Snapshots, magazine photos, and selfies are not acceptable.
  • Glasses are strictly prohibited.
  • But if you cannot take your glasses off for medical reasons, then their frames must not cover your eyes. The eyeglass should be glare-free. However, you will be required to give a verified medical report.
  • Headphones covering your ear and head are not allowed.
  • If you have a hearing problem or wear headphones regularly, wear them in the photo.

These are the specific requirements your photo needs to meet. There may be exceptional cases like applying for babies and toddlers. They also have specific requirements as follows:

  • The material on which the baby is lying must be white.
  • The baby should be lying on its back, but its head must be up.
  • Parents cannot hold them in their arms; the baby must be an alone person in the photo.
  • The baby’s face must be clear and visible.

These requirements are pretty much the same as a grown-up man’s requirements.

Requirements for Digital Photos

You may also be asked for digital images. These photos are not attached physically; these are uploaded from your device to the application and then sent for review. Digital photos also have requirements like physical photos, which are as follows:

  • The photo size should be 2 inches * 2 inches.
  • The photo should be 300 pixels per inch.
  • The dimensions should be 1200*1200 pixels or 600*600 pixels.
  • The color scheme should be RGB.
  • The photo size should be 240 kb.
  • Digital editing of photos is prohibited. You cannot digitally scan the images from another official document like a passport.

Do not be overwhelmed; these requirements may seem harder to meet. But USCIS recommends using a professional visa photo service for good reasons. The professionals are well aware of the specified requirements. However, if you have the right setup at your home, you can take your photo and then get it fixed. But this doesn’t mean that you submit a selfie; ask your friends or family to take your picture.

Other Considerations

Your appearance may undergo drastic changes over the past six months. There are chances of a change of arrival if you get:

  • Face surgery
  • A new tattoo or piercing
  • You have become over-weight, and you get a double chin.
  • Gender transitions. 

 If your current appearance doesn’t match with the photo, you’ll be asked to submit a recent photo. If you fall under any of the above conditions, you need to get a new image.

Green Card Photo Frequently Asked Questions

We have answered some of the frequently asked questions regarding green card photo requirements, which are as follows:

Can I Use My Passport Photo for My Green Card Application?

The passport photo can only be used for a green card if it’s brand new or taken within six months. It must reflect your current appearance; if it doesn’t, you need to get a new photo.

This condition also applies to children. Therefore, it is recommended to get a new photo every time you apply.

What Background Should Be for The Green Card Photo?

The photo must have a white or off-white background. The background must be bright and plain so that it won’t throw shadow or lighting.

The background for the green card photo must be plain white.

Background Should Be for The Green Card Photo

What Is the Optimal Head Position for The Green Card Photo?

The optimal head position is to face the camera directly. Your face should cover 50% to 69% of the photo frame. The face must be neutral and centered. 

Selfie poses, long-full photos are not acceptable. You Head must be centered and face the camera directly.

Optimal Head Position for The Green Card Photo

Can I Wear A Head Covering or Headscarves in My Green Card Photo?

Head covered in a green card photo is not allowed unless they are for religious reasons. But they must not cover your face. Your face must be visible from the top of your head to the bottom of your chin.

You can see, the head coverage is allowed if it doesn’t cover your face. Your face must be visible.

Wear A Head Covering or Headscarves

What Type of Paper Should I Print My Photo On?

 Your green card photo must be printed on quality paper, which can either be matte or glossy.

Submit Black and White Photo

Can I Submit Black and White Photos?

No, you can’t. You must submit a photo with 24 bits color depth. It cannot be black and white contrasted. It shouldn’t be too much exposed that it starts showing shadows.

The photo must not be contrasted and too exposed. There must not be shadows and bright lights.

I Digitally Edit

Can I Digitally Edit My Green Card Photo?

Digital edit is only recommended if you are a pro. Digital edits can change the shape of your head or face as you remove the background. Therefore, it must be avoided.

You can see, digital edit certainly changed the head and face shape.

Wear Glasses

Can I Wear Glasses in My Green Card Photo?

No, you cannot. You can only wear glasses if you have a particular medical condition. For this, you have to wear glare-free glasses. The glasses frame shouldn’t cover your eyes.

Wearing black or framed glasses is prohibited in green card photos.

What Is the Required Format for A Green Card Photo?

The photo must be in JPG format.

How Big Does the Photo Have to Be for the Green Card?

The dimensions of the green card photo must be 600*600 pixels or 1200*1200 pixels. The size should not exceed 240 kb.

Can I Change Green Card Photos After They Are Submitted?

Once you have submitted your documents and photos and the application, you cannot change them. If you feel that the photo is not correct and try to change it, you will be disqualified. 

Will USCIS Notify Me If My Photo Is Incorrect?

No, the agency will not inform you. You will not receive any feedback from US authorities regarding your disqualification. It is one of the worst cases that you get disqualified over and over, and you don’t even know why! Therefore, USCIS recommends seeking professional visa services.