Green Card Lottery Photo Specifics

The Green Card Lottery registration application requires that applicants send in digital photographs of themselves and all of their dependents.

The specifications for these photos are very specific and must be followed very closely.


The subject of the photo, either you or one of your dependents must also be properly posed in the photograph. Here are some of those requirements:

  • The person’s face must be clearly visible and not obstructed (nothing in the way)
  • The person must be facing forward with their head at a level angle. It cannot be turned in any direction
  • Head coverings will not be allowed unless they are part of a person’s religious dress (yarmulkes, turbans are allowed in some cases)
  • The background should be a light color
  • The photograph has to be in focus and clearly show the subject
  • Eyeglasses must not hide a person’s eyes. Glare from glasses or sunglasses are not permitted.

Photo parameters

There are specific parameters for the size of a person’s head in the photograph, as well as the photograph itself.

  • Photos must be 600 pixels wide by 600 pixels long
  • The subject’s face must make up 50 to 69 % of the length of the photograph when measured from the top of the head to the chin
  • The subject’s eyes should be about two thirds of the way up the photo

Electronic specifications

The following are the electronic requirements for the Green Card Lottery photos:

  • 24-bit color depth, not black and white
  • Image must be in a JPEG format (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
  • The image cannot be larger than 240 kilobytes
  • The image must be 600 x 600 pixels with a square aspect ratio