Photographs of the applicant and, if applicable, of their spouse and children must be submitted when registering for the official U.S. Green Card Lottery. The requirements presented by US officials are quite complex. Therefore, if you participate without the help of The World Green Card, it can lead to disqualification.

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

The passport photo can only be used for Green Card Lottery registration if the passport is new, ie the photo is not older than May of the year of the lottery. By comparing the photo with the passport, US authorities may conclude that the photo is out of date.

Please also note the requirements for a biometric passport photo, where the US authorities even accept a “natural smile” in the photo.

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

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

The photograph of the Green Card Lottery must not be older than 6 months and reflect your current look. This should also be for photos of the spouse and children. Therefore, you must submit a new photo every time you join. You are not permitted to utilize photographs from the earlier year.

Since July 2019, US authorities have been paying more attention to compliance with the participation rules and paying particular attention to photos. Therefore, if you win with an old photo, you will be disqualified at the interview appointment and the Green Card will be denied. So don’t take any risks!

You should carefully double-check yourself before posting, as we cannot check if the submitted photos reflect the current view of the participants.

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

For the Green Card Lottery, the photograph must be taken on a light white or off-white plain background without shadows.

Tip: For the background of the photo, you can use a white sheet or blanket as well.

What is the optimal head position?

In the photo for the Green Card Lottery, you have to look directly at the camera. The head should be fully visible and centered. It should be between 50% and 69% of the total height of the photo.

In addition, the eyes must be fully opened, be clearly visible and facing the camera. The facial expression must be neutral. So, it means that you must avoid a big smile.

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

It is generally not allowed to wear a headscarf in the photograph requested for participation in the Green Card Lottery, as caps or scarves may partially cover the face.

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, wearing glasses in the photo is no longer permitted for the Green Card Lottery. This clause includes both sunglasses and glasses worn as a visual aid.

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

When you sign up 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 accepted.

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

Can I edit the photo digitally?

The photograph should not be digitally changed, as there is a risk that the shape of the head or face may change.

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 applying for the Green Card Lottery, you must submit a digital photo minimum of 600×600 and a maximum of 1200×1200 pixels. This photo must be a digital photo that does not exceed 240 KB in size. Your photo should be very sharp and free of visible pixels. The US authorities no longer accept analog photos.

However, if you have decided to participate with World Green Card, 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.

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 300 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

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.

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.

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 World Green Card, 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 World Green Card, 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!

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 600×600 pixels
File size Maximum 240 KB
File format JPG format
Photo age The photo must 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