Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 55,000 immigrant visas available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Of such visas, 5,000 are allocated for use under NACARA beginning with DV '99. The State Department (DOS) holds the lottery every year, and randomly selects approximately 110,000 applicants from all qualified entries. The DOS selects the approximately 110,000 applications since many will not complete the visa process. However once 55,000 are issued or the fiscal year ends, the DV program is closed. If you receive a visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program you will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.
What does the Law Say?
The legal foundation for the Diversity Visa Lottery Program comes from the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Please see section 203 of the INA for more information.
You or your spouse must be a native of a country that is eligible to participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery. You may also be eligible to apply if your parent was born in a country that is eligible to participate. (The State Department will publish the names of countries that are eligible to participate before each year's lottery.)
You must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, defined in the United States as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR you must have two years of work experience within the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.
See the State Department information on the DV program.
How Do I Apply?
Before each year's lottery drawing, the Department of State will publish explicit instructions on how to apply in press releases and the Federal Register. Please follow all directions exactly. Millions of applicants are rejected each year for failure to follow the directions. Please watch the State Department Website for more information on the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Instructions are usually posted in August, and the registration period is usually held in October each year. Please note that the Diversity Visa Lottery Program for 2007 has ended.
How Much Does the Lottery Cost?
There is no fee for entering the diversity visa lottery. If you win, you must pay a fee for an immigrant visa and a separate visa lottery surcharge.
How Can I Find Out If I Won?
Only the winners will be notified by mail at the addresses listed on their applications. Winners will be sent instructions and information on fees. Being selected as a winner in the diversity visa lottery does not automatically guarantee that you will be issued a visa, even if you are qualified. The number of entries selected is greater than the number of immigrant visas available, because not everyone selected will be qualified for the visa or will choose to complete the processing. Once all 50,000 visas have been issued, the diversity visa program for the year will end.
How Can I Find Out More Information?
Please watch the State Department Website for more information on the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. You may also call the State Department's Visa Lottery Information Center at 1-900-884-8840 for more information. Please note: There is a charge for each call. You may also contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A listing of U.S. Embassies and Consulates can be found on the State Department website.
BEWARE OF GREEN CARD LOTTERY SCAMS
Beware of anyone who promises he can increase you chances of winning the Green Card Lottery for a fee. Applicants are selected at random to win the lottery. No one canincrease your chances of winning a random drawing. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
There are many known Green Card Lottery Scams where individuals submit an application, charge a fee, and promise unrealistic results. This is fraud. In fact, a person engaged in such a scam may submit your application late or not at all.
Always consult a reputable attorney. If you have any doubts about your attorney, consult the website of the Bar Association of the state in which you live.
Remember, there is no fee for simply entering the Diversity visa lottery. If you win, you must pay a fee for an immigrant visa and a separate visa lottery surcharge
DV-2008 REGISTRATION HAS EXPIRED. It is currently too late to register for the Diversity Visa Lottery of 2008. See below for the DV-2007 results.
U.S. Department of State
Diversity Visa Lottery 2007 (DV-2007) Results
The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2007 diversity lottery. The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available *50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Approximately 82,000 applicants have been registered and notified and may now make an application for an immigrant visa. Since it is likely that some of the first *50,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, this larger figure should insure that all DV-2007 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2007.
Applicants registered for the DV-2007 program were selected at random from over 5.5 million qualified entries received during the 60-day application period that ran from 12:00 AM on October 5, 2005, until midnight, December 4, 2005. The visas have been apportioned among six geographic regions with a maximum of seven percent available to persons born in any single country. During the visa interview, principal applicants must provide proof of a high school education or its equivalent, or show two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience within the past five years. Those selected will need to act on their immigrant visa applications quickly. Applicants should follow the instructions in their notification letter and must fully complete the information requested.
Registrants living legally in the United States who wish to apply for adjustment of their status must contact the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for information on the requirements and procedures. Once the total *50,000 visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2007 will end. Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2007 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2007 registration. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2007 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2007.
Only participants in the DV-2007 program who were selected for further processing have been notified. Those who have not received notification were not selected. They may try for the upcoming DV-2008 lottery if they wish. The dates for the registration period for the DV-2008 lottery program will be widely publicized during August 2006.
* The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congressin November 1997 stipulated that up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas be made available for use under the NACARA program. The reduction of the limit of available visas to 50,000 began with DV-2000.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REP.
CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE
SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMIN. REGION
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
MACEDONIA, FORMER YUGOSLAV REP. OF
FRENCH SOUTHERN AND ANTARCTIC LANDS
SERBIA & MONTENEGRO
MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Natives of the following countries were not eligible to participate in DV-2007: Canada, China (mainland-born, excluding Hong Kong S.A.R., and Taiwan), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.