Get an answer to your DV Lottery question


What is the Green Card?

A green card, which is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), lets you live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. There are many ways to get Green Card, including through family, employment or status as a refugee or asylee, not everyone qualifies, and one of them is the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program (popularly known as the green card lottery).


What is the Diversity Lottery? How it works?

Every year the DV program issues around 50000 immigrant visas, based on the results of a random drawing. The visas are apportioned among countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.


When the DV Lottery starts?

The online registration period for the DV Program typically runs between October 1 and November 3 each year. The sign-up period for the DV-2021 green card lottery will likely begin on October 2, 2019. The U.S. Department of State has not yet released registration information regarding this year’s lottery. You should register as early as possible once it opens, because quantity of visas for each country are limited.


Why the lottery called DV-2021 starts in 2019?

Applications will accepted in October-November 2019, but results of lottery will be published in May2020 and visa processing and issuance will be only in 2021.


How many visas will be issued in DV-2021?

There is still no information from the U.S. State Department, but by law, a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) are available each year.


How many DV-2021 visas be issued for each region and eligible country?

The number of visas that are issued to natives of each country depends on the regional limits established, how many entrants come from each country, and how many of the selected entrants are found eligible for the visa. No more than 7% of the total visas available can go to natives of any single country.


Where I can fill the form for participating on Diversity Lottery?

Applications are accepted only on the official website of the US Department of State: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov. Other services are intermediaries who fill in the form on behalf of you, and use of their services is discouraged by the USCIS.


What is my chance to win?

Chances to win a Green Card in DV Lottery are much higher than to win a million in a usual lottery. You can find the percentage of winning for each country at http://dvlottery.me/win-chances-green-card-lottery


What is the most important in the lottery form?

First of all remember: don’t lie, write only the truth. Use English letters only. Сountry of eligibility. Pay attention to the country of eligibility: you need to select exactly the country of birth, not residence. Make the right photo. Lots of participants fail at providing a correct photo. USCIS automatically disqualify applications which have photos not meeting requirements. There are many requirements and conditions from the background to the head size. So you can use special services like https://visafoto.com/diversity-visa-lottery-photo


What else can I do to win?

Each adult member of your family (spouse, adult children, parents) should participate at the lottery as the main entrant (providing all other family members like spouse or children as derivatives).


Is there an age requirement for the Green Card Lottery?

There is no minimum age for apply, but because of requirement of a high school education it will effectively disqualify most person who under the age of 18 years.


What level of English should I have?

In order to be eligible participants do not have to have any special language skills.


Can I enter the DV program if I live in the US?

Yes, an entrant may apply in this program all over the world including the United States.


Can I take a part if I already have a US visa?

Yes, you can take part in the DV lottery if you already have any type of visa.


I’m already registered for an immigrant visa in another category. Can I still apply for the DV program?

Yes.


Will US government help me to settle in the USA? Will it pay transport or other fees?

No, you should do that on your own.


Can I list a boyfriend or girlfriend as spouse?

No, you can include only legal spouse to your application as a derivative.


Is there any fee for the DV lottery?

There is no fee for entering, but if you were selected you need to pay about $215 for medical examination and $330 for the interview per person. Also you will pay immigrant application visa fees in person only at the U.S. embassy or consulate at the time of the visa application. Do not send money for the DV fee to anyone through the mail, Western Union, or any other money transfer service.


If I apply for the DV, but don’t qualify to receive one, can I get a refund of the visa fees I paid?

No. Visa application fees cannot be refunded. If a consular officer determines you do not meet any requirements for the visa, or you are otherwise ineligible for the DV under U.S. law, the officer cannot issue a visa and you will forfeit all fees paid.


How many applications can I submit?

Only one during each year, but spouses can submit separate entries.


How much times can I take a part in Diversity Lottery?

You can try to win every year, but only one application in one year.


Can I fill the form from mobile phone?

Yes, also you can get the correct photo from https://visafoto.com/diversity-visa-lottery-photo


How much time do I have for filling the form?

You have 30 minutes to complete the form. If you exceed the 30-minute limit and have not submitted your application, the system discards any information already entered. So the best thing is that you train at https://dvlottery.me/ds-5501-edv-form online before the lottery, and have all your form data ready before you really start filling in the actual form at the official website.


Is it possible to download and save the DV Lottery form into a word processing program and finish it later?

No, you can fill the form online only. But you can use https://dvlottery.me/ds-5501-edv-form for this purpose.


Can I save the form online and finish it later?

No, it’s impossible. We highly recommend to read the all DV instructions completely before you start to fill the form online. However you can use https://dvlottery.me/ds-5501-edv-form for this.


If the system rejects my entry, can I re-submit my entry?

Yes, you can re-submit your entry before the ending of lottery. You can try to submit an application as many times as is necessary until a complete application is received and the confirmation notice sent. Once you receive a confirmation notice, your entry is complete, and you should not submit any additional entries.


How soon after I submit my entry will I receive the electronic confirmation notice?

You should receive the confirmation notice immediately, including a confirmation code, but sometimes delays happen. You can hit the “Submit” button as many times as is necessary until a complete application is sent and you receive the confirmation notice.


I didn’t receive a confirmation number after clicking the “Submit“ button. What should I do?

f you did not receive a confirmation number, your entry was not recorded. You must submit another entry. It will not be counted as a duplicate.


If I was selected, can I take my family with me?

Through DV lottery program, only spouse and children can go with you. For other relatives you can apply for a family reunion visa later. But it will take much time.


Can I take a part in the DV Lottery if I have a conviction?

There is no restriction for people who were convicted, but remember that the decision about visa issuance depends on a US consulate.


Is it true that the DV Lottery is only for young people who have just finished university?

No, it’s not. Everybody can be a part of the lottery and winners are randomly selected by the US Dept of State.


Do I have to have a job in the USA already, relatives there or enough money?

For participation in the DV Lottery you don’t need a job or job offer in the US, you don’t need to have relatives in the USA, you don’t need any specific amount of money.


How will I know about winning? Will I get a notification?

Do not wait until the US Department of State will contact you by email or telephone about you being selected. Check your result by yourself through the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website http://dvlottery.state.gov/ using your confirmation number. It is the only way to find out. Information will be published around May 2020.


Will I receive information from the Department of State by email or by postal mail?

The U.S. government never send emails to notify individuals they have been selected, and there are no plans to use email for this purpose for the DV-2021 program. The Department of State will never ask you to send money by mail or by services such as Western Union.


When the results will be available?

You can find out if you are a lottery winner in May 2020 by going to the DV Entrant Status Check page online at http://dvlottery.state.gov. Information will be available till the end of September 2021.


What if I lose my confirmation number?

A tool is now available in the Entrant Status Check page of the E-DV website that will allow you to retrieve your confirmation number via the email address with which you registered by entering certain personal information to confirm your identity. There are no other ways to check your status or provide your confirmation number. U.S. embassies and consulates and the Kentucky Consular Center are unable to do this. The Department of State is not able to provide a list of those selected to continue the visa process.


How successful entrants are selected?

Winners will be randomly selected by the US Dept of State.


What should I do when I win?

Winning the green card lottery does not result in your automatically getting a green card. If you are lucky enough to win, all it means is that you have won the opportunity to apply for a green card. So you should check your confirmation number on the official web-site of DV Program http://dvlottery.state.gov/ and if you have won, you will be directed from there to a confirmation page with further instructions. Pay attention during filling the lottery form, because if you are selected you will need to fill in the DS-260 immigrant visa form exactly with the same information as the lottery form. That’s why we recommend to not use anyone who helps in completing the lottery form. Do not use any intermediaries or third party services to fill in the DV lottery application for you. It’s better to apply on your own. We recommend using https://visafoto.com/diversity-visa-lottery-photo to fill in and then save and print your DV lottery form before your fill in the actual form so you have remembered all your submission data, so then you can use the same data on the DS-260 immigrant visa form.


How soon should I apply for an immigrant visa after winning?

In case of winning in the DV-2021 program, you are entitled to apply for a visa only during U.S. government fiscal year 2021, which is from October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021. It is recommended to do this as soon as possible. In case of a successful interview at a consulate you’ll get a visa for 6 months, and if you don’t move to USA during this time your visa will be annulled and it’s impossible to recover it.


When I get a Green Card?

At first you will be issued an immigration visa and you can get the Green Card after moving to the USA.


Are you obliged to move to the USA if you won the lottery?

No, the decision of immigration is up to you.


I won the Diversity Lottery earlier but decided do not move. Can I take a part in lottery again?

Yes, you can. But there can be doubts about your immigration intentions and the decision to issue a visa depends on a US consulate. In this case chances to get a visa are not high.


Valid passport

It is highly recommended that you have a valid passport issued by your country before you participate in the DV lottery. So if you have no valid passport, you should get one before you fill in the lottery form.


DV Lottery Form filling instructions


1. Name

Your should write your name in English letters exactly as in your passport. Be careful with the middle name. If your last name is double (it has 2 parts), you should list all parts to “Last/Family Name” field. If you one part of it will put as a middle name, then you will be disqualified. If you don’t have no first or middle name it can be omitted by checking the “No name” box. If in your name you have some letters with “crotchets” just change them to similar English letters. For example “ä” can be change to english “a”, “ö” to “o”, “ñ” to “n”, etc. My name has different spelling in the birth certificate and in my ID card. What name should I use? You should write your name exactly as in your passport in English letters. Spelling of your name on ID card, Birth certificate and other documents does not matter. This is stated in the instruction provided by the US Department of State: https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Diversity-Visa/DV-Instructions-Translations/DV-2018-Instructions-Translations/DV-2018%20Instructions%20English.pdf


2. Gender

There are pictures of man and woman for additional help near the radio buttons.


3. Birth Date

Pay attention to the order of elements. It is the american date order, so first you should put the month (not day), then the day and the last one is the year.


4. City Where You Were Born

Use city or town which is specified in your birth certificate or passport. What if current name of the city and name in the passport are different? You should take the name of city from your passport.


5. Country Where You Were Born

Specify the present day name of the country even if it was renamed or got independence. Also it is not a country of your residence or citizenship, it is the country of your birth.


6. Country of Eligibility for the DV Program

Instead of your birth country you can choose the country of birth of your spouse or parents. If your country is ineligible or has lower chance to win than that country, then you can select that country. Here is a list of countries whose natives are eligible for DV-2020: AFRICA Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cabo Verde Central African Republic Chad Comoros Congo Congo Democratic Republic of the Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Djibouti Egypt* Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Mozambique Namibia Niger Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa South Sudan Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe * Persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria. ASIA Afghanistan Bahrain Bhutan Brunei Burma Cambodia Hong Kong Special Administrative Region** Indonesia Iran Iraq Israel* Japan Jordan* Kuwait Laos Lebanon Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Nepal North Korea Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia Singapore Sri Lanka Syria* Taiwan** Thailand Timor-Leste United Arab Emirates Yemen *Persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria. **Hong Kong S.A.R. (Asia region), Macau S.A.R. (Europe region, chargeable to Portugal), and Taiwan (Asia region) do qualify and are listed here. For the purposes of the diversity program only, persons born in Macau S.A.R. derive eligibility from Portugal. EUROPE Albania Andorra Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark (including components and dependent areas overseas) Estonia Finland France (including components and dependent areas overseas) Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Kazakhstan Kosovo Kyrgyzstan Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Special Administrative Region** Macedonia Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro Netherlands (including components and dependent areas overseas) Northern Ireland*** Norway (including components and dependent areas overseas) Poland Portugal (including components and dependent areas overseas) Romania Russia San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Tajikistan Turkey Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan Vatican City ** Macau S.A.R. does qualify and is listed above and for the purposes of the diversity program only; persons born in Macau S.A.R. derive eligibility from Portugal. ***For purposes of the diversity program only, Northern Ireland is treated separately. Northern Ireland does qualify and is listed among the qualifying areas. NORTH AMERICA The Bahamas OCEANIA Australia (including components and dependent areas overseas) Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Micronesia Federated States of Nauru New Zealand (including components and dependent areas overseas) Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Barbados Belize Bolivia Chile Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Ecuador Grenada Guatemala Guyana Honduras Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago Uruguay Venezuela Here is a list of countries whose natives are not eligible for DV-2019: AFRICA Nigeria ASIA Bangladesh China (mainland-born) India Pakistan South Korea Philippines Vietnam EUROPE Great Britain (United Kingdom) includes the following dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, and Turks and Caicos Islands. NORTH AMERICA Canada Mexico SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN Brazil Colombia Dominican Republic El Salvador Haiti Jamaica Mexico Peru I live on disputed territory (Crimea for example), what I should put? You can call any American Consulate/Embassy and ask them.


7. Entrant Photograph

Your photo digital image must be: Square, 600x600 pixels in size In JPEG (.jpg) file format No more than 240 KB (kilobytes) in file size Head size is between 50% and 69% of the image's total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head Eyes are located between 56% to 69% from the bottom of the photo In color In focus Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera Glasses are not allowed With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo If you normally wear a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo. All official requirements are listed here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/photos.html You can get your photo that meets all requirements and technical specification in 2 seconds by Visafoto at https://visafoto.com/diversity-visa-lottery-photo. To make it correctly, please follow this guide: https://visafoto.com/en/guide


8. Mailing Address

Remember that your mailing address should be clear enough for the international mail service. “In care of” in the mailing address is the name of the receiver. Address line 2 field can be blank if your address fully fits within the line 1. If you do not know your postal code, you can get it in your post office. How to spell the address. If you don’t know how to spell your address in English correctly use the Google Maps: select English language and copy the address to the lottery form. Here is instruction:


9. Country Where You Live Today

It is not country of your citizenship or origin, it is country of your actual residence. Select it from the list. What if I move after the filling form? You can move, it doesn’t matter, you should fill in your current location at the moment of filling the form.


10. Phone Number

Remember that your telephone number should be in the international format. They should be able to call it from the USA.


11. E-mail Address

lease enter your own email address. Not address of someone else or email of company where you are employed.


12. What is the highest level of education you have achieved, as of today?

In order to be eligible to enter to Diversity Visa Lottery, you must have at least a high school education or have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience. You must have documentary proof of education or work experience: diploma or any certificates. It is my final year in college (degree). What should I write about my educational level? In the DV lottery form you are required to tell your education level on the day of filling application. So levels “No degree” or “some courses” are suitable for you. Here they are: High School, no degree Some University Courses Some Graduate Level Courses Some Doctorate Level Courses What Occupations will Qualify for the Diversity Visa Program (eDV)? The Department of Labor (DOL) O*Net Online database groups job experience into five <job zones>. While many occupations are listed on the DOL Website, only certain specified occupations qualify for the Diversity Visa Program. To qualify for a Diversity Visa on the basis of your work experience, you must, within the past five years, have two years of experience in an occupation that is designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) range of 7.0 or higher. How To Find the Qualifying Occupations on the Department of Labor? Qualifying DV Occupations are shown on the Department of Labor O*Net Online Database https://www.onetonline.org/ Follow these steps to find out if your occupation qualifies: Click to “Find Occupations“ In the “Job Family” section select your profession from the dropdown (for example, select Business and Financial Operations) and click “Go“ Then click on the link for your specific occupation. (For example, select Credit Analysts) Find a SVP Range in the Job Zone section. It must be 7.0 or higher to qualify for the DV Lottery. So in this example Credit Analyst qualifies.


13. What is your current marital status?

Remember that legally separated is a different status than divorced. Legal separation is a status when divorce is not finished yet but couple live apart, following a court order. Many countries do not have such status. If you are divorced, but you will choose legal separation, you will be disqualified. If you are not legally separated, you must include your spouse even if you plan to be divorced before you apply for the Diversity Visa. Failure to list your eligible spouse is grounds for disqualification. If your spouse is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, do not list him/her in your entry. What if I’m not married right now, but I’m going to do it later? You should fill in your current marital status for the moment of filling the form.


14. Number of Children

You must list all your children who are unmarried and under 21 years old. Include all your biological, step children or legally adopted children. If you do not do that, you will be disqualified. If your children are citizens of the United States, do not list them in your entry. My children under 21 years but they are living separately. Should I list them? Yes, list all children under 21 years of age, even if they no longer reside with you or you do not intend for them to immigrate under the DV program.


15. Part 2 - Derivatives

You should fill form with information about your spouse and children: Last/Family Name, First Name, Middle Name, Birth Date, Gender, City Where Spouse/Child Was Born. Also upload photo of your spouse/children. There are the same rules. If I fill the form with my spouse’s information does it mean that he/she also takes part in the DV Lottery and has a chance to win? No, you spouse should fill his/her own form to count as a separate participant to increase the chance to win (and should include you as a derivative in this case). Do I need to upload a photo of a little baby? Yes, if you do not provide photo of any family member, your application will not be accepted by the USCIS. We recommend using https://visafoto.com/diversity-visa-lottery-photo for baby's photo. What if I pregnant now? If you are the winner you’ll just add your child’s information to your visa application later. What should I do if I can’t to get a photo of my child? Unfortunately then you can’t take a part in DV Lottery.


How do I save the confirmation number?

The confirmation number is very important, so after submitting the lottery form you need to copy the confirmation number and then paste it into an email message and send this message to yourself with the subject of DV Lottery confirmation number. Also make a screenshot of the screen with the confirmation number and save this screenshot in a safe place (like Google Drive, Dropbox, your flash drive, etc). Also you can save the number in Notes on your phone, can write it down on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe place.


Why it is very important to check if my photo is correct

This is because your lottery application will be rejected later if your photo is incorrect, but when you upload a photo to the DV lottery form, it accepts any photo, incorrect or correct, without any feedback. If you upload a photo of incorrect size or a photo of a car instead of a photo of yourself, there will be no error message and your photo will be accepted no matter what. So when you submit your application there is no way to know if your photo is correct or not. But later all applications with incorrect photos will be disqualified. Thus it is very important to know if your photo is correct before you fill in the Green card application form.


Where can I verify if my DV lottery photo is correct?

You can use service at https://dvlottery.me/dv-lottery-photo-checker , it does full verification. The Photo Tool on the US Department of State website doesn't take eyes or background into consideration and does not work on most phones, tablets and some laptops, and thus does not do the job properly; you can see more information about why the Photo Tool is not fully fit at https://visafoto.com/en/us_photo_tool .