Digital Photo for U.S. Green Card - size & requirements

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Green Card - Digital photo size & requirements

Green Card photo
Size
Width: 2 in
Height: 2 in
Resolution
300 dpi
Image definition parameters
  • Head height: 1.29 in
  • Bottom of the Photo to the Eye Line: 1.18 in
Is it suitable for online submission?
yes
Is it printable?
yes
Background Color

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Guarantee of acceptance
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Green Card - Digital photo size & requirements

Green Card photo
Size
Width: 2 in
Height: 2 in
Resolution
300 dpi
Image definition parameters
  • Head height: 1.29 in
  • Bottom of the Photo to the Eye Line: 1.18 in
Is it suitable for online submission?
yes
Is it printable?
yes
Background Color

How to make a photo?

1
Body-camera distance
2
Posture: Straight ahead
3
Even lighting on both sides of the face

Do you know what are the requirements for a green card photo? It is essential to know it as the incorrectly taken pictures are automatically rejected as well as the application. In this guide, you'll learn how to take a proper DV Lottery photo, which will increase your chances of being accepted into the program. You will be also introduced to the DV Lottery Photo Tool that allows you to take document pictures online and make a DV lottery photo check.

Knowing about the requirements for green card photo, as well as about the program itself, will make your application almost certainly approved. And you won't have to worry about making a mistake. Do you want to know more? Here is our guide to green card photo.

Green Card Photo Requirements

To apply for an American green card you need to attach a recent picture of yourself, your spouse, and all your children. The green card photo must be taken within the last six months and must show your current look. You don't need to attach a photo of your spouse or child who is already an US citizen or legal resident, but if you do - your application will still participate in the program. The photography 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. There you will also find more technical advice on image composition and examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos.

When preparing a DV lottery photo, you must be familiar with the specifications of the photo (compositional and technical). The photo must be in focus. The US Department of State does not accept group images, so you must take and submit a separate picture for each person. Please note that your visa application may be rejected if the pictures have been tampered with in any way or do not meet the requirements. Moreover, you cannot upload the same image you uploaded in previous years. This will disqualify you.

Green Card Photo Basic Rules

  • Neutral facial expression.
  • One should directly face the camera with full face in view.
  • Normal clothing. Extravagant outfit or uniforms might cause a photo rejection. Religious clothing, however, is allowed.
  • Background should be white or off-white in color.
  • Glasses, headphones and other items should not be worn.
  • The green card photo should be taken within the last six months.

Usually in photography we should be positioned frontally and look straight ahead. Visibility of the other person is always excluded, and the background requirements vary, but in most cases it should be uniform, one-color (usually light, but it also happens that e.g. the background must be blue or dark blue). Records regarding glasses and headgear are also usually the same, i.e. we photograph ourselves without a hat and without glasses (although they are allowed, even if the sight is impaired, you can take off the glasses - then we minimize the chance of rejecting the composite photo, because the risk is that glare will be visible on the glasses or the frame will cover our pupils).

Green Card Photo - Compositional Specifications

  • Your head must point directly towards the camera.
  • Do not tilt your head up, down or to the side.
  • The head or face area should be between 50% and 69% of the image 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).

DV Lottery Photo - Technical Specifications

  • File Format: JPEG
  • File Size: max. 240 kilobytes (240 KB)
  • Photos for green cards must always have the dimensions of 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: A pixel dimension must have a square aspect ratio ( the height must be equal to the width).
  • Color Depth: an image must be in color (24 bits per pixel). 24-bit black and white or 8-bit images won't be accepted.

DV Lottery Photo of Babies and Newborns

The picture is current when no other person is visible in the photo and the child is facing the camera with his eyes open. However, it is acceptable if a newborn's eyes are not entirely open. Also the face cannot be covered by hands and the child mustn’t wear a pacifier.

Green Card Photo Tool

A photo taken at a photo shoot is not the only way to get the image properly for your green card application. By using this DV Lottery Photo Tool you will be able to take a picture for diversity visa yourself using your smartphone. It is an online program to which you upload a photo taken with your smartphone (it can also be a selfie). The image is analyzed for correctness according to the requirements for green card lottery photos. If the photo meets the requirements - the program automatically removes the background and sends you a photo ready to be attached to your application.

What if the program detects that your photo is not correct? Then you can try again - as many times as needed to make the image comply with the technical and compositional specifications for green card photos. As soon as this DV Lottery Photo Tool verifies the photo as suitable, it will remove the background and send it back to you by email. So you can easily make a DV lottery photo check.

It is simple, convenient and most importantly - it has built-in verification software. Thanks to this, you do not risk that the photo in your application won’t be rejected. With the help of technology, your application has a better chance of being approved.

Frequently Asked Questions

❓ What is the photo size for Green Card?

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

❓ Is the Green Card photo same as passport photo?

Green Card photo and US Passport Photo are having almost the same requirements. The difference between those two consists in that in the US passport photo it is allowed to wear prescription glasses, meanwhile it is not allowed in the Green Card photos.

❓ Can I smile in a Green Card photo?

Green Card Photo is a biometric photo, hence the facial expression should remain neutral. A very light smile might be allowed, but we'd recommend you to keep the neutral face expression while taking a Green 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 on iOS and Android, or use our webservic. Take a selfie 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 with a light and neutral background. No shadows may be visible.

Yes, you cannot wear glasses in the green card photo. It is no longer acceptable wearing 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 in principle not allowed. The face must be fully visible and scarves, hats and other headgear may partially cover the face. The exception is religious headgear which is a symbol of belonging to a religious community. It is allowed to wear them while taking a green card photo, but the face must be visible from the forehead to the chin. Otherwise, the application for a diversity visa will be rejected.

Yes. Scanned photos are accepted. However, there are requirements that the scanned picture to 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, finally, the scan points cannot be seen in the 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 websites of the US Department of States you can find examples of the properly taken photos for the green card lottery, though. Also you can use the DV Lottery Photo Tool for a 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 so-called biometric photos, i.e. those that allow us to download our individual features that allow for quick and reliable identification.

About the document

What is a DV Lottery?

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

There is a limited time limit for applicants to register for the DV Lottery in each fiscal year. In addition, each year, the Department of State publishes detailed instructions and requirements for joining the Green Card Lottery. There you can find the date of the registration period during which you will be able to apply to the DV program.

It should be noted that the application period always takes place 2 years earlier than the year for which the diversity visa is expected to be issued. Therefore, currently, in 2020, people who are taking part in the DV Lottery apply for visas provided for 2022, not 2021. The currently ongoing program is DV-2022. The limited period for applying for am American green card is from October 7 to November 10, 2020 and it requires an online registration.

Who can apply for the American Green Card?

Only nationals of countries from which immigration to the United States have not exceeded 50,000 in the past five years can participate. Currently, citizens of the following countries are excluded from participation in the program: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

The pool of green cards (diversity visas) available for selection is 50,000, however, citizens of any country cannot exceed 7 percent of this number, which is no more than 3,500 visas.

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 approx. 80%, because citizens of other continents (especially residents of Asia and South America) are often represented in other visa categories.

DV Lottery - Requirements

There are many formal requirements for participating in the Green Card Lottery which are published every year by the US Department of State. You need to provide some personal data, as well as properly taken green card photo. Usually they are about the same every year, so here are the most important ones:

Eligibility

Only people born in eligible countries are permitted to participate in the DV Program. The main condition is that an eligible country must have historically low rates of immigration to the United States.

Education and work experience

Each DV applicant must meet the specific educational or work experience requirements set out in the lottery regulations. However, even if the applicant wasn’t born in an eligible country, there are two other ways he or she might be able to qualify. For example, if your spouse was born in a country that is eligible, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth and apply for a green card simultaneously with your spouse. Moreover, you may claim the country of birth of one of your parents. It just has to be a country whose natives are eligible for the DV program.

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. One person can only complete one application per 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 photo. You will need an email address to complete and confirm the application. It is important to keep your confirmation page and unique confirmation number. They give access to the online system that informs about the entry status. You should also keep access to the email account provided in your DV Lottery application.

How to apply for a Green Card?

Green Card applicants must complete and submit an electronic application on the website dvprogram.state.gov within a limited period. To complete the application, you need to prepare personal data such as:

  • Name(s) exactly as on your passport – first name, second name, family name and middle name if applicable.
  • Gender – male or female.
  • Birth date – day, month, year.
  • City and country where you were born.
  • Country of eligibility for the DV program.
  • Your green card photo submitted digitally, as well as digital DV Lottery photos of your spouse and all your children.
  • Mailing Address, phone number and email address
  • Country of current residency.
  • Level of education right now.
  • Current marital status.
  • Number of children and all their personal data.

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