Photo Requirements for the American DV Lottery
The submitted image to the DV Lottery must adhere to the following specifications. Photographs submitted for the DV Lottery must be a recent photograph, taken within the last 6 months.
Failure to comply with any of the following requirements may result in disqualification from the DV Lottery.
- 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.)
- 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.
|No Retouching||No Image Stretching|
|Pose Not Frontal||Image Not Portrait View|
|Head Too Small||Head Too Big|
- Subject must be surrounded by a plain, light-colored background with no distracting shadows on the subject or background.
|Background Not Plain|
- The entire face must be in focus.
- Fine facial features should be discernible
- No discernible pixels or dot patterns
|Not In Focus||Visible/Coarse Dot Pattern|
|Resolution Too Low|
- Photos in which the person being photographed is wearing sunglasses or other items that obscure the face are not acceptable.
- Eyeglasses are acceptable in photo only if the lenses are not tinted and there is no glare, shadows, or rims/frames obscuring the eyes. Glare on eyeglasses can usually by avoided by a slight upward or downward tilt of the head.
|Glare On Glasses|
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.
|Improper Color||Too Dark|
|Contrast Too High|
Exposure and Lighting
- Photo may not be over- or under-exposed
- Avoid shadows on face or background
|Over-Exposed||Shadows On Face|
|Shadow On Background|