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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.

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Glasses.

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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Attire, hats, and hair.

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

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Background.

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

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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.

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