How Do I Participate in the Diversity
Visa Lottery Program?
is the Diversity Visa Lottery Program?
Each year, 50,000 immigrant visas are made available through a lottery to
people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
None of these visas are available for people who come from countries that have
sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the past five
years. The State Department's National
holds the lottery every year, and chooses winners randomly from all qualified
entries. Anyone who is selected under this lottery will be given the
opportunity to apply for permanent residence. If permanent residence is
granted, then the individual will be authorized to live and work permanently in
the United States.
You will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under
the age of 21 to the United
does the Law Say?
The legal foundation for the Diversity Visa Lottery Program comes from the Immigration
and Nationality Act (INA). Please see section 203 of the INA for more
Eligible to Enter the Diversity Visa Lottery?
or your spouse must be a native of a country that is eligible to participate in
the Diversity Visa Lottery. You may also be eligible to apply if your parent
was born in a country that is eligible to participate. (The State Department
will publish the names of countries that are eligible to participate before
each year's lottery.)
must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, defined in the United States
as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary
education; OR you must have two years of work experience within the last five
years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or
experience to perform.
the State Department information on the DV program.
Before each year's lottery drawing, the Department of State will publish
explicit instructions on how to apply in press releases and the Federal
Register. Please follow all directions exactly. Millions of applicants are
rejected each year for failure to follow the directions. Please watch the State
Department Website for more information on the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.
Instructions are usually posted in August, and the registration period is
usually held in October each year.
Much Does the Lottery Cost?
There is no fee for entering the diversity visa lottery. If you win, you must
pay a fee for an immigrant visa and a separate visa lottery surcharge.
Can I Find Out If I Won?
Only the winners will be notified by
mail at the addresses listed on their applications. Winners
will be sent instructions and information on fees. Being selected as a winner
in the diversity visa lottery does not automatically guarantee that you will be
issued a visa, even if you are qualified. The number of entries selected is
greater than the number of immigrant visas available, because not everyone
selected will be qualified for the visa or will choose to complete the
processing. Once all 50,000 visas have been issued, the diversity visa program
for the year will end.
Please be aware: Winners are not
notified by electronic mail. Please see the Department of State Fraud Warning
in the Related Links section of this page.
Can I Find Out More Information?
Please watch the State Department Website for more information on the Diversity
Visa Lottery Program. You may also call the State Department's Visa Lottery
at 1-900-884-8840 for more information. Please
note: There is a charge for each call. You may also contact your
nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A listing of U.S. Embassies and Consulates
can be found on the State Department website.