Ensure your Green Card Photo Meets DV Lottery Requirements

Learn about all the requirements for Green Card photos to enter 2024’s Green Card Lottery
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In 2003, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a digital, unified application format for the Diversity Visa (DV) program.

Since then, applicants have had to follow stringent Green Card picture requirements when submitting their applications to the DV Lottery.

Keep reading to learn all the essential guidelines for Green Card photos and find out how to ensure your picture gets accepted into the draw.

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Learn more about Green Card photos and travel by reading these related articles:

Green Card Photo requirements for the DV Lottery

Preparing your photo for any official document usually involves fulfilling a specific checklist of requirements. For Green Card photos, your picture must:

Does this mean that applicants can use passport photos to apply for the Green Card Lottery? Technically, yes, as long they follow US passport photo requirements and reflect their current appearance.

Otherwise, the Department of State will automatically reject the application.

Green Card photo size

Green card photo size has minimum dimensions of 600x600 pixels.

The size requirements for Green Card Lottery photos are very specific, so be sure to follow the technical specifications provided by USCIS.

Currently, you must attach a digital photo to your application, as you can’t use analog photos. Additionally, the photo must meet the following parameters:

If you choose to get your digital picture from a scanned print:

  • Photo size: 51×51 mm (2×2 inches)
  • Scan resolution: 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter)

For digitally-taken photos: 

  • Digital dimensions: 600×600 to 1200×1200 pixels
  • Image file format: JPG (.jpg)
  • Digital image size: max. 240 KB

Important! While you need to submit a digital image when applying to the DV program, the selectees (i.e., applicants who have been invited for an interview) must bring two identical 2×2” printed photos to their interview.

Photo requirements for Green Card Lottery: the specifics

Aside from the technical specifications mentioned above, applicants must also meet these requirements in their Green Card photos:

  • Your head:
    • Must be centered in the picture
    • Cannot be covered (unless signed documentation justifying medical or religious reasons is provided). Additionally, any religious or medical headwear cannot cover the face from the forehead to the chin
    • Should occupy 50–69% of the image’s total height
The subject’s head must occupy between 50 and 69% of the total image height.
  • Positioning and pose:
    • You must face the camera directly (no angled positions are allowed)
    • You must maintain a neutral facial expression
  • Background:
    • You must take the photo against a neutral, plain background
    • Good lighting is crucial, mainly to avoid any shadows
  • The image must be in color—black and white photos are not allowed

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 and they have a medical statement signed by a doctor, they can wear them in their Green Card photo.

Snapping Green Card photos for family members

Anyone can participate in the DV lottery, including spouses, children, or other family members. However, a separate digital photo must be submitted for each applicant.

While teenagers and adult family members follow the guidelines mentioned above, how can you take a compliant Green Card photo of your baby?

Even though the rules for infant Green Card Lottery photos are similar to the general ones, you should pay special attention that:

  • The baby’s face is not covered (e.g., by hair, a hat, or other accessory)
  • There is nobody behind/next to/holding up the child
  • No toys or pacifiers are present in the photo
  • The baby’s eyes are open in the photo
Meeting Green Card photo requirements can be challenging for very young applicants, so pay special attention to the guidelines.

Ace all Green Card Photo requirements by snapping your pictures with the help of Passport Photo Online’s mobile application. Available on iOS and Android, we guarantee your photo will get accepted!

A picture converted into a government-compliant Green Card photo in 3 seconds using Passport Photo Online mobile app.


What are the requirements for a Green Card photo?

To apply to the DV Lottery, Green Card photos must be in digital format. Additionally, they must:
Have digital dimensions between 600×600 to 1200×1200 pixels
Be saved in JPEG format and have a file size no larger than 240 KB
Follow the same guidelines as US passport photos

How do I prepare my Green Card photo?

The best way to prepare your Green Card photo is to use Passport Photo Online’s mobile application to instantly get Green Card pictures that comply with all US Department of State guidelines.

How many pictures do you need for a Green Card interview?

Two identical 2×2” Green Card photo prints must be submitted when attending a Green Card interview.

Requirements for Green Card photos: closing thoughts

Green Card photos must follow specific guidelines mandated by the US Department of the State.

With its handy application (available for download on iOS and Android), Passport Photo Online ensures that your picture meets all Green Card Lottery photo requirements in minutes.

Try us out now and see why thousands of customers trust us with their document photos.


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