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What Are the Detailed Photo Specifications?

Detailed photo requirements for the DV Lottery.

Here are some helpful tips that you must take into consideration when taking your photos to submit with your Green Card Lottery application.

These are the most important details of your photos:

  • Size of photo
  • Expression on face
  • Position of head
  • Background of photo
  • Image quality
  • Clear face (not hidden in any way by hair, shadows, glasses, head covering, mask, etc.)

Covid-19 Notice: You cannot wear a face mask when you take your photo. We understand that you may wear one to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but you must remove your face covering or mask so your full face is visible. Your full face must be visible to establish your identity.

 

Shadows and lighting.

Your pictures must be clear, with adequate lighting and no visible shadows. Do not over or under expose your photos. Lighting should not create any shadows in the background or on your face. Color balance should be controlled so that your skin tones are reproduced accurately.

True Green Check Mark True Green Check Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark
Good Photo No Shadows Correct Exposure Good Photo No Shadows Correct Exposure Bad Photo Underexposed Image Bad Photo Overexposed Image Bad Photo Shadows on Face and Background

 

Glasses.

You cannot wear glasses or sunglasses of any kind, even if you wear them regularly every day.

True Green Check Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark
Good Photo No Glasses Bad Photo Cannot Wear Glasses Bad Photo Cannot Wear Sunglasses Bad Photo Cannot Wear Reading Glasses

 

Size and position.

The entire head should be contained within and centered in the photo and should cover approximately 50% of the area. The photo should be approximately 2x2 inches (51x51 cm) with the head between 1 and 1.4 inches (25 and 35 cm). When taking a picture with a camera, the camera should be at least four feet (1.2 meters) away.

True Green Check Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark
Good Photo Head Centered and Covers 50% of Image Bad Photo Head Covers More than 50% of Image Bad Photo Head Not Centered Bad Photo Head Covers Less Than 50% of Image Bad Photo Head Not Centered

 


Resolution, print size, and quality.

Your photos must be sharp, not blurred, grainy, or pixelated. If necessary, increase the picture’s resolution (300 dpi minimum).

True Green Check Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark
Good Photo Sharp Resolution Correct Size Bad Photo Blurred Image Bad Photo Pixelated Image (Low Resolution) Bad Photo Blurred Image Bad Photo Incorrect Size

 

Digital alterations and retouching.

Do not crop photos or retouch them in any way. Avoid digitally altering photos in any way, including resizing that alters the aspect ratio. Do not use pictures with “red eye” and do not digitally alter such pictures.

True Green Check Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark
Good Photo Not Altered or Retouched Bad Photo Retouched Bad Photo Altered Bad Photo Red Eye

 

Pose and expression.

The person being photographed should directly face the camera and have a neutral expression on the face, with clearly visible (open, not closed) eyes. The head cannot be tilted forward, back, up, down, or to any side; it must be faced directly ahead. Shoulders should be square to the camera.

True Green Check Mark True Green Check Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark
Good Photo Neutral Expression and Facing Directly at Camera Good Photo Neutral Expression and Facing Directly at Camera Bad Photo Head Tilted Down Bad Photo Not Neutral Expression Bad Photo Head Tilted Up Bad Photo Head Tilted to Side Bad Photo Eyes Closed Bad Photo Shoulders Not Square with Camera

 

Attire, hats, and hair.

No item may obscure the face. This includes head coverings, glasses, hair, jewelry, etc.

True Green Check Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark
Good Photo Face Not Obstructed Bad Photo Head Covering Obstructs Face Bad Photo Object Obstructs Face Bad Photo Accessory Obstructs Face Bad Photo Hats Not Allowed Bad Photo Hair Obstructs Face

 

Background.

The background of the image must be plain and uniform in color (white or off-white) and without any shadows.

True Green Check Mark True Green Check Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark
Good Photo Background Uniform and White Good Photo Background Plain and White Bad Photo Background Not Uniform Bad Photo Background Not White Bad Photo Background Not Plain Bad Photo Background Not Plain

 

Children.

Children’s photos cannot include any other person in the photo. They must be facing the camera and their eyes must be open. They must have a neutral and not exaggerated expression. Their full face must be visible in the photo.

If you are taking a picture of a baby or toddler, you can lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet so that the baby's head is supported. Be sure that there are no shadows on your baby's face. You can also cover a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat.

True Green Check Mark True Green Check Mark True Green Check Mark True Green Check Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark False Red Cross Mark
Good Photo Full Face Visible Neutral Expression Good Photo Full Face Visible Not Exaggerated Expression Good Photo Full Face Visible Neutral Expression Good Photo Full Face Visible Not Exaggerated Expression Bad Photo Shadows on Face Bad Photo Not Facing Directly at Camera Bad Photo Exaggerated Expression Bad Photo Full Face Not Visible Bad Photo Exaggerated Expression Bad Photo Full Face Not Visible Bad Photo Cannot Have Another Person in Photo

 

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