DV Lottery photo errors
The correct photograph for the Diversity Visa Lottery entry form is one of the most important requirements for participation in the Lottery. All entries are processed by a special program, and if an uploaded picture does not meet at least one of the requirements, it will be automatically disqualified.
Table of contents
- How to check your DV Lottery photo or get a correct one
- The most common Green Card Lottery photo mistakes
- Your photo cannot be more than 245KB in size
- Your photo must be a square picture between 600x600 pixels and 1200x1200 pixels
- The DV Lottery photo must be in JPEG (JPG) format
- Errors that will not be indicated when submitting the DV Lottery entry form
- Your photo background must be plain white
- Altering facial characteristics is strictly prohibited
- The photo must be taken in the last six months
- Glasses are not allowed
- The applicant must look directly into the camera with a neutral facial expression
How to check your DV Lottery photo or get a correct one
You can check your photo for eligibility right now with the free Green Card Lottery photo checker. The service will automatically verify the background, size, and format of the image and suggest which parameters you need to adjust.
The fastest way to get a compliant Green Card Lottery photo is to use our specialized service. Just upload your photo here and Visafoto will instantly set all the necessary parameters. Please note that the original photo must be taken in full-face, with a neutral facial expression and even lighting. No glasses or headwear (other than religious) are allowed. Your hair should not fall over your face.
Here is an example of a correct photo:
A photo taken with Visafoto will be 100% compliant with official DV Lottery photo requirements. However, if you prefer to process the photo yourself, we urge you to read the list of mistakes you can make when applying for the lottery.
The most common Green Card Lottery photo mistakes
At the time of submission, the built-in validator checks whether all the required fields of the form have been filled out and whether the attached photos match the specified parameters. This is the very first, technical check. It will allow any applications that formally meet the rules to pass. For example, it is technically possible to submit an application with a photo that does not have a person on it.
You won't be able to upload a photo in only three cases, which will immediately show up when you apply:
Your photo cannot be more than 245KB in size
You will see this error when trying to upload a file that is too large. To resize a photo without losing quality, most of the time you can simply adjust its size in pixels. You can do this with any image editor, including Paint or Viewer on macOS.
You can also compress the image by minimizing its resolution in Photoshop or another photo editor. But keep in mind that for the required quality the final resolution must be no less than 300 DPI.
Visafoto automatically scales down the photo to the required size without any loss of quality, so there will be no such error when using our service.
Your photo must be a square picture between 600x600 pixels and 1200x1200 pixels
You will see this error if the aspect ratio of your photo differs from 1:1 (i.e. is not square). Keep in mind that it is not recommended to crop a photo on your own: you may violate other important DV Lottery photo specifications (such as head size or eye line placement, for example).
Visafoto sets the photo to the right format, taking into account all the smallest parameters.
The DV Lottery photo must be in JPEG (JPG) format
Photos in a different format (e.g. PNG) will not be accepted by the program. You can change the file format in any image editor.
Visafoto automatically converts the photo to JPEG, so no additional manipulation is required.
Errors that will not be indicated when submitting the DV Lottery entry form
If you violate any of the following requirements, your entry will still be accepted. However, it will be rejected at the next stage of verification, and will not be eligible for the lottery. The special software analyses each file to determine whether the image meets the compositional requirements. The rules set strict DV Lottery photo specifications, including the head size and position, eye level, background color. If the head in the picture is larger or smaller than necessary, turned to the right or left, the eyes are higher or lower than they should be - the application will be rejected.
Your photo background must be plain white
The DV Lottery website does not automatically detect the background of a photo. Even if you upload a photo with a color background, you will not see an error. However, in the future, when your submitted application is checked by a special program, an incorrect photo background will be the reason for disqualification. Also, too prominent shadows in the background may become a problem.
Note that changing the background in Photoshop or another photo editor is a time-consuming task, because you need to preserve the outline of the silhouette completely.
Visafoto automatically replaces any background with white, without affecting the outline of the head and hair.
Altering facial characteristics is strictly prohibited
It is absolutely unacceptable to change your natural hair, eye, and skin color, or to blur your face tone. However, such manipulations as changing the size or background of the photo are not a violation, provided that they do not distort the original parameters of your appearance.
Glasses are not allowed
Both tinted glasses and optical glasses of any kind are prohibited. This rule applies to all photos submitted to the U.S. authorities, and Green Card Lottery photos are no exception. The reason is that the glasses interfere with the program's ability to read biometric information about the eyes.
The applicant must look directly into the camera with a neutral facial expression
Any tilt of the head, a smile, frowning eyebrows can cause your photo not to be recognized by the state program. Shadows on the face can also be a reason for disqualification if they prevent the program from recognizing some parts of the face.
Visafoto aligns a slight tilt of the head to the side, but we recommend that the original photo is initially taken according to the specified requirements. Read our Photographer's guide to take the right photo at home.
The photo must be taken in the last six months
If you forget to strip off the EXIF data from the photo, it can be easily found that your photo is old. But if the EXIF data is removed, then sometimes it is not easy to tell if the photo is older than 6 months, but if you submit your previous photos that you used for passports or visas, or the one you used for the previous lotteries, it can be easily detected. To avoid problems, take a fresh photo for each lottery.
Visafoto reminds you that you can only apply for the Diversity Visa Lottery on the official website: Electronic Diversity Visa Program. Other sites claiming to be "official" are fraudulent.
Good luck with the lottery!