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Our leading expert with 5+ years of hands-on experience in biometric photography, Mateusz has assisted countless global customers in taking photos for their official documents—this has earned him the rank of sensei in photo requirements.
Green Card Photos—All You Need to Know
The US Diversity Visa (DV) Program enables immigrants to settle, become US permanent residents, and work lawfully anywhere across the United States.
Here, you’ll find all the information you need about your Green Card picture, from size requirements to allowed clothing.
Also, you’ll get tips on how to pose, where to go to have your photograph taken, or how to ensure photo compliance from home in only a few clicks.
Understanding Green Card photo requirements
Green Card applicants must submit a digital passport photo while applying online.
For your Green Card interview, you’ll need to bring physical photos instead. The number of hard copies you submit depends on your application form and location—it can be from one (if applying outside of the US) to eight photos (if applying as a non-US citizen within the US territory).
A Green Card photo is the same as a US passport photo. However, your Green Card pictures must reflect your current look, so you better take them right before applying for the document. You can learn a whole list of requirements below.
Green Card Photo Requirements Explained
|Prints & Digital
|Must be in color
|Not older than 6 months—you must take a new photo if your physical appearance has changed considerably (e.g., a gender transition or evident facial surgery)
|Clear, well-lit image of your face, not blurry, grainy, or pixelated
|Filters and Digital Alterations
|Do not use filters. The picture must show your natural skin tone
|Plain white or off-white
|2x2 inches (51x51 mm). Your head occupies 50–69% of the photo—equivalent to 1–1 3/8” or 25–35 mm
|Printed on matte or glossy photo-quality paper
|Between 300 and 600 DPI (dots per inch)
And here are some extra considerations for digital Green Card photos:
- 600x600–1200x1200 px of resolution
- 54–240 KB in file size
- JPEG format
- Digitally scanned photos are not accepted
Note: The regulations for Green Card photos for children and babies are the same. The only exception is that newborns can look away from the camera.
The fine details: Green Card picture specifications
Additionally, you must follow the requirements regarding their pose, facial expression, and attire for your photo, among others:
- Smile: Keep a neutral facial expression with your mouth closed
- Eyes: Make sure your eyes are open and fully visible
- Glasses: Take your glasses off. Glasses are allowed only in rare medical cases (like eye surgery), and make sure there’s no glare, reflection, or shadows
- Head position: Look directly at the camera and keep your head straight
- Headgear: Head coverings are allowed only for medical or religious reasons
- Attire: Choose regular clothes and avoid wearing white clothes. Uniforms are forbidden, except religious attires worn daily. The same goes for accessories such as headphones or wireless hands-free devices
USCIS photo tool
The US Department of State shares their free photo tool that’s suitable for your Green Card picture check. Even though it’s filled with various photo examples, keep in mind that it’s only a cropping tool that allows you to adjust the proper size and dimensions.
If you’re looking for more advanced features, try Passport Photo Online—a professional DV photo checker that will help you create and verify your Green Card photo in minutes!
How to prepare yourself?
Distance from the camera
Take the photo from a distance of about 20 inches from your face. Ideally, the photo should be taken by another person.
Face in front of the camera
Place your face in front of the lens and keep a neutral expression on your face. Hold the camera at face height.
Just stand facing a light source such as an exposed window. Don't worry about the background.
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