Since 1987, the US Diversity Visa (DV) Program has been enabling immigrants to settle and work lawfully anywhere across the United States.
While the requirements have frequently changed, it hasn’t discouraged thousands of volunteers from reaching their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In 2003, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a digital, unified application format.
What about the Green Card Lottery picture requirements? Well, they also changed.
What should you pay attention to when taking Green Card Lottery photos? Stay with us and get to know the essentials of photo requirements for your Green Card and start preparing for your application with a perfect photograph!
USCIS photo requirements for Green Card Lottery
Preparing your photo for any type of official document always involves a specific checklist that applicants need to fulfill. Green Card pictures are no different. What is a perfect US Green Card Lottery photo characterized by?
- it is not older than 6 (six) months;
- the photograph shows a full-frontal view of the applicant;
- the image meets all the specifications applicable to passport photos as well.
Does that mean that the applicants can use their passport pictures? Technically, yes, although they should be careful. It is crucial that their passport photos reflect their current appearance. Otherwise, the Department of State will automatically reject the application.
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Green Card Lottery picture size
The photo size requirements for the Green Card Lottery are also quite specific. Here, it is important to stick to the technical terms provided by USCIS. Currently, the most vital information is that analog photos are no longer allowed—every applicant must attach a digital photo. For that reason, they have to follow such regulations as:
- photo size: 51 x 51 mm (2 x 2 inches)
- the photo dimension: from 600 x 600 to 1200 x 1200 pixels
- image file format: JPG (.jpg)
- picture digital size: max. 240KB.
Additionally, the photo dpi requirements are essential for those applicants who wish to submit their photos as scanned documents. Apart from the general USCIS photo requirements for Green Card Lottery, the scanned image must have a resolution of 300 dpi without any visible pixels.
Photo requirements for Green Card Lottery—pose and appearance
While the size of the photo is one thing, the measurements are crucial for positive feedback. As in the passport photo, the Green Card photo requirements state that the person’s head:
- must be in a central position in the picture;
- cannot be covered or hardly visible in any of its parts;
- should take 50-69% of the image’s total height.
The applicant must face the camera directly (no angled positions are allowed) and maintain a neutral facial expression. Moreover, they must take their photos against a neutral, plain background. Good lighting is crucial, mainly to avoid any shadows or flashes. The images should be in color, too; black and white photos are not allowed.
What about the dress code? USCIS regulations mention that issue as well.
Technically, there is no dress code as long as the applicant’s head is centered and face is visible.
That means head coverings in any form are not acceptable. The only exception is religious clothing that still needs to follow the requirement of an uncovered face from the forehead to the chin.
Moreover, applicants are entirely forbidden to wear glasses, even if they are worn daily or used as a visual aid. However, if the individual’s glasses are indispensable they have a medical statement signed by a doctor, they can keep them for their Green Card photo.
What about babies and family members?
Both you and your spouse (and other family members) can participate in the DV lottery. However, this requires submitting photos of every individual applying for the US Diversity Program.
Teenagers and adults are not the hardest nuts to crack—but how can you take a perfect photo of your baby? The rules for babies’ pictures for the Green Card Lottery are roughly the same as the general ones. What applicants need to pay attention to is whether:
- the baby’s face is not covered;
- there is nobody behind/next to the child;
- the baby is not wearing a pacifier;
- the baby’s eyes are open.
Passport Photo Online for your Green Card image
There are lots of photo requirements to meet for future Green Card holders. How about making this process much more convenient by using Passport Photo Online? Our photo tool will help you fulfill the USCIS digital image requirements without the need to visit other places.
Choose any background, relax, and take the photo! Passport Photo Online adjusts a proper set, crops the image to the desired size, and deletes most of the disturbances;you can even hold your baby for their Green Card Lottery photograph, and our AI system will make sure the background turns out white. All of it at your own house!
Green Card Lottery photo requirements: FAQ
To clarify all the critical issues, we will shortly answer the most frequently asked questions.
What size should the photo be for the Green Card Lottery?
The photo should have an equal height-width ratio 51 x 51 mm (2 x 2 in.) The digital size cannot be smaller than 600 x 600 pixels and bigger than 1200 x 1200 pixels. It should be equal to or less than 240KB.
What should a DV Lottery photo look like?
The DV Lottery photo should present the full-frontal view of the applicant. The head should take 50-69% of the total picture height, and the face should be fully visible.
What kind of photo do I need to apply for the Green Card Lottery?
Since 2003, all Green Card photos must be in digital format.
How to check if my photo meets the requirements for the Green Card Lottery?
As an applicant, you must ensure that your picture meets the requirements provided by USCIS. You can find them on the government website or in our article.
Can I use the same photo for the DV Lottery?
Yes, you can. In fact, DV Lottery and Green Card Lottery are the same things; the names are used interchangeably.
Can I use my passport photo for the Green Card application?
Technically, yes, but only under the condition that your passport photo faithfully reflects your current look. However, we would advise not to use it for the Green Card Lottery but take a new photo to make sure it meets all the Green Card Lottery photo requirements.
Are the Green Card photo requirements same as for the passport photo?
They are the same: the image size should equal 2 x 2 inches, and the individual should have their photograph taken against the white or off-white background. Head covering (e.g., headphones) is forbidden, unless worn for a religious purpose. Most importantly, the photo must be taken within the last 6 (six) months to reflect the current appearance of the person.
Requirements for Green Card photo: closing thoughts
The DV Lottery and the Green Card are excellent opportunities for everyone who wants to pursue their American Dream. That is why it is vital to complete the application correctly and take a good photo. Green Card Lottery picture requirements involve a particular photo size, photographed person’s position, and specifics related to the overall image.
If you want to ensure that all conditions are fulfilled, use our Passport Photo Online application for your DV Lottery picture.
Roxana Grabowska combines her passion for language and biometric photography to craft reader-friendly content. Her work provides a clear guide to creating suitable photos for identity documents, making the process more accessible. Roxana’s background in linguistics and love for travel have made her appreciate the importance of high-quality biometric photos in ensuring smooth travel experiences.