Diversity Visa Immigrant Program

What is the Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery?

Each year, the Department of State (DOS) administers the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV), and opens up the registration process to applicants who wish to immigrate permanently to the U.S. The DV immigrant visa provides the possibility of a green card for “diversity immigrants,” who are natives of countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.

Each year there is an annual allocation level. There is no cost to register for the DV program.

The DOS selects applicants through a randomized computer drawing, or a “lottery” system and must distribute diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than 7% of the available DVs in any one year. This may change from year to year.

The DV program will not be open to countries where more than 50,000 of their nationals have immigrated to the U.S. in the past five years


  1. Country Eligibility
  • Must be born in a country that is not on the list of ineligible countries
  • Your country of eligibility is typically your country of birth
  • You must be a native of a country with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.; if not,
  • You may apply under your spouse if he or she is a native from one of these countries; or
  • If you are a native that does not have historically low levels of immigration to the U.S., but neither of your parents were born there or legally a resident at the time of your birth
  1. Education/Work Experience
  • Each DV applicant must have a minimum of high school education or equivalent; or,
  • Two years of work experience in the last five years in an occupation that requires two years of training or experience to perform


    • Submit an online entry through the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website between the published registration dates.
    • Only one entry per person will be accepted; however, a husband and wife may each submit their own entry
    • You will receive a confirmation number that you can check the status to see if you are selected
    • You must use your confirmation number to access your “Entrant Status Check” after the registration period to check if you have been selected by the DOS and further instructions on the visa application process and visa appointment date and time
    • You are responsible to keep track of your own case as you will not receive updates from the government
    • You will not be notified if you are not selected
    • Once you are selected, will receive notification of your selection through the Entrant Status Check and further instructions
    • If you are applying from overseas, you will receive instructions from the DOS’s Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), which will process the case and provide instructions on how appear for the visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate
    • If you are applying from within the U.S. and you are eligible to adjust your status, you will receive notification on how to apply to USCIS for adjustment of status to permanent residence
    • All selected and eligible applications must obtain their visa or adjust status by the end of the fiscal year

    If you would like more information on the DV visa program, complete our free online assessment and someone from our office will get back to you!

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