I am getting frustrated with some foolish people who are going ON and ON about the DV2018 draw because people who used old photos were selected and this makes things unfair. People are trying to raise a petition, threatening lawsuits and generally behaving like childish sore losers. I’m a little tired of re-reading the same things over and over again, so let me address the problem and explain why the whole petition thing is nonsense.
The belief of these people is that the rules which state the technical specifications for the photos and the instruction (new for DV2018) that re-use of the DV2017 entry photo will cause disqualification, are somehow mixed together and the government are allowing a fraud to take place, and that this is unfair.
First, it has been the case for many years that technical specifications for the photos have included the size of the photo, instructions about the background and lighting and so on. Additionally the photo submitted is supposed to be RECENT – less than 6 months old. Those are technical specifications. However, whilst the photo validation software can catch an incorrect sized photo it cannot catch, an old photo, one where the eyes are closed, one where the photo is of the wrong person or one where the photo is not even a person – say an elephant. So – some photos can’t be submitted, some will be possible to submit, but may cause disqualification at some point during the process.
In particular though, the people complaining are mixing the new instruction about DV2017 photos with old photos.
So – let’s just state again the differences between an “OLD” PHOTO and one that was RE-USED FROM DV2017.
There is a rule that entry photos should be recent (less than 6 months old). However, there is no way to know the age of the photo until the CO compares the photo with the person and sees the young man in the entry photo now has grey hair. In that case the CO could disqualify the person at interview for failure to follow the procedures. Whether to disqualify on that basis or not is entirely up to the CO. They can simply choose to not be suspicious about the age of the photo. I have known disqualifications for old photos, but it is rare (much rarer than the actual occurrences, I’ll wager).
PHOTOS RE-USED FROM DV2017
In the DV2018 instructions there is a new and explicit statement that re-using a photo that was used in the DV2017 entry would cause disqualification. Note – they did not say any future lottery, they said DV2017. Why is that? Well – photo comparison technology has been improved. Anyone can use google to search the internet for a photo. It will return results that have the same composition, even if the photo is cropped differently, named differently, color edited and so on. It’s new and powerful technology and it relies on indexing the pool of photos to compare to (which is exactly how google works). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that the government have implemented this technology as an index on DV2017 photos, and were able to search DV2018 photos against it. The logical conclusion of that is that they would have disqualified such instances prior to notification, and people would simply see “not selected”. I have not found a single account where someone is saying they were selected and had reused a DV2017 photo. Given the traffic on my site, I think I would have been notified by now if that had happened (although happy to talk to anyone reading this that says that is what they did). However, this does NOT mean that the government could not have chosen to allow the selectees to be notified and then disqualify such entries at interview. They said people would be disqualified, they didn’t say when they would disqualify!
As for people who think everything is unfair blah blah. Given that the lottery is always over selected, KCC therefore allow for people to be waiting after other cases are disqualified. How is a rule following person disadvantaged by some other person with a higher number being selected and then disqualified in front of them? There is no such disadvantage. There is nothing unfair. There is also no right to complain – this is a lottery. As long as the lottery is performed according to the law (as it has been), then the draw is valid.
Lastly – a bit of speculation. There were a load of people who seem to not read the darn instructions. Those people with reused 2017 photos will have created “holes” between the case numbers (because that is what happens when someone is disqualified before notification – see holes theory) OR will increase the refusal rate at interview. I believe more holes. So – although we are seeing high case numbers suggesting a DV2015 level of selectees (say 115k to 130k), we might actually see low (DV2016/DV2017) selectee numbers (80k to 100K) because of all the holes created by DV2017 photo entries (i.e. lower density). We will only see that once the selectee numbers are published which could be as late as June or July.
November 8, 2017 at 05:36
I used the same photo on dv 2017 and ive been selected for the dv2018. Im rly sad and scared of i will be disqualified during my interview because of that …. :/
November 8, 2017 at 06:17
If you had followed instructions this would not be a concern.
November 12, 2017 at 19:36
yeah i didn’t read the instructions i thought its the same every year
January 20, 2018 at 18:40
What’s your number? Are You after an interview? I am in a similar situation
January 20, 2018 at 20:56
Hi, we are in the same boat, EU18XXX, expected interview is in May at this point. I will share the outcome afterwards. What about you?
January 21, 2018 at 09:11
EMMA, thank you for your answer! My number is EU23XXX, so I will be grateful to you for information after your interview.
June 13, 2020 at 06:21
did you get a visa at that time using same photos of previous year?
November 9, 2017 at 12:13
Hi. A friend who lives in the US called KCC recently and presented himself as my DV sponsor. He said I was his brother and had unfortunately played with 2017 photos. He mentioned he was worried I would be disqualified at the interview and if there is any reason to even start preparing the documents. The KCC representative was polite and said that on the record it is a new rule and has to be complied with, but on the other hand, off the record, shouldn’t be a problem. At the end of the conversation, the representative once again advised him not to worry. I don’t know how much help this information is, as it is not an actual experience with an interview at an embassy, but it is something positive at least, I think. Good luck!
November 9, 2017 at 13:51
Yes thanks. It is pretty much my expectation, but I will say that the staff at KCC are not empowered with making the decisions, so only interview experiences will inform us for sure.
November 9, 2017 at 13:56
Absolutely, no other way to know for sure, and even then it may still be handled on a case by case basis I expect, although I am no specialist.
December 23, 2017 at 12:25
Hi Mr every thing fine ? Here in our country Ethiopia postal service complete dv entire & we give them our information & dv size photo then they enter by scanning may this create problem during interview? Tanks.
December 23, 2017 at 13:03
January 25, 2018 at 07:04
Hi Simon !
Could you help me dispel doubts please …
I have applied in the DV2015 and DV2016 – I wasn’t selected. I didn’t apply in the DV2017, but in the DV2018, I was selected despite re-use photo from dv2016.
Will this cause disqualification? My number is EU28XXX
January 25, 2018 at 17:03
January 25, 2018 at 18:10
Thank You 😉
February 26, 2018 at 19:44
Hi, BritSimon. Have you heard or read anything about people being rejected for using an old photo at this point (almost half the process)?
February 26, 2018 at 19:58
May 11, 2018 at 02:43
Im a winnet for 2018 and my number expected to have the interview in August. But I just started to be worry after I read this topic about pictures!!
Actually I used new pictures for 2018 and not the same one in 2017..BUY I took the picture fory self and family at home and my wife photo has a little shadow of her head just like vertical shadow next to her head not full head shadow..
Is this a point to worry about it?
Please I feel too much nervous because of that and this time I used home made photo I won! And all previous trial not won although I used a photo from professional photographer! What a strange luck!
May 11, 2018 at 03:13
No need to worry.
May 11, 2018 at 10:59
Thank you sir, I’m curious to know how not to worry although in the photo requirements written no shadow should be in photo? for sure I trust your reply but I need longer sentence to avoid me thinking again about it 🙁
Is there any similar situation passed the interview (for example)?
May 11, 2018 at 13:59
I answered based on my experience.
May 11, 2018 at 13:34
Any news abt this situation? I ll probably have my interview in septembre but i ve used the same photo as dv2017 entry 🙁
May 11, 2018 at 13:43
No one has been refused for this as far as I can tell.
May 10, 2019 at 01:10
What happened to your interview???
January 15, 2020 at 01:07
Did you get your visa??
May 16, 2018 at 13:16
Hi, I just wanted to let you know that we were approved for visa with 2017 photos. We were not asked anything about the photos. The primary applicant was with the old photo. The interview was 1 minute and contained 3 questions: “When did you graduate high school?; “Where did you live in the US?”; “Have you lived in any other countries for more than 6 months?”. That was all. Good luck to everyone and be more careful with following the rules from now on to avoid unnecessary headaches! All the best and thank you Simon for all of your help throughout this heart-wrenching process. I feel like I’ve been through a meat-grinder, but I guess it was all worth it in the end. God bless you all.
May 16, 2018 at 16:03
Congratulations. I have not heard on a single case refused for the 2017 photo.
May 19, 2018 at 10:22
Can you say what country you were applying from??
May 19, 2018 at 10:30
No, I am sorry. Eastern Europe is all that I can share.
May 19, 2018 at 12:18
Why?? Is it a big secret?
May 20, 2018 at 12:46
I’ve realized that I may have uploaded the same photo in the 2018 DV and 2019 DV application.. a stupid error on my behalf. As you wrote above, this will most likely have been picked up in the selection process if it was going to be. However I wanted to ask you for clarification if you knew,
– Which photo do they use for further processing usage (IE to identify me, on the physical green card itself etc) will it be the one I uploaded in this initial application or the new physical ones I take into the interview with me. The reason I ask is because I may have stupidely used the same photo I used on a j-1 visa I worked in the US with (which is in my passport obviously). So from your experience did they use the new photos you took into your interview from then on or the ones you initially uploaded when applying? I’m hoping they use the new photos I provide for further usage. Would love to hear your thoughts on this, cheers.
May 20, 2018 at 15:49
You give them new photos at the interview.
May 20, 2018 at 21:32
Cheers Brit please ignore the below comment I entered twice.
Do you think they could notice and I will have an issue moving forward, or they wouldn’t really have a reason to compare to my old j1 visa?
May 21, 2018 at 00:20
You are overthinking. Stop.
May 21, 2018 at 00:31
September 23, 2020 at 22:27
Hie Joey,i have the same case as yours..did you finally get the visa..?
May 21, 2018 at 13:13
Yeah, indeed. BritSimon, couldnt you tell us what photo do they to put on immigrant visa and further green card?? Since you’ve got GC through dvlottery, you might remember what photo they’ve used for GC, do you?
May 21, 2018 at 13:50
May 21, 2018 at 14:34
I think the point that was raised above is, if along the process, whether they have a reason to compare the uploaded photo to the photo in the J1 visa.
If the J1 visa is old and expired probably not
but if it is still valid they have to cancel it before issuing the immigrant visa, once approved, which might give them the opportunity to check the photo.
May 21, 2018 at 16:32
Now everyone is overthinking the whole thing….
May 20, 2018 at 21:30
I made the silly error of uploading the same photo in my dv2018 and 2019 entries. As mentioned in the above article, this probably would have been picked up already prior to me being selected for further processing if it was going to be an issue. However, what I wanted to ask was: which image do they use for further usage going forward(IE on the green card itself etc), is it the one I uploaded in the application process OR is it the new one I bring in physically to my interview? The reason I ask this is I may have stupidly used used the same image that was issued in a j1 work visa I used in the states last year. From your experience, did they use the image you originally uploaded when applying or the new ones you physically took to the interview? Would love your advice on this, thank you!
May 21, 2018 at 13:18
They use the new photo you bring to the embassy.
May 21, 2018 at 17:25
I don’t think it matters at all. I doubt the consular employee even did anything more than just confirm that we are the same person. After worrying for over a year, the whole thing was super anticlimactic. The questions lasted no more than a minute. I am not sure if it was because we have lived in the USA before or what, but it seemed like he wasn’t even paying attention to what we were answering. The visas were ready the next day. I think the photos don’t matter at all beyond you just looking like your true self.
May 21, 2018 at 17:56
Agreed. In fact – “anticlimactic” is what it should be.
There is a possibility of denial for photos, but only in “extreme cases” where someone’s appearance has changed dramatically.
July 13, 2018 at 18:31
I thought I would never ask a question because I read everything here and try to educate myself.
My photo was fine, taken by pro photographer on the day of initial submission. However my appearance has changed dramatically since last november. I lost 75 pounds (around 35kg) up until today and still losing more by implementing ketogenic diet and exercise. Healthy lifestyle basically. Some people do not recognise me straightaway.
I will look totally different person by the time my interview comes. What pre-cautionary measures can I take ?
Gym photos? Photos from every month showing weight loss progression? Food that I ate? Facebook post about my progression?
I am almost sure you never had such an odd question before and I thought this was the “extreme change” that you referred.
Many thanks for your hard work Simon.
July 13, 2018 at 18:32
Yes take some proof – whatever you can imagine.
May 22, 2018 at 12:19
But anyway they are playing with people’s nervous system, that’s for sure :).
August 10, 2018 at 10:43
Hello brit !
The year almost finished . There is any news of rejection related to old and perior photo used dv 2018 ?
August 10, 2018 at 14:50
I did not hear of a single case rejected for that reason.
October 4, 2018 at 08:49
Please i need your help bro simon
My names are Monta abra(surname) carl(given)..my problems here in cameroon family name come first,so my names are written in this order MONTA ABRA CARL.. i’m to fill the dv 2020 form.my question is how do i place the names as first middle and last name? Since i have 2surnames (monta abra) should i use abra as my middle name or just leave it blank..
Given name = first name
October 4, 2018 at 14:22
Match your passport.
October 6, 2018 at 07:15
I want to ask is…
I have been selected by DV2019, but I’m not sure which the photo I used… If the photo is same as my passport (issued in 2016). Do I need to apply for a new passport? I’m afraid of that they will check the photo with my passport in interview and found it is the old photo…
October 6, 2018 at 14:26
That is unlikely to be a problem, but if it makes you feel safer, then renew the passport.
October 14, 2018 at 10:25
I have registered my application for 2020 DV lottery, but I’m now nervous about the picture I have submitted and whether or not it will end up disqualifying me if I win the lottery.
My problem is that even though I was careful about the size of the image and etc., I think I have missed one requirement.
It says on the list of requirements: Unacceptable – Background is cropped out using a photo retouching tool, altering the outline of the head, face, and neck.
But after I have submitted my application, I realized that the picture I used was white background digitally altered by the photographer after it was taken on an white or off white background. The picture is obviously ok, and by looking at the image you can’t really tell its altered.
How serious this problem is?
If I win, is there a chance they just let this minor issue slide or will they reject my application for sure?
Any help would be dearly appreciated.
October 14, 2018 at 15:06
March 26, 2019 at 01:16
I have same problem as a john but I am edv winner 2019 (main applicant not ) . And my interview was in april . Is this creat a problem in interview ?
March 26, 2019 at 02:47
Same problem. So you don’t really need to ask.
March 26, 2019 at 06:06
So dont go to interview because waste of time and money .am a right?
March 26, 2019 at 13:49
of little value or importance.
October 21, 2018 at 22:48
Hello, so i mistakenly used an old photo which i used last year to apply for this years dv lottery.
Is this going to cause my application to be disqualified ?
October 21, 2018 at 23:51
October 30, 2018 at 13:15
My photo meets all requirements apart from the part where the top of the head to the chin should be 50-69%. Mine is 77%. Need to worry ?
October 30, 2018 at 17:07
Why not just use a photo that meets the requirements??
November 5, 2018 at 07:11
I won the dv 2019 and have just interviewed at the AIT in Taiwan a min ago. Unfortunately, I was disqualified because I had used a photo that was taken from a year before I submitted the entry form. The CO gave me a rejection letter stating I was refused due to the reason. I asked if he’s able to reach out to the government stating it’s an honest mistake, but he said he can’t do so.
In this case, do you think it’s possible to get re-qualified if I reach out to kcc by my own, admit my mistakes, and give them proof that I’ve had a good record of studying and working in the states for three years?
You advice would be greatly appreciated.
November 5, 2018 at 14:36
There is no appeal process. If the embassy refused you, that is the end. Yours is the first refusal I have heard for a 1 year old photo – was it the same photo you had used in the previous DV entry?
November 13, 2018 at 10:28
So sorry for the delay. I’ve been devastated since the refusal.
No, this was in fact my first time getting in the dv lottery. I wasn’t aware I used a one year old photo until the interview as it’s the same as my f1 visa.
I’ve re-read the dv2019 instruction and found out that, “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.” However, both this sentence and the “specifications below” in p.6-p.7 didn’t specify using an old photo (Photo not taken within the last 6 months.) will get disqualified. Not sure am I able to use this point to ask CO to reconsider.
November 13, 2018 at 14:54
No, the instructions are clear, not following the instructions means you can be disqualified. Because they had your J1 photo, they had proof you had not followed instructions. You have no grounds to appeal, and there is no appeal process.
November 25, 2018 at 18:09
Hello, I am really sorry for your mistake… I also submitted an older photo which is on my J1 visa in passport… I wanted to ask you if they knew about your mistake prior your interview and you got refused in the beginning of it, or they noticed it by looking at your passport during the interview? I am thinking if I got any chances maybe by renewing my passport so it will not be so obvious, or there is no point by doing that, because they already sees the visa, application photos in their data.
Would be grateful for any information.
May 19, 2022 at 15:39
What’s the outcome of your interview?
January 28, 2019 at 15:24
Could you help me please …
I have applied in the DV2016 – I wasn’t selected. I didn’t apply in the DV2017 and DV2018, but I was selected in the DV2019, for mistake re-use photo from DV2016.
Will this cause disqualification? My number is SA9xx
I am very concerned about that after reading Alex’s comment.
January 28, 2019 at 15:55
Possibly. I can’t be sure.
January 28, 2019 at 16:04
If you know of any case rejected by this situation please let me know in the post
Thank you very much for your help!!
January 28, 2019 at 16:37
I have seen a few (VERY few) cases rejected over old photos. I can’t give you specific posts. This is normally when the physical appearance of the person has changed significantly since the photo was taken.
January 28, 2019 at 17:32
Ok, thank you very much! I’ll go to the interview and I’ll let you know what happened with my case.
May 13, 2019 at 14:55
Dear Yalimar, could you please tell how was your process because almost the same situations?
February 19, 2019 at 13:07
I’ve been extremely worried lately because I realized that the background of the picture I sent for the DV2020 was digitally altered/cropped by the photographer. The cropping doesn’t affect my face/neck/head in any way, but if you look carefully you might notice that the background was cropped because of my ponytail’s outline.
Do you think this could be a problem?
I’m so worried!!
February 19, 2019 at 14:34
What a silly thing to worry about. Your chance of being selected is once in 200 years.
March 17, 2019 at 14:35
I am currently holding J1 visa in the states. My CN is AS105XX. If I am luckily enough, my number might go current in May or June, I want to make sure before I submit anything.
This is my mistake, I know I probably used the same photo from previous year, but the photo is not on any of my visa or passport. I tried not to worry too much because I read all your comments about this and I doubt the CO will check what did I submit for previous years in the interview? The thing is I am from Taiwan and I saw Jacky’s post up in the comments area, I started to panic. Not sure if the CO in Taiwan is extremely strict about the photos?
Also, because there might be a chance I get disqualified at the interview, I am thinking doing AOS than CP, I am not sure starting my case as AOS in the end of April will be too risky?
Thank you for your advice in advance, this blog is been helping a lot!
March 17, 2019 at 14:41
The photo is unlikely to cause a problem.
Cases have started AOS in September and completed, there is plenty of time. Make sure you take advantage of early filing, and make certain you understand the process (follow Sm1smom advice).
March 18, 2019 at 12:27
Thank you for your advice, I will make sure to follow Sm1smom.
May 15, 2019 at 13:16
I read your post, and I wonder if you eventually chose to have your interview in AIT? Did you pass the interview?
March 31, 2019 at 10:37
Will someone refused in the interview because of the wrong size of his/her dv entrance photo?
March 31, 2019 at 13:21
Man, I know this is not my blog, but you are so annoying with non sense questions!
If your picture was wrong sized, the program wouldn’t accept your entry!
March 31, 2019 at 14:02
No. Think about it please.
April 9, 2019 at 06:06
What if you entered the DV for the first time (2020 round) but you used the photo that was used by your parent’s application the previous year where you were not a direct applicant. Not the same picture, rather a screenshot of a screenshot (I thought that might get rid of electronic traces but idk) and my appearance has changed very slightly (I’m super recognizable by the pic) might I get disqualified?
April 9, 2019 at 13:55
July 30, 2019 at 11:42
may spouses use same pictures when applying for DV in same year
(submitting the same pictures – husband as primary applicant and wife as derivative and vice versa).
July 30, 2019 at 14:10
November 4, 2019 at 04:24
I already submitted DV for 2021. I just noticed my photo background is blue. Should I resubmit DV for 2021 or not. Thanks
November 4, 2019 at 14:42
You cannot resubmit.
November 9, 2019 at 08:44
Hi. I recently applied for DV2021 . There was an issue with my reminder so I only managed to enter on the second last day. I used a picture from a previous entry. My appearance hasnt changed but obviously there is a rule of not using a previously used photo. Is there any more feedback regarding how far people have made it in the process using a previous photo?
November 9, 2019 at 14:55
Up to now we have not seen denials for that, but I would not be surprised if they start at any time.
December 11, 2019 at 02:30
The photo i entered in the 2020 lottery is the same of my visa J1 and F1. I applied for AOS. Will I be disqualified?
December 11, 2019 at 03:23
December 11, 2019 at 05:07
Will the green card get denied because i used old photo ? The photo i used for the dv are also on my passaport, so it is easy to see the mistake
December 11, 2019 at 05:39
I also used my old photo which already was used in J1 visa. Now I’m finally here, in the US, nobody noticed that.
December 11, 2019 at 17:04
I already answered you.
March 3, 2020 at 03:13
I’m from the OC region and I’m a dv2020 selectee I have been scheduled for an interview in April. I have inadvertently used an old photo from DV2019 for my DV2020 application. Will I be disqualified for my photo?
March 3, 2020 at 05:00
Although that is possible, it is not likely.
March 3, 2020 at 05:04
Thanks for the reply. Why do you think this may be an unlikely situation?
March 3, 2020 at 05:16
Because I track refusal reasons.
November 1, 2020 at 07:08
Same question here.. I did the stupid mistake to use the same photo for 2021 and 2020 entry. I GOT SELECTED FOR 2021 and I wanted to know if they are any updates regarding this topic. Is some disqualified for this reason at the interview? Thanks a lot in advance
November 2, 2020 at 04:52
Up to now, they have not been disqualifying people for that reason.
June 15, 2020 at 13:08
I’m from EU. My husband won DV2021. We used the 3yr old from dv2018 (dv2019, 20 were different photos) for him and I had also the same photo as dv2018 and my 2017 tourist visa. Though, my visa expired and I have a new passport now. Is refusal rate still low for that reason?
Thank you in advance!
June 15, 2020 at 22:37
It is low, but refusals sometimes happen.
August 17, 2020 at 15:48
Brit , I am selected for 2021 with a photo that is in the passport and the passport is about to expire. The appearance has been changed completely . Is my application will be disqualify or I will be denied a visa ? I didnot read the instructions and used same photo every year.
August 17, 2020 at 16:03
if your appearance has changed, yes there is a chance of denial.
August 21, 2020 at 11:49
Brit, What do you suggest me ?Carry forward my case with the change in appearance or drop my case due to denials possibility .
August 21, 2020 at 15:59
October 2, 2020 at 06:44
Hi Brit, thank you in advance for your effort to help all of us. I have a question, have been selected for DV 2021 and the photo that I submitted is older than 6 month (about 10) from the date I applied, but photo it’s not used in previous DV lottery, passport or anywhere else for that matter. Is it something to be concerned? Thank you.
October 2, 2020 at 23:19
November 11, 2020 at 22:40
hello i have a problem
i am from morocco
i applied for the dv lottery yesterday with a picture taken the same day at a professional photographe service
i told them to sent me the picture on my gmail
whene i checked the image details i found that it says that the picture was taken in a date of 14 / 10 / 2009 !!!!!!!!!
i contaced the photographe service they told me its not a problem its just the date on the camera was not well adjusted
my concerns now
1 does the system or software that select randomly the winners rejects automatically the registrations that were apllied with a picture that says its was taken in an old year \\ 2009 in my case \\
2 or i can still be selected as i winner , and be asked about this only durring the interview at the ambassy
3 can this result in the denial of my visa
note ] all photo requirements are respected exept for the problem of the date it shows
November 11, 2020 at 23:17
I can’t predict the outcome.
November 12, 2020 at 11:00
January 6, 2021 at 16:54
My photo meets all requirements apart from the part where the top of the head to the chin should be 50-69%. Mine is 75%. this cause any problem?