I have a US visa appointment in a few days, and I'll have a very minor surgery in my forehead a few days before. So I'll have somewhat of a scar and a bandage covering it. The doctor told me that it's perfectly OK to take out the bandage for a little while for the picture.

Would the workers at the ASC complain / cancel my application if I have a minor scar/wound on my face?

I doubt it (if I fall on my face while walking to my appointment, that shouldn't be cause for cancellation), but someone might know better :)

UPDATE: Everything went fine. The ASC worker was a bit doubtful on whether embassy would accept the picture with a bandage. She asked me whether I wanted to reschedule or try anyway, so I removed the bandage and took the picture with the tiny scar. (I guess I could have also been allowed to try with the bandage on, I don't quite remember.) She did mention "you're supposed to look the same way as when you'll be traveling", which sounded a bit shady to me since some visas last 10 years.

Here's a (very crappy) picture of my bandage as it was that day

enter image description here

Later, the consular officer did not give a crap about it, and didn't even mention it. This was not my first visa, I have a B1/B2 and this is the second J1 I'm applying for, so maybe that made a difference. Also, this was in Argentina which has one of the lowest US visa rejection rates in the world (maybe the lowest).

  • 3
    Phone them up and ask?
    – user40521
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


I found this. It is not the US policy, but my expectation would be that this is a common standard at least in the western world.

...if there are clear medical reasons, for example, head wounds, hair loss through medical treatment or illness, a scarf or bandage can be accepted as long as it does not cover the face.

To my knowledge, face recognition software usually does not use a forehead as a defining feature. Neither do people who verify pictures (e.g. border guards) in IDs are trained to do since forehead can be covered by hair.

  • Purely an anecdote, but my iPhone X recognizes me with and without a hat on (which comes down to just above my eyebrows)
    – Peter M
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 16:04

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