In order to improve the precision of visible and infrared (VIS/IR) image registration, an image registration method based on visual salient (VS) features is presented. First, a VS feature detector based on the modified visual attention model is presented to extract VS points. Because the iterative, within-feature competition method used in visual attention models is time consuming, an alternative fast visual salient (FVS) feature detector is proposed to make VS features more efficient. Then, a descriptor-rearranging (DR) strategy is adopted to describe feature points. This strategy combines information of both IR image and its negative image to overcome the contrast reverse problem between VIS and IR images, making it easier to find the corresponding points on VIS/IR images. Experiments show that both VS and FVS detectors have higher repeatability scores than scale invariant feature transform in the cases of blurring, brightness change, JPEG compression, noise, and viewpoint, except big scale change. The combination of VS detector and DR registration strategy can achieve precise image registration, but it is time-consuming. The combination of FVS detector and DR registration strategy can also reach a good registration of VIS/IR images but in a shorter time.