DV Lottery Photo Requirements (2023 Updated)

feature image-DV lottery photo requirements

Are you looking for information about DV lottery photo requirements? You are at the right place.

This Dbd guide will give you all insight that you need to know about the diversity visa lottery photo requirements.

You can find some sample photos for valid and invalid entries. We have also covered here how to use free photo tools for your DV lottery registration.

Having a valid photo in your diversity visa lottery application is very important. Your application will be disqualified if you do not attach a valid photo during your submission.

Read on to know more about the green card lottery photo requirements and feel confident submitting your application.

Table of Contents

DV lottery photo requirements for 2023

The digital photo is a vital part of your green card lottery application. There are a few most straightforward requirements for the DV lottery photo.

You should attach a recently taken digital photo for your DV 2023 application. Attach one valid photo per applicant you would like to include in your application.

The diversity visa lottery photograph will be unacceptable if it does not meet all general DV specifications. Improper background, light reflections, shadows, cut-off edges are the most common reasons for invalid photos. 

US Department of State has issued some general guidelines for the diversity visa lottery photo submission. There is no official statement on the DV 2023 lottery, but these guidelines are still the same this year.

Check the DV lottery photo requirements below to ensure your application is valid. It must meet all general requirements discuss further hereunder.

1. DV lottery photo size

DV lottery photo requirements - photo size

The size of the DV lottery photo must be between 600*600 pixels to 1200*1200 pixels. Any photo that is larger than 1200*1200 pixels will be disqualified. The digital image that you will upload in your green card lottery application should be square in size (square aspect ratio). [1]https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/photos.html

2. File format and file size

DV lottery photo requirements - format and file size

The green card lottery photo format should be a JPEG (.jpg).

Important: Any digital photographs that are not JPEG will be disqualified. PNG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF formats of digital images are also not accepted.

Additionally, the file size of the DV lottery photo should be less than or equal to 240 KB.

3. Photo age

DV lottery photo requirements - photo age

Your DV lottery photo is to be taken within the last six months. It should reflect your current appearance.

So that’s why it is not good to upload a picture from last year.

4. Photo color

DV lottery photo requirements - photo color

The US Department of State’s DV lottery photo guidelines also state that the photograph must be in color, not on black and white.

Black and white photos will disqualify your entry for the diversity immigrant visa program.

5. DV lottery photo background

DV lottery photo requirements - photo background

Photo background requirement for a diversity visa program is one of the essential aspects you should be aware of.

The background for your diversity visa lottery photo should be plain and white or off-white. It is important to keep in mind that the background should be uniform. It must not have any shadows. If there are any shadows of the applicants on the backdrop, then it will be considered invalid.

Thus, the green card lottery picture should be taken in bright light to eliminate all shadows on the backdrop. 

Additionally, the background must not have any other images or objects, including any textured wall or patterned wallpaper, the wall of the house, etc.

6. Head position

DV lottery photo requirements - head position

The head position for the DV lottery photo should be in the center of the frame. Tiliti g the head slightly to either side is not allowed.

The exact technical measurement of head position should be between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches. And it should cover at least 50% of the whole picture.

7. Facial expression

DV lottery photo requirements - expression

Your facial expression for the DV lottery photo must be natural and neutral with both eyes open. You should not show any emotion or other physical condition that may be interpreted as a sign of deception.

A smiling face is okay, but it needs to look natural. But keep in mind, fake smiling faces with visible teeth are not allowed.

8. What to wear in a diversity visa lottery photo?

DV lottery photo requirements - what to wear

You should wear cloth that you usually wear on a daily basis. Except for religious clothing you normally wear for your everyday needs, do not wear any uniform or other special attire in the DV lottery photo.

The diversity visa lottery photo should only show the person’s head and shoulders with a plain background. So, t-shirts, polo shirts, etc., are acceptable to be worn in your photo as long as they are not patterned or too flashy. Avoid bright colors like reds and yellows, which can cause problems with lighting.

It is recommended to wear plain solid colors clothes for your green card lottery application photo.

9. Head coverings in the diversity visa lottery photo

DV lottery photo requirements - head coverings

Head coverings in a DV lottery photo are not allowed, but there are specific guidelines for them.

For religious purposes or any medical reasons, it is allowed to wear any head covering that you usually wear on a daily basis. Remember that your face must be entirely visible, and the headcover should not put any shadows.

So, in general, no hats, caps, or hoodies with deep shadows on your face can be worn in your green card lottery picture.

10. Eyeglasses requirement in DV lottery photo

DV lottery photo requirements - eyeglasses

Any eyeglasses or sunglasses are not allowed in DV lottery photos, even if you wear glasses daily.

They should be taken out for the picture, so you do not have to worry about this.

You will need a signed medical statement from a health practitioner if you wear glasses and cannot take them out. The statement should verify that you need them for everyday life.

11. Hearing devices

DV lottery photo requirements - hearing devices

Any hearing device is not allowed in the DV lottery photos. This includes, but is not limited to, hearing aids, external auditory aids, headphones, earphones, etc.

12. Scanned images for DV lottery application

DV lottery photo requirements - scanned photo

You can use a scanned photo for your DV lottery application. Keep in mind that you should follow the following requirements for scanned photos.

  • The original photo should be recently captured (less than six months). It should show your current appearance.
  • The photo size should be 2*2 inches.
  • The image resolution of the scanned photo should be 300 pixels per inch (PPI).

13. Digital edit for DV lottery photo

DV lottery photo requirements - Digital edit

It is not permitted to digitally edit the DV lottery photo background to make it plain and white. Additionally, altering the hairline, face, and other parts of the body is also not allowed.

However, you can do the following digital editing on the photo:

  • Cropping photo
  • Brightness and contrast adjustment
  • Resizing photo to fit within the frame width
  • Sharpness correction

Make sure that these corrections are not made to alter your physical appearance.

14. Children and babies photo requirement for DV lottery photo

DV lottery photo requirements - children photo

Follow these guidelines for your child’s photo when submitting an entry for a diversity visa program.

  • Children should be photographed on their own. No other person should be in the picture.
  • It is recommended to have a neutral facial expression without showing teeth and facing the camera directly.
  • Objects should not obscure parts of the face, e.g., toys, hats, bows, headbands, etc.
  • Open eyes are preferable, but if they are newborn children and cannot open their eyes, a photo with closed eyes is also acceptable.
  • Their appearance should not be altered by editing, and special effects such as fuzziness or blurring.

Related: Check Your DV Lottery Result Now in Just 2 Minutes

DV lottery photo examples

Check these DV lottery photo samples and use them as a guide for your application.

Example 1

Acceptable photo – The background is plain off-white, uniform. The applicant is facing the camera with a neutral facial expression. This photo meets all the requirements for the DV lottery photo.

acceptable DV lottery photo-plain white background with natural expression-sample-1

Example 2

Acceptable photo – This image has the correct head size. It is centered and covers at least 50% of the photo. It meets rest all the requirements for DV lottery photos.

acceptable DV lottery photo - The head is centered and the correct size -s ample 2

Example 3

Acceptable photo – The picture is taken with the eyes open but not showing teeth. It has the correct picture size of 600*600 pixels. And this photo meets all the requirements for the DV lottery photo.

acceptable photo - natural expression, plain off white background with head center-sample 3

Example 4

Unacceptable photo – The photograph is not taken with the proper lighting. It is underexposed without uniform bright light.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - underexposed photo without uniform bright light-sample 4

Example 5

Unacceptable photo – The picture has unnatural color. It should be clear and properly exposed, with natural-looking.

unacceptable-unnatural color in photo-sample 5

Example 6

Unacceptable photo – Wearing glasses is not allowed in the DV lottery photos.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - wearing glasses is not allowed-sample 6

Example 7

Unacceptable photo – The photograph was taken with an unnatural expression. Additionally, the applicant is showing teeth.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - unnatural facial expression-sample 7

Example 8

Unacceptable photo – The picture is an unacceptable DV lottery photo because there is a shadow in the background. And it was taken with the wrong angle.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - shadow on it-sample 8

Example 9

Unacceptable photo – The photo must have its 50% area covered by the head. It should be in the center.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - position of head is not in center and head should cover at least 50% of phto-sample 9

Example 10

Unacceptable photo – Wearing a hat or any other head coverings is not allowed. So this is not an acceptable photo for the DV lottery application.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - not allowed to wear hat-sample 10

Example 11

Unacceptable photo – Head is not straight to camera. Tilting head is not allowed in the photo for the DV lottery application.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - heaad is not straight to camera and is tilting-sample 11

Example 12

Unacceptable photo – Digital image alterations which alter the image from its natural state are not allowed. So this photo does not meet the requirement for the DV lottery application.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - digital alteration of image-sample 12

Example 13

Unacceptable photo – Blur background is not allowed for DV lottery photo. Every portion of the image must be completely visible.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - blur image-sample 13

Example 14

Acceptable photo – This photo meets all requirements set by the diversity visa program. There is no one else in the photo except the kid facing the camera with his or her eyes open.

acceptable DV lottery photo - child with facing camera and eyes opening-sample 14

Example 15

Unacceptable photo – The baby is covering the parts of his face with an object. It is not a good photo from the DV program.

unacceptable DV lottery photo - blocking face by an object-sample 15

DV lottery photo tool

DV lottery photo requirements - dv lottery photo checking tool

As you already know, having a suitable photo on your application for the DV lottery is crucial. So it is important to properly resize the photo and save it in an acceptable format.

There are many free online tools that allow you to resize, crop, and format your photos. US Department of State also recently added a DV lottery photo tool to its official website. You can use this free photo tool to crop the image to its correct size and photo validation.

Here is how to use the DV lottery photo checker tool to check DV lottery photo.

  1. Visit the official DV lottery photo tool website of the US Department of State: https://tsg.phototool.state.gov/photo.
  2. Upload your photo. Make sure that your photo is already in JPEG (.jpg) format.
  3. The website will check your photograph and tell you if it meets the requirements for a DV lottery. If it does not meet the criteria, it will display you a message about what is wrong with your photo.
  4. If it meets the requirements, you can crop the photo and download it.

Photo submission rules

Your digital photo must be submitted online during the online registration of diversity visa lottery entry. You cannot submit photos by mail or any other way.

Final checklist for DV lottery photo requirements

Photo SizeMust be between 600*600 pixels to 1200*1200 pixels
File FormatJPEG, JPG
File Size240 KB
Photo AgeLess than 6 months
Photo ColorMust be in color. A Black and white photo is not acceptable.
Photo BackgroundPlain white or off-white. Avoid any objects or patterns in the background.
Head PositionCenter of the frame. Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches.
Facial ExpressionNeutral expression with eyes open. Avoid fake smiles and visible teeth.
What to WearWear plain solid colors clothes. Do not wear any uniform or other special attire.
Head CoveringsAvoid head coverings. No hats, caps, or hoodies.
EyeglassesEyeglasses or sunglasses are not allowed in DV lottery photos.
Hearing DevicesHearing devices are not allowed in the DV lottery photos. No hearing aids, headphones, or earphones.
Scanned ImagesIt should be 2*2 inches in size and 300 PPI resolution.
Digital EditNot recommended. Only resizing the image.
Children and Babies PhotoNo other person should be in the photo. Avoid any objects that obstruct the face.

FAQs about DV lottery photo

What are the eligibility requirements for the diversity visa lottery program?

There are two straightforward requirements that determine your eligibility for the DV lottery.

– The country where you were born should be on a list of diversity visa (DV) lottery eligible countries.
– You should have at least high school or its equivalent degree. 

How to take a photo for a diversity visa lottery application?

There are many different ways on how to take a good DV lottery photo, but the following steps will be a good rule of thumb for most people:

– Take a photo from a straight-on angle.
– Set up your camera with adequate lighting and make sure that it has a flash.
– Make sure that your head is filling up at least 50% of the frame.
– Pose a neutral facial expression without showing teeth.
– Keep the background plain white or off-white without any clutter, decorations, etc.
– Do not use any other facial effects such as Photoshop, etc.
– Make sure to follow all the guidelines for your diversity visa photo application.

How to upload photos for the DV lottery?

The principal applicant and all other dependent family member’s photos must be uploaded while submitting the diversity visa lottery entry form.

While filling a DV entrant form, you will see an entrant photograph section; there is where you have to upload a valid photo. These photos will become part of your diversity visa lottery application.

How to check photo size for DV lottery?

To check the photo size for the DV lottery, go to the image properties by right-clicking on a photo. On that property page, open up the details tabs, and you will see the picture dimensions, which refer to the photo size.

How to resize photo 600×600 pixels for DV lottery?

To resize DV lottery photos in 600*600 pixels, you can use the official DV lottery photo tool website: https://tsg.phototool.state.gov/photo. There is no cost for using this photo tool.

Here is a quick summary of how to resize a 600*600 pixels photo for the DV lottery:

– Visit the official website https://tsg.phototool.state.gov/photo and upload your photo.
– Check the photo information to make sure it meets all criteria.
– Crop or resize your image to make it 600*600 pixels.
– Download the resized photo to your computer for free.

How to check DV lottery photos?

Visit the official website of the DV lottery photo tool at https://tsg.phototool.state.gov/photo to check DV lottery photos. It is best to check your photo before you begin filling your online application for a diversity visa program.

What is the purpose of a DV lottery image check?

The purpose of checking your photo is to verify if it meets all the specifications before you submit a DV lottery entry form.

How to edit or crop photos for DV lottery applications?

While taking photos, ensure enough lighting and that the face covers at least half of your photo. It is not advisable to edit or fix your photos that alter the original appearance. However, to adjust the size and crop the photo, you can visit the official DV lottery photo tool website: https://tsg.phototool.state.gov/photo.

Can I take a DV lottery photo with iPhone?

Yes, you can take a DV lottery photo with any phone, iPhone, or android. Make sure the photo is of good quality with proper lighting and meets all other eligibility requirements.

Can I use the same image for the diversity visa lottery application as my passport photo?

No, you cannot use the same image for the diversity visa lottery application as your passport photo. You must upload a new photo following all specifications. However, if your passport photo is less than six months, then you may use the same photo.

Does the quality of the image matter for the DV lottery photos?

Yes, the quality of the image matters for the DV program application. You must submit photos that are in good condition with proper lighting and meet all other eligibility requirements. Main importantly, it should be at least 600*600 pixels or, for the scanned copy, the image resolution should be 300 pixels per inch (PPI).

Is the US passport photo and DV lottery photo the same?

Yes, the requirements for US passport photos are the same as the DV lottery. They must be 2*2 inches in size and have at least 600*600 pixels resolution, as well as all other criteria. [2]https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/how-apply/photos.html

Can I use my passport photo for the US green card lottery?

In general, you cannot use your US passport photo for the green card lottery. However, you can use your old passport photo if it is taken less than six months.

Is a beard allowed in the DV lottery photo?

If you have a full beard due to the country’s law or religious reasons, you can take a photo with a full beard. However, if a beard obstructs your face from identifying you, you should trim it to make your face visible.

How to make your own DV lottery photo?

If you have a digital image captured in less than six months, you can crop it to 600*600 pixels. You can do so by uploading it to the official DV lottery photo tool website: https://tsg.phototool.state.gov/photo. Make sure that your photo meets the rest of the requirements for the DV lottery.

Can I wear a hijab in a DV lottery photo?

If it is for religious reasons only, then you can wear a hijab in your photo. However, if it obstructs the face to identify you, then you should not wear it.

How many photos do I need for the DV lottery application?

You need only one copy of a valid digital image of each applicant for the DV lottery application.

Can I resubmit photos that I used for the green card lottery last year?

No, you should not submit photos that were already used for the DV lottery last year. If your photo is older than six months, your application will be disqualified for further processing.

Is it allowed to edit a DV lottery image in photo editors?

Yes, you can minor edit diversity visa lottery photos digitally. For example, adjusting the brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc. could be done. But, any digital alterations from the original appearance are not acceptable. Then again, if you are an expert at editing photos, it is only appropriate for you to do so. Otherwise, it is not a good idea.

Can I submit the photos for the green card lottery later?

No, a photo for the green card lottery must be submitted along with the application.

Can I change photos that have already been submitted?

There is no way to change the photo that has already been submitted to the official DV lottery application website.

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

No, the US authorities will not inform you if your photos are incorrect. You can follow the above guidelines to determine whether your photo is acceptable or not.

What happens if my photo does not meet the requirements?

If your photo does not meet the requirements, your application will be disqualified for further processing.

Final thoughts on US diversity visa lottery photo

You now know how vital it is to upload a suitable photo for your DV lottery application. Be sure to follow all the requirements that we discussed above. And make sure you utilize the free DV lottery photo checker tool to validate your photo and crop it to the correct size.

If you are ready for your photo, you can follow this tutorial guide to fill DV lottery application, where every step involved is explained very well.

Well, we hope this information is helpful for you to understand all the requirements of photos for the green card lottery. If you like this information shared, please share it with your friends and family.

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