To: REGIONAL DIRECTORS
SERVICE CENTER DIRECTORS
DISTRICT DIRECTORS, INCLUDING OVERSEAS
ASYLUM OFFICE DIRECTORS
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
From: William R. Yates /S/
Associate Director for Operations
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Date: August 25, 2004
Re: Reminder of Change in Photograph Standard
On July 29, 2004, I issued a memorandum on the change in photograph standard for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The purpose of this memorandum is to remind offices that the change to passport style photographs is effective on September 1, 2004, and to provide additional guidance on implementation of the new standard.
New Photograph Standard
USCIS is adopting the Department of State’s photograph guidance for passport style photographs in its entirety. The new guidance completely replaces previous USCIS (or INS) guidance on photographs, including guidance on the dimensions, age and religious accommodations for photographs. Guidelines for producing passport style photographs are located at http://travel.state.gov/passport/pptphotoreq/pptphotoreq_5333.html.
On August 2, 2004, all Application Support Centers began capturing only passport style photographs. On that same date, all USCIS offices began accepting both ¾ profile photographs and passport style photographs. Beginning on September 1, 2004, all USCIS office will begin accepting only passport style photographs. This will complete the public rollout of the new USCIS photograph standard. Additionally, USCIS will take the following steps to implement the new photograph standard internally:
20 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20529
Change in Photograph Standard
1. Grace Period. USCIS offices will allow a six (6) calendar day grace period after September 1, 2004, for acceptance of ¾ profile photographs. This grace period will apply regardless of the delivery method of the photographs, i.e. by mail, in person or at a drop box.
2. Document Production. Until further notice, USCIS will produce documents (e.g. Permanent Resident Cards, Employment Authorization Documents, and Naturalization Certificates) with the photograph that was acceptable at the time the application was filed, regardless of the date of document production. USCIS offices should continue cases in order to request new photographs only if an application or petition was submitted with a ¾ profile photograph after the conclusion of the 6-day grace period on September 6, 2004.
A Press Release and a flyer (Form M-603) [to replace the Color Photograph Specifications (Form M-378)] on the change to the new photograph standard have been posted to the USCIS website. The flyer is also available through the USCIS forms centers.