There are plenty of sites that offer visa photo services. Each is familiar with the requirements set by the State Department for the photo to be accepted. As a consumer, we look for the most convenient location and the cost of the service. The same photo requirements used for a passport are also applied for a visa. So, here is a list of best places to get a visa photo taken.
Visa Photo Requirements
- Photo size must be 2 x2 in
- In color
- Printed on glossy or matte paper
- Has a white background
- The photo must be less than six months old
- No hats or glasses worn
- No head covers unless for religious purposes
These guidelines will give you a clear picture of how your photo must be after taking it. If the photo does not meet these requirements, it will be rejected.
Best Places to get a Visa Photo Taken
The list of places mention below is not categorized as first to last or best to worst. They all offer the same service, but the cost will vary. You can visit anyone, and your visa photo will look the same. So, to get your picture taken, you can go to retail stores, pharmacies, consulate or embassy, shipping stores, membership stores, professional photo studios, or visa expeditors.
Retail Stores – Many retail stores offer photo service. Retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target, which are open 24-hours, give you the convenience of walking in any time and get your picture taken. You will also get the pictures right after taking it. The cost per store may vary; however, you will have your photo to submit with your application.
Pharmacies – Pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, or Rite Aid also have the service. However, unlike Wal-Mart and Target, these pharmacies do not have a photographer present at a particular time to take your photo. The pharmacy may be open 24-hours, but you could not get this service later in the evenings. It is best to call before heading out to one. Again, the cost at each pharmacy will vary.
Consulate or Embassy – Some consulates or embassy will offer to take your photo at the time you are submitting your application without a picture. If you do, you will see the cost is more at the embassy or consulate when compared to the prices at a retail store or pharmacy.
Shipping Stores – If you plan to use an overnight delivery servicer like UPS or FedEx, you can also use either to take your photo. There are many of these shipping companies located in the neighborhood. So, finding one will not be that difficult.
Membership Stores – Remember that a passport photo is used with a visa application. So, membership stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and AAA offer passport photos at a discount rate to their members. If you were not aware of this perk, asked a manager the next time, you are in the store or on the phone with an AAA representative.
Professional Photo Studio – Even though there are not that many photo studios around, you can still visit one if you have it in your neighborhood.
Visa Expeditors – Visa expeditors will also offer to take your photo if you haven’t done so. The service is not free and expects to cost more at these locations.
A photo is a requirement when you submit a visa application. So, where you go to take one is up to you. As mention before, all these facilities that offer the service are well aware of the criteria, the picture must have. None will give you a photo not meeting the requirements. So, locate one in your neighborhood and get it done. You usually get a pair when you purchase the photos, so you can save the other in case you will need to renew your passport.