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DV Lottery Photos - Get Them Correct

The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery is a popular program that allows individuals from countries with low immigration rates to the United States to apply for a chance to obtain a Green Card. As part of the application process, applicants are required to submit a recent photograph that meets the specific requirements outlined by the U.S. Department of State. 

Why are DV Lottery photos important?

DV Lottery photos play a crucial role in the application process. They are used to identify and verify the identity of applicants, and any deviation from the specified requirements may result in the rejection of your application. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to the details and ensure that your photo meets all the necessary guidelines.

What are the requirements for DV Lottery photos?

The U.S. Department of State has provided specific guidelines to follow when submitting your DV Lottery photo. Here are some key requirements to keep in mind:

  • Photo size and composition: The photo should be 2 inches by 2 inches (51mm x 51mm) in size. It must be in color, with a clear and well-focused image of the applicant's face. The photo should be taken within the last six months and should not be digitally altered or retouched.
  • Background: The background of the photo should be plain and light-colored, preferably white. Avoid using patterned or dark backgrounds, as they may cause issues during the scanning and processing of your application.
  • Facial expression and position: The applicant should maintain a neutral facial expression with both eyes open and looking directly at the camera. The head should be centered within the frame, with the face fully visible. Avoid tilting or rotating your head, as it may lead to the rejection of your photo.
  • Clothing and accessories: The applicant should wear everyday attire in their DV Lottery photo. Religious headwear is allowed, as long as it does not obscure any facial features. Avoid wearing hats or head coverings that are not religious in nature, as they are not permitted.
  • Glasses and other accessories: Do not wear eyeglasses. As for other accessories, such as headphones or wireless devices, they should not be worn in the photo.

Tips for getting your DV Lottery photo correct:

  • Follow the guidelines meticulously: Double-check the guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of State and make sure that your photo adheres to each requirement. Pay attention to details such as size, composition, facial expression, and background.
  • Use a reliable photo editing tool: If you are taking the photo yourself, make use of a reliable photo editing tool to adjust the size, resolution, and other specifications as required. Avoid excessive editing or retouching, as it may lead to the rejection of your photo. can help you to generate a correct DV lottery photo in 3 steps, saving you time and money.
  • Get multiple copies: It is always a good idea to have multiple copies of your DV Lottery photo. This ensures that you have backups in case one gets damaged or lost during the application process.

Getting your DV Lottery photos correct is of utmost importance to increase your chances of a successful application. By following the guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of State, choosing a professional photographer if necessary, and paying attention to the details, you can ensure that your photo meets all the necessary requirements. Remember, a well-composed and correctly sized DV Lottery photo can make a significant difference in the outcome of your application process.

Click here to make passport / visa photos

Step 1: Take a picture with a digital camera or a smartphone

Make sure someone takes your passport photo for you. Selfies are not accepted. Make use of your tripod if you have one. By using a tripod, you will be able to keep the camera level and steady. Ideally, the person should be around 1 meter away from the camera.

Pspport photo good examples


Step 2: Choose a venue with appropriate lighting

Face a bright window or the door when taking a photo. In this way, shadows can be avoided on the face and in the background. It is essential that the face is evenly lit. Ensure that the face is free of shadows and glares.

Note: You do not need to worry about the background, since our online passport photo generator will automatically do it for you.

passport photo lighting and shadows


Step 3: Dress appropriately for your passport photo

Uniforms should not be worn. Put on regular street clothes for your photo.

Eyeglasses should not be worn. You should remove any sunglasses, tinted glasses, or glasses that you wear if you are taking a passport photo.

Ensure that your face is fully visible. Make sure your hair doesn't cover your face or obscure your eyes. In the case of very long bangs covering your eyebrows, pin them back with bobby pins. Although it's better to show your ears as well, that won't stop your photo from being accepted.

Passport photos don't allow hats unless they're religious headgear such as a headscarf or yarmulke.

passport photo attire, hats and hair

passport photo face obstruction

Step 4: Pose for a passport photo

Face the camera straight on and look straight at it. Avoid tilting or rotating the head.

It is important that the shoulders are visible, and there should be enough space around the head to crop the picture.

Make sure the camera is at the same level as the head.

passport photo pose


Step 5: Maintain neutral facial expressions

It's okay to smile in your passport photo, but the government prefers you to have a neutral facial expression.

Under the new international passport rules, it is usually not acceptable to smile or have your mouth open.

acceptable passport photo

Unacceptable passport photo


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