Installment 129

This Ask the Consul article addresses some common issues encountered with visa photographs. Please note that the requirements for U.S. Visa Photos are different from those photos used in Guyana’s identity documents.

Non-immigrant Visas

Applicants for a non-immigrant U.S. visa must complete the DS-160 online and upload a digital photo to the DS-160 application form. The following minimum requirements must be met or your application cannot be processed. The photograph should be:

1. In color

2. Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50 percent to 69 percent of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.

3. Taken within the last six months to reflect your current appearance

4. Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background

5. Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera

6. With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open

7. Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis.

1. Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.

2. 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.

3. Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.

4. If you normally wear glasses (without tinted lenses), a hearing device, or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo.

5. Dark glasses or glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable.

6. Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.

If your photo does not meet the composition requirements, the Embassy may be unable to process your application. Please note that just because the photo was accepted online does not mean it will meet the requirements once it is reviewed by the Embassy. To avoid delays, it is recommended that each applicant also bring one 2”x2” hard copy photo to the interview.

Immigrant Visas

Applicants for Immigrant Visas do not upload photos, but mail them to the National Visa Center instead. Even if you have mailed in a photo, the Embassy still recommends that IV applicants arrive at their interview with a photo that meets all of the same requirements as above.

Some Common Errors

Seen at the Embassy

1. Digital photos taken against a wall that is not white or off white

2. Persons wearing glasses reflecting or causing a shadow to obscure the eyes
3. A shadow around the face

4. The image is small or too large

5. Hair styles that block the ears or cover the forehead

6. The head is slightly tilted

7. Too much light

8. Religious attire that covers the forehead, chin, or ears

Additional Notes

1. Guyanese passports do not have “Passport ID” numbers. Enter your passport number in the DS-160, but leave the Passport ID number blank.

2. When applicants change their appointment dates for any reason there is no need to complete another DS160.

General Inquiries

More information may be found on the Department of State website at:


“Ask the Consul” is a fortnightly column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. If you have a general question about visa policy please email it to us at We select questions every other week and publish the answers in Stabroek News and on our website at .

Information about visas and travel can be viewed at,, and at Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice. U.S. Consular rules change frequently and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information.

Other than the questions we select, we DO NOT respond to questions sent to Ask the Consul. Please contact the visa inquiries unit (email or call 225-7965 between 8 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday) if you have questions about a specific case.

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