Diversity Visa Lottery

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State to provide for a new class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” (DV immigrants). The Program makes available up to 50,000 diversity visas (DVs) each year, drawn from random selection among all entries, to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

The visas, however, are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to citizens of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the past five years.  Within each region, no one country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

Important Notice

NO fee is charged to enter the annual DV program. The US Government employs no outside consultants or private services to operate the DV program.  Any intermediaries or others who offer assistance to prepare DV casework for applicants do so without the authority or consent of the US Government.  Use of any outside intermediary or assistance to prepare a DV entry is entirely at the applicant’s discretion.

A qualified entry submitted electronically directly by an applicant has an equal chance of being selected by the computer at the Kentucky Consular Center as does an entry received electronically through a paid intermediary who completes the entry for the applicant. Every entry received during the lottery registration period will have an equal random chance of being selected within its region.  However, receipt of more than one entry per person will disqualify the person from registration, regardless of the source of the entry.

Applicant must be a native of one of the eligible countries

Native of a country whose natives qualify: In most cases this means the country in which the applicant was born.  However, if a person was born in a country whose natives are ineligible but his/her spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, such person can claim the spouse’s country of birth providing both the applicant and spouse are issued visas and enter the US simultaneously. If a person was born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but neither of his/her parents was born there or resided there at the time of the birth, such person may be able to claim nativity in one of the parents’ country of birth.

If the applicant cannot meet these requirements, he or she should NOT submit an entry to the DV program.

Applicant must meet either the education or training requirement of the DV program.

Education or Training: An applicant must have EITHER a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The US Department of Labor’s O*Net OnLine database will be used to determine qualifying work experience.  Applicants will also find a link to a Labor Department list of qualifying occupations at the Consular Affairs website.

If the applicant cannot meet these requirements, he or she should NOT submit an entry to the DV program.

There is only one way to enter the Diversity Visa lottery. Applicants must submit an Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (EDV Entry Form), which is accessible only at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov. Failure to complete the form in its entirety will disqualify the applicant’s entry. The Department of State will only accept completed Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Forms submitted electronically during the annual registration period. DV instructions also are available on the Department of State’s public webpage at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/diversity-visa-program-entry/diversity-visa-instructions.html.

The Department accepts DV entries ONLY through the E-DV site, which has complete instructions.  There is no fee to enter.  All entrants must print and retain their online confirmation page after completing their DV entries so that they will be able to check their entry status as explained below.

It is very important for entrants to keep a record of their unique confirmation number until at least September 30, 2020.  The confirmation number is the only way to check whether an entry has been selected and to obtain visa application and appointment information, if selected.  The unique confirmation number helps to protect DV entrants against fraud, malfeasance, and problems with the mail.  Unscrupulous visa facilitators have been known to assist entrants with their entries, retain the confirmation page, and then demand more money in exchange for information on the entry.  Entrants can avoid this by ensuring they receive the unique confirmation number at the time of entry.

Beginning May 7, 2019, DV-2020 entrants will be able to use their unique confirmation number provided at registration to check the online Entrant Status Check at  www.dvlottery.state.gov  to see if their entry was selected.  Entrant Status Check will inform successful entrants how to apply for DVs for themselves and their eligible family members.  The Department also will confirm visa interview appointments through Entrant Status Check.

All entrants must enroll with a recent photo, taken within the last six months.  Entries submitted with the same photo from the last DV year (DV-2019) will be disqualified

The law allows only one entry per person during the registration period.  Entrants who submit more than one entry will be disqualified.

The entry will be disqualified if the entry is not PERSONALLY SIGNED by the applicant in his/her native alphabet, as it would appear on his/her passport or other official or contractual obligations.

The entry will be disqualified if all required photos are not submitted.  Recent photographs of the applicant and his/her spouse and each child, under 21 years of age, including all natural children as well as all legally-adopted and stepchildren, excepting a child who is already a US citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident, even if a child no longer resides with the applicant, must be submitted electronically with the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. Group or family photos will not be accepted; there must be a separate photo for each family member.

Each applicant, his/her spouse, and each child will therefore need a computer file containing his/her digital photo (image) which will be submitted on-line with the EDV Entry Form. The image file can be produced either by taking a new digital photograph or by scanning a photographic print with a digital scanner.

Applicants will be selected at random by computer from among all qualified entries.

Successful entrants are not notified by email of the status of their E-DV online entry.  Any email claiming to notify entrants they have been selected for the DV program is not legitimate.  Entrants can only access information on their application through the online Entrant Status Check at www.dvlottery.state.gov

Those selected in the DV program may apply for immigrant visas (IVs).  Selectee notification information will be available on Entrant Status Check beginning May 7, 2019, and will provide successful entrants further instructions, including information about immigrant visa application fees.

Being randomly chosen as a selectee does not guarantee that you will receive a visa.  Selection merely means that you are eligible to apply for a DV, and if your rank number becomes eligible for final processing, potentially to be issued a DV.

Processing of entries and issuance of diversity visas to successful applicants and their eligible family members MUST occur by midnight on September 30th of the lottery year. Under no circumstances can diversity visas be issued after this date.