The U.S. Department of State administers the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, also known as the Visa Lottery, which offers people of certain qualified nations the opportunity to apply for a chance to win a U.S. Green Card. The Green Card, often called a United States Permanent Resident Card, enables people to reside and work permanently in the country. By giving people from nations with historically low rates of immigration to the United States a chance, the DV Lottery program aims to enhance diversity in the immigrant community.
Participating in the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, commonly known as the Green Card Lottery or USA Visa Lottery, is a straightforward process that involves.
Criteria for the visa lottery
Make sure you are eligible to participate in the DV Lottery. You must be a citizen of a country that is eligible for the program. The list of eligible countries can change annually, so check the U.S. Department of State’s official DV Lottery website for the most up-to-date information.
1. Note Key Dates
The DV Lottery is typically open for a specific period, usually in the fall. Check the official U.S. Department of State website or the U.S. embassy/consulate website in your country for the exact opening and closing dates of the application period. The registration period for the DV Program usually takes place in the fall of each year. The exact dates can vary from year to year, so it’s important to check the U.S. Department of State website for the most up-to-date information.
2. Access the DV Lottery Website
After the registration period, the U.S. Department of State conducts a random lottery to select winners from among the eligible applicants. The selection process usually takes place in the spring of the following year.
Visit the official Diversity Visa Lottery website: https://dvprogram.state.gov. This is the only official website authorized to accept DV Lottery entries. Be cautious of any other websites that claim to offer assistance for a fee.
3. Complete the Entry Form
During the application period, access the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV) on the DV Lottery website. Provide accurate information, including your name, birthdate, nationality, and contact details. Include information for your spouse and all unmarried children under 21, even if they won’t be accompanying you.
Applicants who are selected must still meet all eligibility requirements and undergo a visa interview before being granted a visa. The visa processing period can vary depending on factors such as the volume of applications being processed and the availability of resources.
4. Submit a photo
Upload a recent passport-style photo for each family member included in the application. Follow the specific photo requirements listed on the DV Lottery website to ensure your entry is valid. The photo should be in a square shape, with a minimum size of 600 x 600 pixels and a maximum size of 1200 x 1200 pixels. The photo should be in color and high resolution, with a minimum of 300 dpi.
The background should be plain white or off-white, with no patterns or shadows. The applicant should be positioned in front of the background with a clear and full-face view.
The applicant should wear normal street attire, without any uniforms or costumes. Headwear is only allowed for religious or medical reasons, and the face must be fully visible.
The photo should be in a JPEG (.jpg) format, with a maximum file size of 240 KB.
It’s important to follow these guidelines carefully to ensure that the photo is accepted for the DV Program application. If the photo does not meet the requirements, the application may be disqualified.
5. Confirmation Number
Issuance of confirmation number, After you submit your application online, you will receive a confirmation number on the screen. You should write down or print out this number and keep it in a safe place. You can check the status of your application on the U.S. Department of State website using your confirmation number. The status check is typically available starting in May of the year following the application period.
It’s important to keep your confirmation number safe and secure, as it will be needed to check the status of your application and to apply for a visa if you are selected in the lottery. If you are selected in the lottery, you will be notified by mail or email, and the notification will include instructions on how to apply for a visa.
Visa issuance for the DV Program must be completed by the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30 of the year following the selection process. Any visas not issued by this deadline will be forfeited.
It’s important to note that the confirmation number is unique to each applicant and should not be shared with anyone else. If you have lost your confirmation number, you can retrieve it on the U.S. Department of State website using the email address used to submit the application.
6. Save the Confirmation Page
After submitting your entry, you’ll be directed to a confirmation page. It’s recommended to take a screenshot or print this page for your records.
Several months after the entry period ends, you can check the status of your entry on the DV Lottery website using your confirmation number. The status check will inform you whether you’ve been selected for further processing or not.
9. Attend the Interview
After you receive notification of your selection in the lottery, you will be provided with instructions on how to schedule your interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. It’s important to schedule the interview as soon as possible, as the demand for interview appointments can be high. Be prepared to provide the required documents, undergo a medical examination, and answer questions about your application and background.
10. Receive Visa or Adjustment of Status
If your interview goes well and your application is approved, you will receive an immigrant visa or, if you are already in the U.S., an adjustment of status. This grants you lawful permanent residency (Green Card) in the United States.
Always rely on the official U.S. government resources for accurate information and guidance throughout the DV Lottery process. Beware of scams or unauthorized agents claiming to guarantee success for a fee.