File Size and Type

Each individual file (scanned document) must be no larger than 2 MB (megabytes). If your scanned image is too large, compress it before uploading it. “Zipped” files will not be accepted for uploading.

Scan each document as a separate file. If a document contains multiple pages, scan all the pages together into a single file. If the document size is more than 2MB, compress the file. Only split a document into multiple smaller files if it is still more than 2MB after compression.

Acceptable file types include .jpg, .jpeg, and .pdf.

Compressing a File

Compression means saving your document in a smaller file size. This not only allows the file to take up less space on your hard drive but also means it can be uploaded or e-mailed much faster. However, not all file types are easily compressed. Most computer operating systems include an option to compress a file. This option is often found under “File” or “Save,” or appears when you right-click on a file name in a navigation screen. Look on the “Help” tool in your computer operating system for more information on what is available to you.

There is also third-party compression software available, both at no cost and for purchase. Please remember that at this time, the Department of State cannot accept files that have been “zipped.”

Image Quality

After you scan a document, make sure that all the information is easily seen and read, and there are not any parts of the document that are cut off or cannot be seen. Most scanning programs offer a preview function so you can make sure the document is easily read. If you cannot read the scanned document, re-scan it at a higher resolution. Keep in mind this means the saved file size will be larger and you may need to compress the file before you upload it.

Use a pen to complete and sign forms that will be scanned to ensure the writing can be seen on your scan.

General Requirements

If any document is in color, please scan it in color rather than black and white.

Please scan both the front and back sides of any document that has stamps, seals, or writing on the back. (If the back of the document is blank, do not scan it.)

If you have a certified translation of your document, include a scan of the translation with the original (i.e. foreign language) document in a single file.

Give the file a name that makes sense to you and will be easy to find when you are ready to upload it. For example, “Birth Certificate – Maria.” If you must scan multiple pages of the same document into separate files, then name the files similarly but with a number at the end of the file name to indicate the order in which the files should be reviewed. For example:

  • Proof of Assets_1
  • Proof of Assets_2
  • Proof of Assets_3

Save the file to your computer (or a storage device such as a CD, DVD, or flash drive) in a folder that will be easy to find. For example, make a folder called “Immigrant Visa application” and save all your scans in this folder. If someone else helps you, you should be there when your documents are scanned. Make sure you have control of your scanned documents.

Uploading Your Documents

You will know you have successfully uploaded a document into the Consular Electronic Application Center when the status column for that document says “Uploaded”. However, in order to give NVC access to the documents in your CEAC account, after uploading your documents you must then click on the “Submit Documents” button in both the Affidavit of Support and Civil Documents screens.

To find the file you want to upload, click the “Browse” button. A pop-up screen will appear. This is where you can navigate to the folder where you’ve saved your documents. Double-click on the document you want to upload. The file name should then appear on the screen next to the “Browse” button. You can then click on the “Upload” button. After uploading your file, you will return to the previous screen, where you can choose to upload another document.