Green Card Photo: Requirements and Guidelines [And a Hassle-Free Visa Photo Tool]

Prepare a perfect Green Card Photo 100% government compliance!

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Green Card Photo: Requirements and Guidelines [And a Hassle-Free Visa Photo Tool]
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Snap or upload a photo

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AI prepares the photo

Artificial Intelligence will check your photo, crop it to the right size and remove the background.

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Expert verification

Our Photo Expert will make additional verification to check if your photo meets the official requirements.

Digital or print photos

Digital or print photos

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How to take a photo?

Taking a photo for your ID has never been so easy.

Follow these simple instruction to take the perfect ID photo.


Body-camera distance

The distance between the face and the camera should be about 40 cm. Ideally the photo should be taken by the other person.


Posture: Straight ahead

Place your face in front of the lens. Hold the camera at eye level and keep neutral face expression.



Stand facing the light source, for example an exposed window. The background will be cut out, don't worry about it.

Digital Photo for Green Card - Size & Requirements

Green Card Photo: Requirements and Guidelines
Width: 2 in
Height: 2 in
301 dpi
Is it suitable for online submission?
Image definition parameters
Head height: 1.29 in
Bottom of the Photo to the Eye Line: 1.18 in
Is it printable?
Background Color
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More about Green Card Photo - Requirements

Green Card Photo

A Green Card photo, as the name implies, is a picture that meets biometric standards and is used for your Green Card application. This photo has certain standards that you must comply with. If you want to learn about them, then continue reading our guide. You will get to familiarize yourself with the requirements of a Green Card photo, which will increase your chances of being accepted. Even better, you will also learn how to take the photo all by yourself!

Green Card photo requirements

To apply for an American Green Card, you need to attach a recent Green Card picture of yourself, your spouse, and all your children, except for the cases when your relatives already are US citizens. The photographs must be uploaded digitally – digital pictures or scans are both acceptable. You can test the suitability of your photos for the Green Card by using the photo verification link on the E-DV website. 

When preparing the Green Card lottery picture, you must be familiar with the compositional and technical specifications of the photo. The U.S. Department of State does not accept group images, so you must take and submit a separate picture for each person. Please try to avoid tampering with the image in any way that does not meet the specifications, so that your application will go smoothly and avoid submitting the same image you may have uploaded in previous years. With that in mind, we invite you to check out the photo requirements for Green Card one-by-one in the following paragraphs.

General specifications for Green Card photo

When taking your Green Card Lottery photo, there are some general criteria that you need to adhere to, regarding aspects such as facial expression, attire, accessories, and more.

  • Keep your facial expression neutral. 
  • Face the camera and look directly at the lens.
  • Avoid extravagant, inappropriate outfits or uniforms as they may cause rejection. Go for some everyday, casual wear instead.
  • The photo should be taken against a white or off-white background.
  • Accessories like glasses, headphones, and other items should not be worn. It is best to avoid too much jewelry as well.
  • The Green Card photo needs to have been taken within the last six months and must show your current look.

Compositional specifications for Green Card photo

All Green Card applicants must remember the right composition for their photos. The following Green Card photo requirements must be met:

  • Your head must point directly towards the camera.
  • Do not tilt your head up, down, or to the side.
  • The head should be between 50% and 69% of the image’s total height - measured from the top of the head (including the hair) to the bottom of the chin.
  • The eye height should be between 56% and 69% of the image height (measured from the bottom of the image to the horizontal eyes).

Technical specifications for Green Card photo

Apart from compositional requirements, all Green Card pictures also have specific size and resolution standards. Such technical requirements for the DV lottery photo are as follows:

  • File Format: JPEG.
  • File Size: max. 240 kilobytes (240 KB).
  • The Green Card photo size must be 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm).
  • Image resolution: min. 600 x 600 pixels (width x height) up to 1200 x 1200 pixels.
  • Picture dimensions: the pixel dimension must have a square aspect ratio (the height must be equal to the width).

Last update: 6/7/23

About the document

What is the DV Lottery?

The DV Lottery is the common name for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery. It’s a US immigration program that allows you (and your close relatives) to obtain the right of permanent residence in the US, commonly known as a ‘Green Card’. The lottery is organized annually by the US Department of State. Applications are selected by computer randomization.

Who can apply for the US Green Card?

Only nationals of countries from which immigration to the United States has not exceeded 50,000 in the past five years can participate. 

The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions. Europe and Africa always have the largest number of DV Lottery visas, which is approximately 80%, because citizens of other continents (especially residents of Asia and South America) are often represented in other visa categories.

Entry period

The US Green Card applicant must adhere to the restricted dates for the entire process. This is very important as late entries won’t be accepted, and neither will paper ones. Only one application per person can be completed within a single registration period.

Completing electronic entry for the DV Program

You must complete an online application to apply for the DV Program - paper applications are not considered. Applying for a US Green Card is free of charge and requires submitting a correct Green Card picture. You will need an email address to complete and confirm the application. It is important to keep your confirmation page and unique confirmation number, as they will give you access to the online system that informs you about your entry status. You should also keep access to the email account provided on your DV Lottery application.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

What is the photo size for the Green Card?

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The photo size for the Green Card is 2 by 2 inches (2x2 in), being a standard US passport size photo.

Is the Green Card photo same as the passport photo?

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The Green Card photo and US passport photo have almost the same requirements. The difference between those two is that in the US passport photo you’re allowed to wear prescription glasses, while in Green Card photos you’re not.

Can I smile in my Green Card photo?

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The Green Card photo is a biometric photo, hence your facial expression should remain neutral. A slight, natural smile might be allowed, but we'd recommend you to keep your facial expression as neutral as possible while taking yourGreen Card photo.

The Green Card is valid for 10 years. Since it will accompany you for quite some time, you might want to take a good-looking photo. On our website you can take as many photos as you need!

Sure thing! An easy-to-use photo tool will do! All you have to do is download our Photo AiD mobile app available for iOS and Android, or use our website. Take a photo of yourself and get your Green Card photo in 10 seconds!

Yes. Your facial expression must be neutral, so you shouldn’t smile, even briefly, or grim.

The DV lottery photo must be taken against a light, white or off white background. No shadows may be visible.

Yes.You cannot wear glasses in the Green Card photo. It is no longer acceptable to wear glasses in the photo for the DV Lottery since November 1, 2016. This means you should take them off before taking the picture. This includes both sunglasses and prescription glasses.

Covering the head in the Green Card picture is not allowed. The face must be fully visible, and scarves, hats, and other headgear partially cover the face. An exception is religious headgear, which is a symbol of belonging to a religious community. You’re allowed to wear it while taking your Green Card photo, but the face must be visible from the forehead to the chin. Otherwise, the application for the diversity visa will be rejected.

Yes. Scanned photos are accepted. However, there are requirements that the scanned picture for the Green Card must follow. First, it must meet all the requirements for digital photos. Secondly, the printed DV lottery photo should be scanned with a resolution of 300 dpi. Third, the scan points cannot be seen in the digital image.

As you won’t receive any feedback from the US authorities about your Green Card Lottery application, you must verify the correctness of your picture yourself. On the US Department of State website you can find examples of properly taken photos for the Green Card Lottery, however. Also you can use our photo tool for verification.

If your photo does not meet the specifications required by the US authorities, you will be disqualified and your diversity visa application won’t be considered for the Green Card Lottery.

Green Card photos have the same requirements as the U.S. passport and U.S visa photos, hence all Green Card photos are biometric photos, i.e. those that include our individual features that allow for quick and reliable identification.

It's not recommended to wear any accessories nor jewelry in a Green Card photo, therefore, it's best to avoid earrings.