With several years of experience from entering hundreds in and answering dozens of questions about the Diversity Visa Lottery, we have compiled a list of questions we’ve repeatedly come across in the process, along with their answers. As more questions are asked, both on this website and in our interactions with DV customers, we will regularly update this article to have it serve as a sort of answer bank to all your DV-related inquiries.

As noted in a previous article, it gives us great joy when we provide answers to our readers which result in positive changes in their lives. You may leave questions if you have any. In that event, we encourage you to check back, after 24 hours, for a response. We will be quite glad to provide relevant answers to all of your questions.

You are also welcome to drop a comment if you have something of importance to contribute to any ongoing discussion. Thank you in anticipation of your meaningful contributions.

The questions here have been grouped into five categories, according to the reader’s level of information regarding the Diversity Visa Lottery. It begins with questions generally asked by complete novices i.e. those with very little or no information about the Lottery. Next, there are questions regarding entering the Lottery. It continues with inquiries from selectees, followed by those regarding the actual application process. It concludes with the preoccupations of applicants post DS-260 form submission (ie. from the period leading to the interview up to the actual immigration to the U.S.A.).

See the various categories below:


Category 1: “New Comers” Questions

1. What is the Diversity Visa Lottery all about?

The DV Lottery is about making citizens of other countries immigrate to and become permanent residents of the United States.

2. Why is it called a lottery?

Ii is called a lottery because IT IS a lottery; its initial phase involves entering a “pool” of entries to be selected as part of those eligible to subsequently apply for a United States Diversity Immigrant Visa.

3. Who administers the DV Lottery ?

The DV Lottery is administered by the State Department (Foreign Ministry) of the United States.

4. When does the Lottery take place?

The Lottery takes place every year, usually from early October to early November.

5. Who can enter the DV Lottery?

ONLY citizens of countries featuring on the “accepted countries” list. Click on this link, and go to the bottom of the resulting page for the list of countries whose natives are currently allowed to register for the DV Lottery.

6. What are the requirements to enter the DV Lottery?

Prerequisite: Be a native of a country on the “accepted countries” list. (See Question 5 above). If you are not, click here to see whether you could otherwise be eligible.

Next, be a high (secondary) school graduate. If not, then, be a skilled worker who has worked for at least two years during the past five.

7. What if I do not meet the requirements?

You may well enter the Lottery, but your entry will not be valid.

NB: In case you have little or no information on the DV Lottery, you may get acquainted by reading this article.


Category 2: Questions on Entering the Lottery

Entry Form
DV Entry Form

1. How do I enter the Lottery?

You enter the Lottery by filling in the DV Entry form which is available on the official DV website ONLY during the Entry period.

2. What is the cost to enter the Lottery?

It is free to enter the Lottery if you have access to a computer and the internet. In case you don’t, you will need the service of a DV agent” online or offline, which will of course have a cost attached.

Can I submit several entries to increase my chances of being selected?

Submitting several entries is against the rules. You will be disqualified if you do so.

3. What pieces of information are needed, to enter the Lottery?

Your personal data, including your full name, date and place of birth, country of eligibility (usually your country of birth), your postal and email address, contact number, level of education, marital status, and number of children.

4. What is the difference between principal applicant and derivative applicant?

The principal applicant is the main person applying for the Diversity Immigrant Visa; i.e. the head of the case. If you enter the Lottery alone, you are the principal applicant. Derivative applicants are all other family members who enter the Lottery alongside the principal applicant and form part of his/her application.

5. What is one’s country of eligibility?

It’s in a sense the country that gives you the right to enter the Lottery. It’s usually your birth country.

6. Do I enter the Lottery individually or with other members of my family?

Enter with others only if the DV regulations permit you to do so: your spouse and/or child(ren). If not, enter alone.

7. We are married. Who is considered the principal applicant, I or my spouse?

Any of you could be the principal applicant, provided that individual meets the requirements for eligibility. Moreover, it is possible for couple to play “two ways”; ie. one person is the principal applicant on one entry, with the other person as the derivative applicant; while one the other entry, the reverse is the case.”

8. Is it possible for someone to enter my details in the Lottery on my behalf?

Yes, it is possible. But you must ensure that the information entered is exact; and that the person submits ONLY ONE entry with you as the principal applicant.

Note: Before you decide to use an online DV service to submit your entry, read this article.

9. How is the selection carried out?

A computer selects the winners (winning entries) from among the entries that respected the rules.

Note: As one of our services provided, we enter people into the Lottery. If interested, request our service here.


Category 3: Selectees’ Questions

1. How would I get to know if I win the Lottery (if I’m selected)?

When the results are published in May, you must access the official DV website, put in information from your confirmation page (obtained at the time of your entry submission) to know whether or not you were selected.

2, What do I do when I get to know that I have been selected?

There will a link at the bottom of your NL1 instructing you on how to proceed.

3. I entered the Lottery, and then got married before the results came out; and I was selected. Will my spouse form part of my application?

Yes, he/she will. It’s called change of situation. You will have to fill in a DS-260 form each.

4. I / My wife was pregnant when I / we entered the Lottery, and was / were selected, should I include my / our newborn child as part of my / our application?

Yes, you should.

5. I got married after having been selected, will my spouse form part of my application?

Yes, you should add them when filling in your DS-260 form. As the DV Program is time sensitive, the sooner the wedding is conducted, the better.


Category 4: Question about the (Actual) Diversity Visa Application Process

1. Having been selected, why do I need to apply for a Diversity Immigrant Visa?

Your selection does not mean that you are entitled to a Diversity Immigrant Visa. It only allows you to move to the next step which is to apply for a DV.

2. How do I apply for a Diversity Immigrant Visa?

By filling in an online DS-260 form which the instructions in your NL1 will lead you to.

3. What is the cost of applying for a Diversity Immigrant Visa?

The cost of applying for a DV is 330 United States dollars par applicant. There are other costs attached to the application process, including (possible) traveling costs, fees relating to acquiring relevant civil documents, and medical examination fees.

4. What happens after I apply for a Diversity Immigrant Visa by means of the DS260 form?

You are expected to receive an email listing a number of scanned copies of documents that you need to email to KCC


Category 5: Questions regarding the Interview

Interview Q & As
Interview FAQs

1. What documents do I need to submit before my interview

You MUST submit scanned copies of the following documents to be called for interview:

  • your passport bio data page
  • your birth certificate
  • military records (if you are or were a military service personnel)
  • police certificates from all countries where you have resided (from the time you were 16 years of age)
  • a certified copy of court and prison record (if you had ever been convicted of a crime)

2. When will I get to know when my interview will be?

Once your documents have been received and the processing of your case subsequently completed, you will receive you NL2, providing the details of your interview. The NL2 is received six to ten weeks to your interview date.

3. Are there other things I need to do/get before my interview?

You will need to assemble all relevant documents n hand for presentation at the interview. You will also have to schedule a medical examination at a designated hospital once you’ve received your NL2.

4. What documents do I need to take along to my interview?

  • Your DS-260 confirmation page
  • Interview appointment details from your NL2.
  • Your passport
  • Two identical passport size photos
  • Sealed envelope containing medical examination result
  • Original documents or certified copies of civil documents submitted to KCC.
  • A photocopy of any document NOT submitted to KCC
  • Any other documents supporting claims made in your DS-260 (marriage certificate; high school credentials; death certificate; certificate of divorce, adoption papers, etc., specific to your case)

5. What questions will I be asked at my interview?

Any questions concerning you/your case including from the documents you submitted to KCC.

6 thoughts on “Diversity Visa Lottery FAQs

  1. hi I am from Ethiopia
    I have been selected but I have got a problem, the problem is
    when I was applying for the DV 2021 I filled educational level with
    university degree hoping to be graduated in June but unfortunately
    corona came up and our university postponed the graduation time for an unknown period of time.
    so what do you suggest me to do? please i need your help!

    1. Hi Abdulsemed, and congratulations!

      DV regulations require that information provided in the Entry form reflects the reality of the time you are entering. It is important not to enter information otherwise. That could play against you. So take that into consideration for the rest of the process, filing your DS 260 especially.

      Now, I don’t have an idea of what your case number is. But in case it’s not very low, then time may play in your favor. No need of rushing to fill out the DS 260. If you’re lucky and your graduation is scheduled soon, then you could begin your application process right after that and fill out your DS 260 accordingly.

  2. What if you are the principal applicant and you won the DV lottery on behalf of your family, can you pursue your visa alone and your family join you later?

    1. Hi Bels, thanks for your visit and the question. There’s however one thing that’s not clear to me: you mentioned “won . . . on behalf of your family.” Did your family enter the Lottery with you? (If they didn’t, then you would be disqualified upon including them later in your application process).

      On the other hand, if they did, then yes, it is possible for you to “pursue your visa alone.” In that case, you would have to arrange separate interview for them with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate concerned – WITHOUT DELAY, (having at the back of your mind that they are only entitled to DVs within the Fiscal Year concerned). You may then travel alone to the U.S. and have them join you later.

  3. My son was 20yrs when we applied for DV.He is now 21.Will he be considered to be still a minor when we go for the interview and will be allowed to enter the U.S.A as a minor

    1. Thanks, Catherine, for taking the time to visit our website.

      In response to your question, I would say, there is no reason to be “afraid” as far as the DV regulations are concerned: your case has no problem. Children in such situation as your son are generally treated as though they were under 21 for visa processing purposes at the time of the interview; and when it comes to entering the U.S; it’s therefore not an issue.

      Wishing you all the best at your upcoming interview.

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