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Green Card Photo Requirements

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In the past few years, the U.S government began to pay greater attention towards complying with the rules of Green Card application. One of the main policies is to have an updated photo that represents your current look. Unfortunately many otherwise successful candidates failed to receive a positive answer to their application because of an incorrect photo in their form. 

Below are a few handy tips to help you meet the necessary Green Card lottery photo requirements.

What Kind of Photo Can I Use in My Application?

The photo for your Green Card application needs to represent your current look. You may use your passport photo if the passport is new as well. The U.S government will be able to tell how recent the photo is by comparing your application photo to the one in your passport.

With all that in mind, your passport photo shouldn’t be older than 6 months if you wish to use it for the Green Card lottery too. We advise you to get a whole new picture using an online photo service for DV Program photos for better results.

If you already applied for a Green Card before DO NOT use the same photo as in your previous application. This may get you disqualified from the lottery all together.

Other than that, a Green Card lottery photo is no different from a biometric passport photo. The U.S authorities even allow for a light natural smile which isn’t acceptable in many other countries.

Main Requirements for a DV Lottery Photo

  1. A Green Card lottery photo needs to have a simple plain white background with no shadows, which creates nice contrast with the person’s features.
  2. Individual’s face should take up about 50-69% of the whole photo.
  3. Person’s eyes need to be wide open, clear and facing the camera.
  4. No “Hollywood smiles”, but a light neutral one is allowed as mentioned previously
  5. Head coverings are not usually acceptable for the Green Card photo. Exceptions are scarves worn for religious reasons. Your face still has to be fully visible and the scarf shouldn’t be loose, but sit tight from forehead to your chin.
  6. The submitted photo has to be high quality and in color with a minimum color depth of 24 bits. No B&W photos.

selfie photo phone

Editing a Green Card Photo Digitally

Any changes to an original picture must be avoided, as it may result in facial shape or size changes.

Avoid getting rid of the background too. It’s best to use a neutral white backdrop, a wall, sheet or blanket to keep things natural.

Can I Submit a Printed Photo?

The U.S authorities no longer allow you to attach an analogue photo to your application.

Therefore, the photo you submit needs to be in digital format, with minimum 600×600 to 1200×1200 pixels, and weigh not more than 240 KB.

Green Card lottery photo has to be top quality without any color alterations, or any over- or underexposure.

If you require any help getting your photo done right, you can first check it online at the free Green card lottery photo checker to make sure it’s a 100% compliant one.

travel passport customs

Other Restrictions and Conditions for a Green Card Lottery Photo

1. Wearing glasses

It’s no longer allowed to wear glasses in your photo for a DV lottery.

2. Highest quality possible

Having a great quality headshot photo is very important when it comes to a digital Green Card application photo. It has to be clear without any visible pixels and in JPG format.

3. No additional changes allowed

When you apply with the U.S authorities, you won’t have the chance to update, change or add any information after your application is completed. So be very careful with how you follow the guidelines and rules, as it may cost you your residency!

Requirements for Photos of Children

If you’re applying for the DV Lottery you need to include photos of all your family members and kids that might be coming with you.

To take a correct Green Card photo of your child keep these important tips in mind:

  • There’s no one else in the photo
  • The baby isn’t holding a pacifier
  • The face is open and nothing is covering it
  • Open eyes.

Taking a baby’s photo is particularly hard and it’s even more difficult to choose one. To take the best photo you can, place the baby on a white backdrop and shoot from above, while gently distracting them.

map america

You can apply for the 2022 Green Card starting October 7. While it’s better to prepare everything in advance, take your lottery photo during your last steps to apply with the most current picture of yourself.

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