10 key issues to consider when applying for green card to avoid being disqualified

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 19 Oct, 2022 08:43 | 3 mins read
10 key issues to consider when applying for green card to avoid being disqualified
US permanent residency card used for illustration. PHOTO/Internet.

There are many petty mistakes that people make when applying for green cards that cause their applications to be rejected immediately.

The registration period for the DV-2024 Program popularly known as the green card lottery began on October 5, 2022, and will conclude on November 8, 2022.

There is a limited period of time during which one can register for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program during each fiscal year.

Applicants who applied for DV-2023 Program have already been selected and that's why the US Department of State opened the DV-2024 for new registrations.

Note that the registration for the green card lottery is usually done two years ahead, between the months of October and November.

Applicants are usually notified about the status of their applications, whether successful or not, through the US Department of State website (you are given a unique application code which you use for login).


There are so many requirements for the diversity visa lottery application. The requirements are quite simple but so many people keep making mistakes that cost them a chance to permanently relocate to the US.

The most important factor to consider when applying for a green card is the photo.

Photo requirements are VERY crucial because the first process of selection is all about analysing the pictures applicants have uploaded.

They are not going to look at your level of education, they are not going to look at your work experience, they are just going to analyze the photo you shared and if it's not up to the standard they want its automatic disqualification.

So many people are disqualified because their photos don’t meet the relevant requirements.

Key things to consider about the photo include;

1. Background

Photo is the MOST important thing when applying for a green card. The passport should have a plain white background. If you put the photo in any colour other than a pure white background, your application is denied automatically.

2. Recent photo

The photo should also be very recent, the photo should be taken within 6 months. They (the United States Department of State) know how old the photo is based on how it is saved. The data properties usually indicate the date on the photo.

3. Previous photo

Using a photo that was used in the previous diversity visa lottery application leads to automatic disqualification.

You are not allowed to use the photo you used in the previous entry.

4. Glasses

You are not supposed to wear glasses when taking photos. If you wear glasses no matter how bad your vision is, you will automatically be disqualified.

Take photos without glasses.

5. Uniforms

Don’t wear uniforms.  Some people think in the selection they are going to check how you look so if someone is a doctor they are tempted to wear the doctor's coat thinking that the selection panel will choose them just because they are doctors – this will lead to automatic disqualification.

The only exception is for people who are wearing uniforms or particular regalia for their entire life. Catholic nuns and Muslim women are exempted because by the law of their religions they dress that way for their entire lives.

Note that you are only exempted if your clothing is part of your entire life.

Faces have to be shown in the photos even for those with unique clothing.

Muslim women wearing Niqab and Burka will automatically be disqualified. Consider wearing Hijab or Chador when taking photos to be uploaded on the DV application.

6. Resolution

The photo must have a resolution of 600x600 pixels which is the common size requirement for photos used in official documents in the US.

7. Size

The photo shouldn’t exceed 240kb.

8. Shadow

Make sure there is no shadow at all in your photo. Use online sites like (https://www.remove.bg/) to remove shadows or just go to a professional studio where they are conversant with visa application photos.

9. Posture

You should look directly at the camera when taking the photo.

10. Format

The photo must be in JPEG format. Other formats can be accepted but not a PDF photo.

11. Other applicants

The photo requirements apply to all applicants. Even if you are applying for your one-day-old child, the photo requirements are the same.

Note that the photo requirement is VERY crucial. Most applications are usually rejected just because of the photos used.

The first process of filtering green card applications is photo analysis.

Also important to note is DON’T apply more than once. If you apply more than twice you are automatically disqualified.

Note (for DV-2024 applicants) that you must also retain your confirmation number after applying to check your entry status between May 6, 2023, and September 30, 2024, to determine whether your entry was selected for further processing in the 2024 Diversity Visa Program.

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