Photo Requirements

When registering for the official US Green Card Lottery, photos of the applicant and, if applicable, photos of his/her spouse and children must be submitted. The requirements created by the US authorities are very complex and can lead to a disqualification if you participate without the help of The American Dream.

Can I use my passport photo for the Green Card Lottery?

No, unfortunately the passport photo cannot be used when registering for the Green Card Lottery, as the requirements for a biometric passport photo differ in terms of size, the permitted proportion of the face in the picture and the date it was taken.

To participate in the Green Card Lottery, you must therefore have a photo that meets the requirements of the US authorities, otherwise you will be disqualified and your registration will not be considered during the lottery.

How can The American Dream help me?

With more than 20 years of experience, our Green Card experts are familiar with all requirements of the US authorities. Our government licensed immigration advisers will check your data and photos for accuracy and guarantee your participation in the official US Green Card Lottery.

Increase your chances of winning the Green Card Lottery now! In the last couple of years, over 50% of German Green Card winners have been our customers - the success clearly speaks for itself!

What background should the photo for the Green Card Lottery have?

The photo for the Green Card Lottery must be taken against a light (white or off-white), plain background on which no shadows may be seen.

 

Photo GreenCard Lottery Background

The background of the Green Card Lottery photo must be bright and plain.

 

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

What is the optimal head position?

In the photo for the Green Card Lottery you have to face the camera directly. The head should be completely visible and needs to be centered. It should represent between 50%-69% of the total height of the photo.

Photo GreenCard Lottery Position

In the Green Card Lottery photo, the head must be centered and fully visible.

 

In addition, the eyes need to be fully opened, clearly visible and must face the camera. The facial expression must be neutral, which means you must avoid a big smile.

Head coverings in the photo for the Green Card Lottery - yes or no?

Head coverings on the photo for participation in the Green Card Lottery are generally not permitted, as caps or scarves may partially cover the face.

Photo GreenCard Lottery HeadCoverings

Only head coverings for religious reasons will be tolerated.

 

Headscarves worn for religious reasons are an exception. However, the face must be visible from the forehead to the chin in order to avoid a disqualification.

Can I wear my glasses?

Since 1 November 2016, it is no longer allowed to wear glasses in the photo for the Green Card Lottery. This includes both sunglasses and glasses worn as visual aid.

Photo GreenCard Lottery Glasses

Wearing glasses of any shape is not allowed on the photo for the Green Card Lottery!

 

What contrast must the photo have for the Green Card Lottery?

When you register for the Green Card Lottery, you must submit a color photo with a minimum color depth of 24 bits. Black and white photos are not allowed.

Photo GreenCard Lottery Contrast

The photo must be exposed correctly and no shadows must be visible.

 

Also make sure that the photo is neither overexposed nor underexposed and that no shadows are visible.

Can I edit the photo digitally?

Digital alterations of the photo should be avoided, as there is a risk that the shape of the head or face may change.

Photo GreenCard Lottery ImageProcessing

Digital alterations of photos can change the face and head shape and should therefore be avoided.

 

The removal of the background should also be avoided, as this can change the shape of the head, too. It is better to use a white sheet or a light blanket that you hang behind you for the photo if you do not have a white wall.

How big does the photo have to be for the Green Card Lottery?

When registering for the Green Card Lottery, you must submit a digital photo that is at least 600x600 to a maximum of 1200x1200 pixels in size and does not exceed 240 KB. Make sure that your photo is very sharp and that there are no visible pixels. It is no longer possible to submit analog photos to the US authorities.

However, if you have decided to participate with The American Dream, you are welcome to send us your analogue photos, which we will then digitize for you. The submitted photo should be 51x51mm.

What is the required Green Card Lottery photo format?

The photo for the Green Card Lottery must be in JPG format.

How old can the photo for the Green Card Lottery be?

The photo for the Green Card Lottery must not be older than 6 months. This also applies to the photos of the spouse and children.

This also means that you have to submit a new photo every time you participate. You are not allowed to use the same photo for more than one application.

Can I submit a scanned photo to the Green Card Lottery?

Scanned photos can also be submitted when registering for the Green Card Lottery. However, these must meet all the requirements for digital photos. In addition, the print must be scanned with a resolution of 150 dpi. Make sure that there are no visible scanning dots on the image.

We are happy to support you and help you with the correct digitalization of your photo.

Green Card lottery photos of babies and children

When participating in the Green Card Lottery, photos of all children under the age of 21 - including infants and young children - must be submitted. The head should be in the middle of the photo and face the camera directly so that the entire face is visible. Also make sure that:

  • there is no other person in the photo
  • the child does not wear a pacifier
  • the face is not covered e.g. by hands
  • the eyes are open.

Photo GreenCard Lottery Children

 

Tip: Place the infant on a white sheet or blanket and take a photo from above. Another option would be to place the child in a baby seat covered by a white sheet.

Can I submit the photos for the Green Card Lottery later?

If you register 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 every year. The submitted photos must meet the requirements immediately, otherwise you will be disqualified from participation.

With The American Dream, however, you can register for the Green Card Lottery all year round and also upload the necessary photos to your customer account at a later date until they are finally submitted to the US authorities.

In addition, we verify the accuracy of each new photo before we submit your application to the US authorities in due form and time.

Can I change photos that have already been submitted?

If you have taken part in the Green Card Lottery directly with the US authorities, it is not possible to make changes to the photos once they are submitted. So if you find out afterwards that your photo does not meet one of the requirements, you can no longer change it and will automatically be disqualified.

If you participate with The American Dream, you can register all year round and the sooner you participate, the better! Not only will you benefit from our early bird discount, but you will also have plenty of 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 possible mistakes before we finally submit your application to the US authorities.

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

No, you will not receive any feedback from the US authorities regarding your Green Card Lottery application. If your photo does not meet the requirements, you will be disqualified from participation but will not be notified.

In the worst case, you make the same mistake every year and never have the chance to win a Green Card - and you don't even know about it!

You don't want to take the risk? For more than 20 years it is one of our core competence to check data and photos for the participation in the Green Card Lottery. Find out more about our service.

What happens if my photo does not meet the requirements?

If your photo does not meet the requirements, you will be disqualified by the US authorities and will not participate in the Green Card Lottery. However, the US authorities will not inform you!

The American Dream guarantees your participation in the Green Card Lottery! Our government licensed immigration advisers will carefully check whether your photo meets the requirements and will contact you again if necessary before your details are submitted. This increases your chance of winning to 1:25!

Checklist for Green Card Lottery Photos

The following checklist will give you an overview of the requirements your photo must meet in order to participate in the Green Card Lottery.

Requirements Specification
Background

Light-colored and plain

Size of the head The face (from chin to hair) must represent between 50%-69% of the total height of the photo.
Head position Directly face the camera. The head must not be tilted up, down or to the side.
Exposure It must not be overexposed or underexposed. Shadows must not be visible.
Digital image alterations Should be avoided. A modified background can influence the shape of the head.
Face Must not be covered by hair and facial expression should be neutral.
Head coverings Not permitted except for religious reasons.
Glasses Not allowed.
Photo size 51x51mm
Resolution 600x600 to 1200x1200 pixels
File size Maximum 240 KB
File format JPG format
Photo age The photo should not be older than 6 months.

Sources:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/photos/photo-examples.html

https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Diversity-Visa/DV-Instructions-Translations/DV-2019-Instructions-Translations/DV-2019-Instructions-English.pdf

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