Hi, and welcome to this very important page on our website. If you are reading this article, it’s probably because you’re interested in the United States Diversity Visa program and want to know how to apply for a Diversity Visa.
To apply for a Diversity Visa, the first step is to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery. And to enter the DV Lottery, you must be eligible.
Read the following eligibility criteria to know if you qualify to enter (or participate in) the current/upcoming Lottery.
You may also visit our Services page for relevant Diversity Visa services.
1 . You MUST have been born in a country whose natives are CURRENTLY eligible. (Not all countries’ natives are eligible to enter the DV Lottery every year.)
Below is the list of countries whose natives are currently NOT ELIGIBLE to enter the DV Lottery:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
(Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are currently eligible.)
Note: Depending on whether a country had more than 50,000 of its citizens immigrate to the United States in the previous five years or not, the State Department may add that country to or remove it from the above list, repectively. In some years, however, the list of ineligible countries remains unchanged.
2. You MUST HAVE COMPLETED high school (secondary school) or MUST HAVE WORKED in an occupation which requires at least two years of training or experience (according to U.S. Department of Labor’s standards) during the last 5 years.
(3.) (recently added) You MUST be in possession of a valid unexpired passport.
Meeting all the above conditions qualifies you to enter the Lottery.
Note: You may not have been born in a country whose natives are currently eligible, but still qualify, provided you meet one of the following conditions:
- If you are married, and your spouse was born in an “eligible” country; then you become eligible by means of your spouse’s country of birth; or
- If neither of your parents was born in YOUR country of birth (the country that “disqualifies” you, but rather in an “eligible” country), and they were not legally resident in YOUR country of birth at the time of your birth.
One of the above conditions could make you eligible to enter the DV Lottery in case you are a native of one of the above-listed (ineligible) countries.
Now, let me elaborate on what it entails to enter (or participate in) the DV Lottery.
DV Lottery Steps
You participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery by filling out and submitting an electronic form on the official DV website ONLY during the Entry period.
For about eleven months (early November to early October the following year), the Entry form IS NOT available on the website. Meaning the Lottery is not administered during that period.
The Entry Period
The remaining little-over-a-month period (it usually starts on a date in early October and ends a few days after that same date in November) is when the form is available, and you can enter the Lottery. That time of the year is known as the Entry period.
A couple of weeks to the start of the Entry period, the official DV website publishes information regarding the upcoming Lottery, including the dates of the Entry period. It is in that publication you get to know whether or not those born in your country are eligible to enter the Lottery that year.
The Entry form allows you to type in personal information, including name (last; first; and middle, if any), gender, date and place of birth, passport information, address, phone number, email, educational level, marital status, and number of children below 21 years, for yourself; and a few of the above, for all other family members that the DV program regulations allow you to enter the Lottery with, in case that applies. Some fields on the electronic DV form have options you have to choose from.
As part of the form-filling process, you will have to upload a digital photo taken within the previous six months, for each family member, which should strictly observe certain technicalities.
Moreover, the person in each photo must observe strict rules relating to head position, eye contact, background, etc. for the entry to be acceptable. The photo is a major factor for disqualification of a lot of entries.
Your Confirmation Page
Once you’ve completed the form, click the SUBMIT button, and the form will be replaced on the screen by your entry submission confirmation page. Print out that page (or record information from it – especially your CONFIRMATION NUMBER), because you will need it to know if you are selected in the month of May the following year when the results are published on the same website.
If selected, then you can apply for a Diversity Visa.
In case information on the above-mentioned website seems overwhelming (Note: It is not possible to ask questions or leave comments on the official website), leave your questions below; we will provide you with relevant answers.
Or you need a reputable entity to guide you through the technicalities involved, and possibly submit your entry on your behalf; or assist you in any other aspect of the Diversity Visa program, don’t hesitate to consult our Services page. There, you will find products which span the entire Diversity Visa process.
WISH YOU BEST OF LUCK AS YOU ENTER THE UPCOMING DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY!