Diversity Visa (Lottery)


Each year, the Department of State (DOS) conducts an annual visa lottery and makes 55,000 immigrant visas available to people who come from countries with low rates of emigration to the United States.  A country is considered underrepresented if less than 50,000 people from the country immigrated to the United States in the past five years. 

Each year, for a limited period, the DOS conducts an online registration and randomly selects 110,000 applications as many do not complete the visa process.  However, once 55,000 visas are issued of the fiscal year ends, the diversity visa program for the year is closed.   The winners of the DV lottery are permitted to apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate abroad or for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence within the United States.

Procedure & Requirement  

  • Foreign national must be native of a country that is eligible to participate in DV lottery;
  • Foreign national must either have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or two years of work experience in the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform;
  • Applicant is allowed to bring his or her spouse and any unmarried child(ren) under the age of 21 to the United States.

Related Issues

  • Do not retain the services of any organization that says they can improve your chances of being selected due to their connections or secret processing strategies;
  • While DV applicants may receive an email from the U.S. government reminding them to check their status online through DV Entrant Status Check, they will NOT receive a notification letter or email information them that they are a successful DV entrant;
  • Applicants can only find out if they were selected to continue with DV processing by checking their status online through the DV Entrant Status Check at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov;
  • Finally, remember that fees for the DV application process are paid to the U.S. Embassy or consulate cashier at the time of your scheduled appointment. The U.S. government will never ask you to send payment in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer.