Image Requirements

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What are the requirements for the US Diversity Visa Program photo?

When registering for the official US Diversity Visa Program, photographs must be submitted for the applicant and, if possible, pictures of his / her spouse and children. The requirements set by the US authorities are very complex and can lead to disqualification if you participate without the help of USAGCD.

US Diversity Visa Program Photo FAQ

  • Can I use my passport photo for the US Diversity Visa Program?

    The passport photo displayed in your current passport can only be used to register for the US Diversity Visa Program if the passport is also new (not earlier than it was issued in May of the DV Program year). By comparing the photo with the passport, the US authorities may be able to draw conclusions that the photo has not been updated.

    Otherwise, please adhere to the biometric passport photo requirements, as US authorities accepting a “natural smile” on the photo, for example, is not allowed on many passports.

    To participate in the US Diversity Visa Program, you must have a photo that meets the requirements of the US authorities, otherwise you will be disqualified and your registration in the DV Program will not be considered.

  • How old should a US Diversity Visa Program photo be?

    DV Program photos must be no more than 6 months old and must reflect your current appearance. This also applies to pictures of your wife and children. So it is imperative that you submit a new photo every time you participate. The photo (s) from the previous year must not be used.

    Since July 2019, the US authorities have increased their efforts to ensure compliance with the rules of participation and have taken a closer look at the picture. So you might win with an old photo but you risk being disqualified on the date of the interview and being denied a green card. So don’t take risks!

    Since we cannot verify whether the submitted photos reflect the current appearance of participants, you should check them again for your benefit before submitting them.

  • What background should the US Diversity Visa Program photo be on?

    The DV Program photo must be taken in a (white or off-white) light and a plain background on which no shadows can be seen.

    Tip: You can also use a sheet or white blanket for the photo background.

  • What is the optimal position of the head?

    In the US Diversity Visa Program photo, you have to face the camera directly. The head should be completely visible and it should be in the middle. It should represent between 50% -69% of the image’s total height.

    In addition, the eyes must be wide open and clearly visible, and they must be facing the camera. Also, the facial expression should be neutral, which means that a big smile should be avoided.

  • Covering my head for US Diversity Visa Program photo - Yes or No?

    Headwear in photo is generally not permitted to participate in the US Diversity Visa Program because hats or scarves may partially cover the face.

    Wearing a veil for religious reasons is an exception. However, the face must be visible from the forehead to the chin to avoid disqualification.

  • Can I wear my glasses?

    Since November 1, 2016, glasses are no longer allowed in the DV Program. This includes both sunglasses and eyeglasses that are worn as visual aids.

  • What contrast should the photo be in for the US Diversity Program?

    When registering for the DV Program you must submit a colored image with a minimum color depth of 24 bits. Black and white photos are not allowed.

    Also, make sure the photo is not overexposed or underexposed, and that no shadows are displayed.

  • Can I edit the image digitally?

    Digital image adjustments should be avoided, as there is a risk that the shape of the head or face could change.

    You should also avoid removing the background as this can alter the shape of the head as well. If you don’t have a white wall, it’s best to use a white sheet or a light blanket behind you.

  • What size should the picture be for the US Diversity Visa Program?

    When registering for the DV Program, you must submit a digital photo of at least 600 x 600 with a maximum of 1200 x 1200 pixels and no more than 240 KB in size. Make sure your image is crystal clear and that no pixels are visible. Analog images can no longer be submitted to the US authorities.

    However, if you decide to participate with USAGCD, you are welcome to send us your analog photos which we will then digitize for you. The submitted photo should be 51 x 51 mm.

  • What US Diversity Visa Program Image Format Is Required?

    The photo of the DV Program application must be in JPG format.

  • Can I submit a scanned photo to the US Diversity Visa Program?

    Scanned photos can also be sent when registering for the DV Program. However, these should fulfill all requirements for digital photos. In addition, the print should be scanned at a resolution of 300 dpi. Make sure that there are no visible scan points on the image.

    We are pleased to support and assist you in converting your image into a digital one in a correct manner.

  • US Diversity Visa Program pictures for babies and children?

    When participating in the DV Program, photos of all children under the age of 21 must be submitted – including infants and young children. The head should be in the center of the photo, facing the camera so that the face is fully visible. Also make sure of the following:

    No other person is in the picture

    The child does not wear a pacifier Not covering the face, for example with hands Eyes are open

    Tip: Put the baby on a white sheet or blanket and take a picture from above. Another option is to place the child in a toddler seat covered with a white sheet.

  • Can I submit photos for the US Diversity Visa Program?

    If you registered directly with the US authorities, you must submit your photos during the registration process. This is only possible during a period of about 4 weeks in October / November of each year. Submitted photos must meet the requirements without any error, otherwise you will be disqualified,

    However, with USAGCD, you can register for the US Diversity Visa Program throughout the year as well as upload the necessary photos to your account at a later date so that they are finally sent to the US authorities.

    Additionally, we verify the accuracy of each new photo before we submit your request to the US authorities in the appropriate form and time.

    We also remove all EXIF data from the images before sending them. If you send a very old photo yourself, the US authorities may be able to identify it. That won’t happen if we send the image on your behalf.

  • Can I change pictures that have already been sent?

    If you have participated in the US Diversity Visa Program directly with the US authorities, changes can’t be made to the photos once they are submitted. So if you later discover that your photo doesn’t meet one of the requirements, you can’t change it and it will be automatically disqualified.

    If you are in the USAGCD program, you can enroll all year round and the earlier you participate, the better! Not only will you benefit from our early discount, but you will also have enough time to upload your data and photos to your customer account and correct them if necessary. We check your application very carefully and point out potential errors before we finally present your request to the US authorities.

  • Will the US authorities inform me if my photo is incorrect?

    No, you will not receive any notes from the US authorities regarding your US Diversity Visa Program application. If your photo doesn’t meet the requirements, you will be disqualified without any notification.

    In the worst case, you might make the same mistake every year and never get a chance to win a green card.

    Don’t want to take a risk? For more than 20 years, checking data and images to participate in the US Diversity Visa Program is one of our core competencies. Learn more about our services.

  • What happens if my picture doesn't meet the requirements?

    If your photo doesn’t meet the requirements, you will be disqualified by the US authorities and will not participate in the US Diversity Visa Program. However, US authorities will not inform you!

    We at USAGCD guarantee that you will participate in the US Diversity Visa Program! Our government licensed immigration consultants will carefully check whether your photo meets the requirements and will contact you again if necessary before submitting your details. This increases your chance of winning by not running the risk of being disqualified.

Requirements that your photo must meet in order to participate in the DV Program.

How might USAGCD help me?

With more than 20 years of experience our Green Card experts know all the requirements of the US authorities. Government licensed immigration advisors will check your data and photos for accuracy and to ensure your participation in the official US US Diversity Visa Program.


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