When taking passport pictures, get a neutral background. If you don’t have plain white walls to pose in front of at home, tape a piece of plain white poster board behind you to create a clean backdrop. It’s important, when you take your own passport photo, to check the lighting. You can’t have any shadows in your passport photo, so taking it in natural daylight on a sunny day works best. Get help: Selfies won’t be accepted as passport pictures, so you’ll either need to use a tripod if you want to take your own passport photo or ask a friend to snap your picture.
If you’re planning to take a passport photo at home, make sure that it will meet all of the State Department’s passport photo requirements:
- Passport pictures must be in color, not black and white.
- No filters are allowed, no matter how good they make you look.
- Passport photos must be “2” x 2″ (51 x 51 mm) with the head centered and sized between 1″ and 1.4″ (25 and 35 mm).” (Click here for a passport photo composition template.)
- Remove any face coverings or masks for the photo.
- Passport photos must be “taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance.”
- Passport photos must be “taken in front of a plain white or off-white background.”
- Passport photos must be “taken in full-face view directly facing the camera.”
- When taking your own passport photo, make sure that you have a “neutral facial expression and both eyes open.”
- Your passport picture should be “taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis.”
- “Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.”
- When taking your own passport photo, “do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.”
- “Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.”
- “Eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos, except in rare circumstances when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons.”