The Diversity Visa Program, or “DV Lottery,” is an annual initiative administered by the Department of State. It is responsible for the issuance of 55,000 permanent residence visas (“green cards”) to individuals from countries with historically low levels of immigration to the United States. See below for a list of countries that are not eligible to participate in the program. Application instructions and additional information can be found here.
In order to qualify for the DV lottery, individuals must 1) be nationals of a qualifying country included in the current program and, 2) must also possess “at least a high school education or its equivalent” OR “two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.” Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements will be entered into a computerized drawing. Selection for the program will be announced via the DV lottery website starting May 8, 2021.
Applications can only be submitted via the program’s website, located at https://dvprogram.state.gov/. Registration opened on October 7, 2020 and closes on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Late entries will not be accepted. Eligible entrants are encouraged to apply early, as demand for the program is high and can often lead to delays on the website.
Applicants should be aware of potential fraud attempts associated with DV Lottery. Per guidance from the Department of State:
“You may receive emails from websites that try to trick you into sending money or providing your personal information. You may be asked to pay for forms and information about immigration procedures, all of which are available free on the Department of State website, travel.state.gov, or through U.S. embassy or consulate websites. Additionally, organizations or websites may try to steal your money by charging fees for DV-related services. If you send money to one of these non-government organizations or websites, you will likely never see it again. Also, do not send personal information to these websites, as it may be used for identity fraud/theft.”
There is no charge to download or submit the Diversity Visa Lottery forms. See here for more information regarding potential fraudulent activity.
*Natives of the following nations are not eligible to enter the DV lottery:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland and Hong Kong; note individuals who were born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.