Submitting a Digital Photograph (Image)
You can take a new digital photograph or scan a recent (taken within the last six months) photograph with a digital scanner, as long as it meets all of the standards below. DV entry photos must be of the same quality and composition as U.S. visa photos. You can see examples of acceptable photos here. Do not submit a photograph older than six months or a photograph that does not meet all of the standards described below. Submitting the same photograph that you submitted with a prior year’s entry, a photograph that has been manipulated, or a photograph that does not meet the specifications below will result in disqualification.
Your photos or digital images must be:
- In color
- In focus
- Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50 percent and 69 percent of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
- View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
- Taken within the last six months to reflect your current appearance
- Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
- With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
- Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
- Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
- Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face
- Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
- Do not wear eyeglasses
- If you normally wear a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo
Review the Photo Examples to see examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos. Photos copied or digitally scanned from driver’s licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.
You must upload your digital image as part of your entry. Your digital image must be:
- In JPEG (.jpg) file format
- Equal to or less than 240 kB (kilobytes) in file size
- In a square aspect ratio (height must equal width)
- 600×600 pixels in dimension
Do you want to scan an existing photo? In addition to the digital image requirements, your existing photo must be:
- 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
- Scanned at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter)
Use the Department of State’s free photo tool to:
- select a digital image stored on your computer
- resize and rotate it if necessary
- crop it to a square image of exactly 600 x 600 pixels
Taking photos of your baby or toddler
When taking a photo of your baby or toddler, no other person should be in the photo, and your child should be looking at the camera with his or her eyes open.
Tip 1: Lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. This will ensure your baby’s head is supported and provide a plain background for the photo. Make certain there are
no shadows on your baby’s face, especially if you take a picture from above with the baby lying down.
Tip 2: Cover a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat. This will also ensure your baby’s head is supported.