EAD Card Photo

EAD Card Photo

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EAD Photo Size & Requirements

EAD Photo Online in 3 Seconds!
Width: 2 in
Height: 2 in
301 dpi
Image definition parameters
  • Head height: 1.29 in
  • Bottom of the Photo to the Eye Line: 1.18 in
Is it suitable for online submission?
Is it printable?
Background Color

How to take a photo?

Body-camera distance
Body-camera distance
Posture: Straight ahead
Posture: Straight ahead
Posture: Straight ahead
Even lighting on both sides of the face
Even lighting on both sides of the face
Even lighting on both sides of the face

Employment Authorization Document photo (EAD photo)

The EAD photo is an important element which, when correctly prepared, lets an applicant obtain this employment benefit. The Employment Authorization Document, also known as EAD or work permit, is a document issued by the USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which provides temporary employment authorization to non-citizens in the U.S. If you want to know the specific USCIS photo requirements for EAD you will need to read this guide, that has been prepared especially for you to get to know how to take a proper photo at home, using just your phone. With our tips and help your application is going to be easily approved.

EAD photo requirements

Nowadays you don’t have to go to a professional photographer to get your EAD card photo, you can simply use the PhotoAiD app and its tools and learn everything you need to know from our site on your own. So what are the most important EAD photo requirements that the USCIS demands from applicants?

General EAD photo requirements are as follows:

  • Photo must be in color.
  • It can’t be a selfie – ask someone else to take your photo or use a tripod.
  • It has to be taken in front of a plain white, or off-white, background.
  • The photo size must be 2 x 2 inches (51mmx51mm).
  • It has to be a high resolution photo – not blurry, grainy, or pixelated.
  • You must remove your glasses, headphones and any headwear.
  • Your face must have a neutral expression.

Validity of the EAD photo

You must provide 2 (two) valid photos, which means that they have to be taken within 30 days of your application as the USCIS has to confirm your current appearance, so if you have changed your appearance in some kind of way, you should try to take a new and more suitably up-to-date EAD photo. 

Photo quality

The photo must be in high resolution and not be digitally altered, or damaged in any way. Try not to make it blurry or pixelated as good quality is required. If you are scanning your photo it can’t have printer dots or any scratches. You must print the image on glossy or matte photo paper.

Size and position

The required EAD photo size is 2 x 2 inches (51mmx51mm) with the head centered and sized between 1 and 1.4 inches (25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. The photo should be taken with a front-facing view and you should be directly looking into the camera, showing the entire face and forehead of a person. In addition, the photo has got to show the oval of the face, the jawline and temples.

Facial expression

Remember to have a neutral facial expression with both eyes open. You can’t laugh, have a big smile or show your teeth. When it comes to the Employment Authorization Document, the EAD application photo requirement is to not have your mouth open, but you are allowed to have a slightly natural smile, we don’t recommend it though, because if in any way you will change the neutral expression of your face, then the application might be rejected.

Glasses, head coverings and other items

Because your face must be exposed, you cannot wear sunglasses or even everyday glasses. Your clothing should be totally normal clothes that are worn on a daily basis, so it is forbidden to wear any kind of uniform or camouflage costume. You are also forbidden from wearing a hat, a cap or any other head covering. Headphones and wireless hands-free devices are forbidden as well. Facial piercings are not allowed if they cover your face in any way. However, If you cannot remove your glasses or head covering for medical reasons, you should include a signed doctor’s statement which will verify your condition. Please note that in such a case your full face must be visible and your head covering cannot cast any shadows on your face.

Shadows, lighting and background

As you already know, the photo must be in color so that it shows the tone of your skin and the actual color of your hair and eyes. It is also recommended to take the photo in daylight as this is the best way to avoid the red eye effect. There cannot be any shadows in the background, or on your face and neck, so make sure to set up your photo session in front of a window in full daylight. In order to avoid shadows, keep your camera at the correct distance (about 1.2m away from you). No objects can be visible in the background, which should be neutral, white or off-white.

How to fulfill every single EAD photo requirement?

There are a lot of USCIS photo requirements for an EAD and we understand that it can be hard to fulfill them all. However, with our help and advice the whole process is going to be much easier! You just need to take a photo of yourself with your phone, upload the image to the PhotoAiD site that will take care of the rest.

How does it work?

Our tool allows you to take your EAD photo with your own phone at home. Just ask someone for help so that they can take a photo of you, prepare yourself according to the EAD photo requirements and done. Now upload the picture and in a few minutes you will receive your photo back, which will be ready to attach to your application. Exactly what kind of help can we offer?

  • PhotoAiD will remove the existing background from the photo and replace it with the correct one, if necessary. The PhotoAiD tool gives your picture a white background in a professional way, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
  • Our tool will also crop your photo to the required EAD photo size and prepare the frame, with which you will be able to print your photos and use them in the future.
  • The photo checker also verifies the facial expression, the position of the head, color, lighting and other elements to let you know, in case of any mistakes, that you need to take another shot.

Get an Employment Authorization Document photo with your phone, upload it online and enjoy the perfectly prepared EAD photo waiting for you in your email inbox. Learn how to prepare and what mistakes to avoid.

The most common mistakes made with an EAD card photo

These simple mistakes can cause the rejection of your application when you are trying to get an Employment Authorization Document. Let’s see what not to do with your EAD photo:

  • Taking an underexposed or overexposed photo, or one with shadows or the red eye effect,
  • Submitting an old or damaged photo,
  • Wearing glasses, head covering or other items,
  • Having an opened mouth, closed eyes or a wide smile,
  • Wearing clothes that are not allowed such as a uniform.

Remember that your photo cannot be out of date and it should be a recent photo to show your current appearance, taken within the last 30 days. It is important that you don’t forget about the correct size for your EAD photo: 2 x 2 inches (51mmx51mm). Another common mistake would be to apply filters to an image or to edit a photo through apps or computer programs, the photo must show your natural appearance, with no changes at all.

Last update: 3/24/23

Frequently Asked Questions

💡 Who is eligible for an EAD card?

Those eligible for an EAD card are:

  • J-2 dependents, meaning a spouse or unmarried child who is under 21 years of age of a person who holds a J-1 Visa.
  • Foreign students who carry an F-1 visa or M-1 visa.
  • Dependents, who are eligible, of employees of diplomatic missions, international organizations, or NATO,
  • Family-based nonimmigrants.

💡 What does the EAD card allow you to do?

The EAD allows the owner (non-citizen) to legally work in the United States.

💡 Is the EAD the same as a Green Card?

The Employment Authorization Document is not the same as a Green Card and it does not guarantee any immigrant status to its owner.

The average processing time at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is 3-5 months, but most of the time it takes about 1.5-2 months to receive your EAD.

The application process for the EAD requires preparation and for you to mail in all of the following documentation: 

  • 2 (two) photos that meet the requirements, 
  • USCIS fee, 
  • form G-1145, 
  • form I-765, 
  • work permission letter, 
  • photocopy of passport, 
  • photocopy of DS-2019 documents, 
  • photocopy of electronic I-94 record, 
  • financial documentation, 
  • proof of marriage.

Receiving approval for your EAD is not enough to start working, because it does not prove anything to the employer.

You can renew your EAD as often as you like, as long as you are still eligible to do so.

You can renew your EAD as early as 4 (four) months before the expiration date of your current one, it is advised that you begin the renewal process as soon as possible to ensure that you have it renewed in time, in case of delay.

If you were approved for an EAD but still have not received your card in the mail, then you will need to contact the USCIS in order to find out the tracking number, so that you can see if it was delivered or not. If it was lost in the mail and the USPS (United States Postal Service) were responsible then you will be issued with a new one at no cost. However, if they deem it your responsibility you will be required to file for a lost EAD card and pay a processing fee.

About the document

The Employment Authorization Document – form I-766

EAD is an employment benefit available to J-2 dependents (J-2 dependents are defined as a spouse or an unmarried child under 21 years of age of a J-1 exchange visitor) and it allows them to work in any full-time or part-time job. Employment eligibility is based on the dates listed on the EAD.

The Employment Authorization Document Card

The document is issued as a plastic card. It contains all of the basic information about its owner: full name, place and date of birth, sex, immigrant category, A-number, card number, dates of validity and EAD photo of the holder.

The application process

The application process for the Employment Authorization Document consists of two steps:

  • Preparation and mailing the application materials – take your time to think, gather and organize your materials before sending them.
  • Receiving the Employment Authorization Document (average processing time at the USCIS is 3-5 months).

You need to prepare all of the required documentation:

  • 2 (two) photos, taken within the past 30 days,
  • USCIS fee,
  • Form G-1145 to confirm receipt and obtain a case number,
  • Original EAD form,
  • J-2 Work Permission Letter,
  • Photocopy of passport’s biographical page and visa stamp for the J-1 and J-2,
  • Copy of J-2’s expired passport,
  • Photocopy of DS-2019 documents,
  • Photocopy of electronic I-94 record,
  • Financial documentation,
  • Photocopy of marriage certification.

The most important information is that you must be present in the U.S. to apply for the EAD. In some cases, if too many items are missing from your application, or if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services determines you are not eligible for a J-2 EAD, USCIS will return the entire application to you or they may deny the application. However, if everything is done correctly you will receive the official approval of work authorization in the United States.

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