U.S. Passport Photo Requirements 2024: Comprehensive Guide

Summary: This article will walk you through to know the U.S. passport photo requirements and how to quickly create a standard passport photo using an online photo editor.

US passport photo

Ready for your vacation and travel? While you may be excited about your upcoming trip, before you do, make sure you have all the logistics completed, as well as check to see if your passport has expired. If your passport is about to expire, or if you haven't even started applying for one yet, it's time to do so.

According to the U.S. Department of State, the normal processing time is 6 to 9 weeks, and sometimes it can take up to 11 weeks. If you submit documents and photos that do not meet the requirements, then the process will be extended.

So to get your photos approved, we've prepared a complete guide to U.S. passport photo requirements. Whether you are taking your passport photo at home or going to an agency, make sure you follow these rules in order for your passport photos to be accepted.

Importance of Passport Photo

A passport is a necessary pass to travel and work abroad, without it you will not be able to complete your adventure abroad. When preparing your passport, your passport photo is an important factor in your passport application, so you need to make sure that the passport photo you provide is up to standard and required.

U.S. Passport Photo Requirements

passport photo measurement

If you thought that preparing in a photo for your passport would be fairly simple, you would be wrong. You have to aware of the department's stringent photo guidelines. Take note of these requirements before taking your passport photo if you don't want to be stuck in the states with an unusable photo.

Passport Photo Size and Format Requirements

Before you take a passport photo, please note the size and format requirements below.

  • Standard size: every photo must be 2 x 2 inches (or 51 x 51 mm), and the height of the person's head in the photo must be between 1 and 1 3/8 inches (or 25 - 35 mm).
  • Format: The digital passport photo must be in JPEG format.
  • The photo must be taken in the last 6 months.
  • Cannot submit scans of physical photos.
  • Taking a picture of a printed photo and submitting the digital version is not acceptable.

Lighting and Exposure Requirements

After you understand the size and format requirements of passport photos, you can start taking your photos. Here are the lighting requirements.

  • Adequate lighting for clear photos.
  • Avoiding shadows, glares, and overexposure.
  • Proper contrast and color balance.

Facial Expression and Posture Requirements

With the lighting issue out of the way, let's move to the facial expression and pose requirements. This is the key to the quality of passport photos.

  • Neutral facial expression

Keep a neutral expression, please don't say "cheese" or laugh at the camera. Instead, leave a big smile on your face for your destination.

  • Head and shoulder alignment

All you need to do is look straight ahead, shoulders squarely in front of the camera, do not bother posing.

  • Open eyes and closed mouth. Make sure your full face is visible, and don't let the hair cast a shadow on your face.

Clothing and Appearance Requirements

  • No uniforms or costumes

Making fashion statements in passport pictures is not appropriate. According to the rules, uniforms or amouflage are not allowed in passport photos. So don't wear your camouflage or other uniforms to take passport pictures.

  • No hats, glasses, or other accessories

The State Department's website states that you must submit a written statement "verifying that the cap or head covering in your picture is part of customary religious clothing worn constantly in public" if you wear a hat or head covering for religious purposes.

  • Plain clothing without patterns or designs
  • No distracting jewelry or makeup

How to Make an Acceptable Passport Photo Online?

change an image background to white and convert it to a passport photo

Once you have complied with the passport photo requirements above and taken the best possible photo, it is time to start editing your photo. Resizing your photo to meet your country's requirements is not difficult, as this can usually be done using the built-in editing tools in your phone or computer, such as the crop and resize tools.

But replacing photo backgrounds with standard solid color backgrounds can be a bit challenging for inexperienced novice editors, and you may need AI background remover tool. With this tool, you can easily and quickly remove image background and change it to any background you need.

Fotor's Background Remover

Fotor web tool

Powerful AI-driven editing tools like AI background remover, AI enlarger, object remover, one-tab skin retouch, AI art effects, etc.

Over 100,000+ ready-to-use templates and creative content for graphic design and photo collages.

Millions of HD stock photos for personal and commercial use.

Edit Photo Now

With this tool, you can easily and quickly change the image background to any background you need.

Here's the steps to make a passport photo online:

  1. Upload the photo you took to Fotor's background remover.
  2. Wait for a few seconds, Fotor will automatically identify the person in the photo and remove the background.
  3. Click on "Change background" and add a white background to your photo. If necessary, you can also upload your own image as the background.
  4. Use the resize tool to change the photo size to 2 x 2 inches.
  5. Click on the download button to save in HD format.

If you find the above process too complicated and tedious, don't worry, Fotor also offers a very easy-to-use passport photo maker, just upload your photo and you will get a perfect government-compliant passport photo in seconds!

Final Words

The process of getting a passport can be complicated and time-consuming, so to make sure your passport photo meets the requirements and be approved the first time you submit it, this passport photo requirements guide above will help you and make your travel experience smoother.