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).
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.
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.
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.
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. Typically around 110,000 individuals will be selected at first as the winners of the Lottery, and then about a half of them will not get the visa for some reason and eventually there will be around 55,000 visas issued.
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.
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.
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
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
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).
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.
In order to be eligible participants do not have to have any special language skills.
Yes, an entrant may apply in this program all over the world including the United States.
Yes, you can take part in the DV lottery if you already have any type of visa.
No, you should do that on your own.
No, you can include only legal spouse to your application as a derivative.
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.
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.
There are only two criteria you must meet. First one: your country of birth (or spouse’s or parent’s country) must be in list of eligible countries. Second one: 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 list your current spouse (wife or husband) even if you are currently separated from him/her and all unmarried children under 21 years of age.
Only one during each year, but spouses can submit separate entries.
You can try to win every year, but only one application in one year.
Yes, also you can get the correct photo from https://visafoto.com/diversity-visa-lottery-photo
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.
No, you can fill the form online only. But you can use https://dvlottery.me/ds-5501-edv-form for this purpose.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is no restriction for people who were convicted, but remember that the decision about visa issuance depends on a US consulate.
No, it’s not. Everybody can be a part of the lottery and winners are randomly selected by the US Dept of State.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Winners will be randomly selected by the US Dept of State.
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.
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.
At first you will be issued an immigration visa and you can get the Green Card after moving to the USA.
No, the decision of immigration is up to you.
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.
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.
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.
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
There are pictures of man and woman for additional help near the radio buttons.
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.
Use city or town which is specified in your birth certificate or passport.
You should take the name of city from your passport.
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.
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:
Central African Republic
Congo Democratic Republic of the Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Sao Tome and Principe
* 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 Special Administrative Region**
United Arab Emirates
*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.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cyprus Czech Republic
Denmark (including components and dependent areas overseas)
France (including components and dependent areas overseas)
Macau Special Administrative Region**
Netherlands (including components and dependent areas overseas)
Norway (including components and dependent areas overseas)
Portugal (including components and dependent areas overseas)
** 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.
Australia (including components and dependent areas overseas)
Micronesia Federated States of Nauru
New Zealand (including components and dependent areas overseas)
Papua New Guinea
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Suriname Trinidad and Tobago
Here is a list of countries whose natives are not eligible for DV-2019:
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.
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN
You can call any American Consulate/Embassy and ask them.
If your spouse or parents were born in an eligible country, you may use that country as your eligible country.
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
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
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.
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 .
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:
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.
Remember that your telephone number should be in the international format. They should be able to call it from the USA.
lease enter your own email address. Not address of someone else or email of company where you are employed.
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.
In the DV lottery form you are required to tell your education level on the day of filling application. So levels “High School, no degree” or “Some University Courses” are suitable for you.
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.
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.
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.
You should fill in your current marital status for the moment of filling the form.
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.
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.
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.
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).
If you are the winner you’ll just add your child’s information to your visa application later.
Yes, if you do not provide a 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.
Unfortunately then you cannot take a part in DV Lottery.
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.