Photo Requirements for the USA Green Card Lottery


The submitted image to the Green Card Lottery must adhere to the following specifications. Photographs submitted for the DV green card lottery must be a recent photograph, taken within the last 6 months.

Failure to comply with any of the following requirements may result
in disqualification from the DV Green Card Lottery.

Image Acquisition:

  • The image file may be produced by acquiring an image with a digital camera or by digitizing a paper photograph with a scanner.
  • Digital enhancement or other alterations or retouching are not permitted.
  • The original aspect ratio of the image must be preserved. (No image stretching is allowed.)

Compositional Specifications:


  • The image must contain the full face, neck, and shoulders of the applicant in frontal view with a neutral, non-smiling expression and with eyes open and directed at the camera.
  • The image must not contain any parts of the body below the applicant’s shoulders.
  • The image must not include other objects or additional people.
  • Applicant must be vertically oriented in the image.
  • The image must be from a recent (within 6 months) photo of the applicant.

    Head Position

  • Subject must directly face the camera.
  • Head must not be tilted up, down, or to the side.
  • The head height (measured from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin) must be between 50% and 69% of the image?s total height. The eye height (measured from the bottom of the image to the level of the eyes) should be between 56% and 69% of the image’s height. The diagram below shows these measurements on a correctly-proportioned image.


Well-Composed Photos
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No Retouching No Image Stretching
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Pose Not Frontal Image Not Portrait View
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Head Too Small Head Too Big
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  • Subject must be surrounded by a plain, light-colored background with no distracting shadows on the subject or background.
Background Not Plain
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  • The entire face must be in focus.
  • Fine facial features should be discernible
  • No discernible pixels or dot patterns
Not In Focus Visible/Coarse Dot Pattern
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Resolution Too Low

Decorative Items:

  • Photos in which the person being photographed is wearing sunglasses or other items that obscure the face are not acceptable.


  • Eyeglasses are acceptable in photo only if the lenses are not tinted and there is no glare, shadows, or rims/frames obscuring the eyes. Glare on eyeglasses can usually by avoided by a slight upward or downward tilt of the head.
Glare On Glasses
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Head Coverings and Hats

  • Hats or head coverings are only allowed if worn for religious reasons AND if they do not obscure any facial features.
  • Photos containing tribal or other headgear not specifically religious in nature are unacceptable.
  • Photos of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats are not acceptable.

Brightness, Contrast, and Color

  • Color should reproduce natural skin tones.
  • Brightness and contrast should represent subject accurately.
Improper Color Too Dark
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Contrast Too High
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Exposure and Lighting

  • Photo may not be over- or under-exposed
  • Avoid shadows on face or background
Over-Exposed Shadows On Face
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Shadow On Background
USA Lottery

Enter the Green Card Lottery.

55,000 Green Cards Must Go Each Year.

Let us help you reach your dream of becoming an American resident today!

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