Green Card Photo: Requirements, Examples, and More [2023]


You’re about to learn everything there’s to know about green card photos.

On this page, you’ll find:

  • Green card photo requirements presented in a simple, easy-to-understand language.
  • Examples of green card photos to help you avoid common mistakes.
  • A picture of a green card (front and back) to give you an idea of how it looks.
  • A green card photo checker and tool to ensure you get the green (pun intended) light from the USCIS.

Let’s make a start:

Green Card Lottery Photo Requirements

Your photo for a green card is key in your application.

Fail to meet the requirements, and you’ll end up in the dreaded rejection pile.


Don’t stress.

We’ll now go over the requirements to ensure your photo gets the seal of approval.

Paper Photo RequirementDetails
ColorThe photo must be in color
Green Card Photo Size2×2 inches (51×51 mm)
Head PositionThe head should be between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50–69% of the image’s height
TimingThe photo must be taken within the last 6 months
BackgroundMust be plain white or off-white
ViewFull-face view directly facing the camera
Facial ExpressionNeutral with both eyes open
LightingEven with no shadows
QualityNo blurry, pixelated, or grainy photos
ClothingRegular daily clothing. Uniforms aren’t allowed except daily-worn religious ones
Hat/Head CoveringNo hats or covers that obscure hair/hairline or cast shadows on the face unless worn for religious reasons
Headphones and Similar DevicesNot acceptable
EyeglassesNot allowed unless for medical reasons. In this case, no covering, glare, shadows, or refraction obscuring the eyes
Hearing DevicesIf you wear them regularly, they can be in the photo
Unacceptable PhotosPhotos from other official documents, snapshots, magazine photos, and low-quality vending machine photos. Neither are digitally alternated or enhanced images allowed


If you’re applying online, you must submit a digital green card image as part of your application.

Below are the additional requirements for it:

Digital Photo RequirementDetails
DimensionsSquare aspect ratio. Minimum: 600×600 pixels. Maximum: 1200×1200 pixels
ColorIn color (24 bits per pixel) in sRGB color space
File FormatJPG
File SizeLess than or equal to 240 kB (kilobytes)
Compression RatioLess than or equal to 20:1
Scanning ResolutionIf scanning an existing photo, it must be 2×2 inches (51×51 mm) and scanned at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter)

If you’re overwhelmed by all the requirements by now, you’re probably not alone.

That’s why our next section discusses good and bad green card photos to help you visualize the do’s and don’ts.

Green Card Photo Examples

Without further ado, here are 8 examples of green card photos:


Your background should be plain white or off-white, free of patterns, shadows, or distractions.


Size and Position

The head in the photo should fall between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or occupy 50–69% of the image’s height to ensure proper framing.

size and position

Pose and Expression

Your face should be directed straight at the camera. Ensure both eyes are open and avoid exaggerated expressions.

pose and expression

Attire, Hats, and Hair

Wear what you usually wear. Hats or other head coverings that obscure the hair/hairline aren’t allowed. There are only exceptions for religious reasons, provided they don’t cast shadows on the face.

attire, hats, hair

Resolution and Quality

Your photo should be of high resolution to capture details accurately. Any blurriness, pixelation, or graininess can result in rejection.

resolution and quality

Shadows and Lighting

Shadows can alter how your facial features appear. That’s why it’s important to have even lighting when taking a green card photo.

shadows and lighting


Glasses are generally a no-go. They can cause reflections, glare, or shadows that might obscure the eyes, making it difficult to verify your identity.


Digital Alterations and Retouching

It’s important to stay authentic. Any digital enhancements or modifications that alter your appearance can be misleading and aren’t allowed.

digital alterations and retouching

Green Card Photo Check

So far, so good.


If you still need an expert opinion on your photo, this AI green card photo checker tool will do the trick.

Simply upload your image, and it’ll analyze it for compliance with the requirements above. The tool will check, among others:

  • The image quality to ensure proper focus and sharpness
  • The lighting to reveal any shadows or glare
  • The head position to determine if it falls within the required range

Beyond AI, a real human will review your photograph to ensure it’s on point. If there are issues, they’ll guide you on retaking the photo at no additional cost.


Green Card Photo Tool

If you don’t have a photo to start with, worry not.

This green card photo tool can also help you take a perfect photograph in minutes without leaving home.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Find a well-lit area.
  2. Place your smartphone on a flat surface, use a tripod, or ask a friend or family member to take the shot.
  3. Upload the photo.
  4. The software will automatically adjust the size, background, and more to meet the requirements.
  5. One of the in-house biometrics experts will review the photo for any necessary corrections.
  6. Get your 100% compliant image.



What Does a Green Card Look Like?

In January 2023, USCIS unveiled a newly designed green card with advanced features like holographic images and variable ink. It looks like this:

green card

How Much Is a Green Card?

A family-based green card costs $1,760 for applicants in the United States and $1,200 for those outside the country.

Can I Take a Green Card Photo With an iPhone?

You can take a green card photo with an iPhone using this green card photo tool. It’ll take you less than 3 minutes. Approval guaranteed.