Photo Requirements

DV-2018 UPDATE: Your entry may be disqualified or visa refused if the photographs were not taken within the last six months! Do not submit an old photograph. Submitting the same photograph that you submitted with last year’s entry will result in disqualification.

The submitted image must adhere to the following specifications. Photographs submitted must be a recent photograph, taken within the last 6 months. Please be advised that failure to comply with any of the following requirements may result in disqualification from the lottery.

>> Taking photos of your baby or toddler

Image Acquisition:

  • The image file may be produced by acquiring an image with a digital camera or by digitizing a paper photograph with a scanner.
  • Digital enhancement or other alterations or retouching are not permitted.
  • The original aspect ratio of the image must be preserved. (No image stretching is allowed.)

Compositional Specifications:

Content

  • The image must contain the full face, neck, and shoulders of the applicant in frontal view with a neutral, non-smiling expression and with eyes open and directed at the camera.
  • The image must not contain any parts of the body below the applicant’s shoulders.
  • The image must not include other objects or additional people.
  • Applicant must be vertically oriented in the image.
  • The image must be from a recent (within 6 months) photo of the applicant.

Head Position

  • Subject must directly face the camera.
  • Head must not be tilted up, down, or to the side.
  • The head height (measured from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin) must be between 50% and 69% of the image’s total height. The eye height (measured from the bottom of the image to the level of the eyes) should be between 56% and 69% of the image’s height. The diagram below shows these measurements on a correctly-proportioned image.

Photo Template

 

Well-Composed Photos
Well-Composed Photo #1 Well-Composed Photo #3

 

INCORRECT
No Retouching No Image Stretching
No Retouching No Image Stretching
Pose Not Frontal Image Not Portrait View
Pose Not Frontal Image Not Portrait View
Head Too Small Head Too Big
Head Too Small Head Too Big

Background:

  • Subject must be surrounded by a plain, light-colored background with no distracting shadows on the subject or background (the background must be uniform, plain and white or off-white).

 
good1 good1 good2
Focus/Resolution:

  • The entire face must be in focus.
  • Fine facial features should be discernible
  • No discernible pixels or dot patterns

 

INCORRECT
Not In Focus Visible/Coarse Dot Pattern
Not In Focus Visible/Coarse Dot Pattern
Resolution Too Low
Resolution Too Low

Decorative Items:

  • Photos in which the person being photographed is wearing sunglasses or other items that obscure the face are not acceptable.

No Glasses:

  • The subject must not wear glasses or other items that detract from the face.

 

Head Coverings and Hats

  • Hats or head coverings are only allowed if worn for religious reasons AND if they do not obscure any facial features.
  • Photos containing tribal or other headgear not specifically religious in nature are unacceptable.
  • Photos of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats are not acceptable.

Brightness, Contrast, and Color

  • Color should reproduce natural skin tones.
  • Brightness and contrast should represent subject accurately.

 

INCORRECT
Improper Color Too Dark
Improper Color Too Dark
Contrast Too High
Contrast Too High

Exposure and Lighting

  • Photo may not be over- or under-exposed
  • Avoid shadows on face or background

 

INCORRECT
Over-Exposed Shadows On Face
Over-Exposed Shadows On Face
Shadow On Background
Shadow On Background

If you want to be sure that your photo meets the requirements – click here