What’s next after winning the DV Lottery


Diversity Visa Application


What are the nexts steps after winning the DV Lottery?

Unless you’ve been following the Diversity Visa Program for some time, you probably would find it difficult to understand what’s next after winning the DV Lottery. This article summarizes the steps that lie ahead.

Note 1: The DV APPLICATION process (discussed in this article) MUST NOT be confused with the DV Lottery Entry Process discussed HERE.

Note 2 (VERY IMPORTANT!): Although the next necessary action on the part of selectees (and as discussed below) is DS-260 submission, take the time to read an important article of ours BEFORE embarking upon that first step. Rushing to submit could give you uncalled-for headache later. So, READ THIS IMPORTANT ARTICLE (IF YOU HAVEN’T YET DONE SO), and DON’T RUSH into submitting the form!

Step 1: DS-260 Submission

After a DV entrant checks his / her result and sees that they have been selected, their next line of action is to officially apply for a Diversity Visa. That is done by filling out and subsequently submitting the online DS-260 Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application form. The submission of the DS-260 form is what makes a selectee an (official) applicant for a United States Diversity Immigrant Visa.

To access the DS 260, go to the  Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) section of the State Department’s official website. You will need your case and confirmation numbers to access the DS-260 form(s).

Other Things to Consider

1. A DS-260 must be filled out for each applicant in your case: for yourself – the primary entrant; for each secondary entrant who entered the Lottery with you (in case there was); as well as for added eligible members – a spouse or child(ren), for example – who legitimately joined your family AFTER you entered the Lottery.

2. Entering inaccurate information on your DS-260 – if not overlooked – could cost you your Diversity visa. Seek relevant advice, if necessary.

3. Each DS-260 submission is followed by a confirmation page. Be sure to print each out. You will need to take it/them along to your visa interview.

But as I indicated above, do not rush into submitting your DS-260. Instead, fully understand first how things are done!

Note: Successful DV entrants who are present in the United States at the time of their selection in the DV Lottery may file an Application to Register Permanent Residence known as  ‘Adjustment of Status’, by filling out and submitting online form I-485, and NOT the DS-260.

Step 2: Sending In Your Documents (CURRENTLY SUSPENDED; DISREGARD)

After the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC, who are responsible for processing DV cases)  receive and validate the DS-260 application forms for you and any accompanying family member(s), they should send you an email requesting you to send them a list of required documents.

The email from KCC contains detailed instructions regarding the sending of your documents. Carefully follow the instructions included in the email, and send ALL of the documents requested to the designated email address, using the specified format.

Note: Failure to strictly follow the instructions could result in your interview being delayed.

A ‘documents received’ confirmation email immediately follows the submission of your documents. That is just an automatic response by the system set up at KCC. After a number of weeks, you are to receive the actual confirmation email.

By this time, you must have familiarize yourself with and begun to follow the Diversity Visa Section of the State Department’s monthly-published Visa Bulletin. (The sooner you get to understand and begin to follow the Visa Bulletin, the faster the pieces of the puzzle will come together).

In Case of No Confirmation

In case you do not receive the ‘documents received’ confirmation email from KCC several weeks after sending in your documents, especially if case numbers shown in the Visa Bulletin are getting close to yours, then you must promptly contact KCC to ascertain the status of your documents.

If you are told by KCC that they are not in possession of your documents, do not hesitate to resend the documents as you did before – without delay. And if they do not respond to your communication, insist until you get a confirmation from them that they are in possession of your documents and that they are satisfied with them, before you rest.

Step 3: The Interview

What’s Required, to be Scheduled for Interview

Submitting a complete and valid DS-260 application for each eligible family member (and providing copies of ALL required documents to KCC with confirmation of the submission) are the two actions on your part that would make your case ready for interview.

However, your interview will not happen until your case number becomes current. We say your case number has become current when, according to the Visa Bulletin, it’s your turn to be interviewed. In most cases, it takes several months for that to happen. It could even take more than a year before you are interviewed. This calls for much patience on your part. When your case number finally becomes current, then you should receive your second/interview notification letter (the first was for being selected), inviting you to your Diversity Visa interview.

VERY IMPORTANT: However, due to the impact of COVID on the operations of many U.S. embassies, most applicants are currently not scheduled for interview as soon as their case number becomes current – as was the case before COVID. TAKE NOTE! Read more in this article.

The Timing of Your Interview

Diversity visa interviews for a given DV program are conducted throughout that program’s fiscal year, beginning on October 1 and ending on September 30, the following year.

Interviews start at the lowest case number in the region and progress in ascending order as the fiscal year goes on. The lower your case number in your region, the sooner your interview; and the higher your case number, the later your interview.

Note: Cases with extremely high case numbers in their region may never be invited for interview, as the 55,000 visas may get exhausted before such cases are attended to.

That is why applicants are advised to complete both actions at least a couple of months before their case number becomes current. Although no deadlines are attached to the DS-260 submission (and submission of documents), carrying out these actions late in the fiscal year – rather than early on – presents the risk of you not receiving a Diversity Visa.

Note: The Visa Bulletin will give you an idea of the approximate time of the year when it will be ‘your turn’ to be interviewed. (Read this article for detailed explanation).

Your Interview Notification

Assuming you’ve carried out both actions mentioned above, whenever your case number becomes current (follow Visa Bulletin), you should be informed by means of an email from KCC requesting you to check the status of your entry (your result), just as you did to know you were selected. At that point, you’ll find that your selection notification letter will be replaced by your interview notification in the Entrant Status Check. So, you have to check your email or access Entrant Status Check regularly as your case number gets closer to becoming current.

The replacement of the Selection Notification by the Interview Notification in the Entrant Status Check should occur (under normal circumstances) from five to ten weeks to the interview.

Preparing for Your Interview

Your interview notification letter will include your interview details, a number of instructions, and a link to relevant webpages containing more instructions. Read it carefully, and follow all the instructions in it to the letter, especially taking into consideration your interview date and time. Missing your interview could cost you your Diversity Visa.

Also consult the official website of the embassy or consulate where you are to be interviewed for instructions and how-to-do-s, specific to that embassy or consulate. Upon receiving your interview notification letter, you will need directions regarding a medical examination you and all other applicants in your case must undergo, for example.

The Interview

On the day of your interview, be present and on time. Your interview should surround information about you / your case. If you provided accurate and truthful information about yourself / your case, and followed all of the instructions throughout the process, there should be no reason why you will be denied a Diversity Visa.

Immediately after your interview, you will get to know if you have been issued a Diversity Visa or not.

After the Interview

If you are not successful, you will be told the reason for the denial.

If, on the other hand, you are successful, you will be asked to return at a later date to pick your passport(s) containing your Diversity visa(s), along with a sealed package to be handed to the USCIS (U. S. Immigration) officer upon your arrival in the United States. DO NOT open the package!

Your Diversity Visa will indicate a deadline for your entry into the United States. You usually have up to six months – counting from the date your medical examination was conducted – to arrive in the country.

Your travel arrangement and expenses are all YOUR responsibility; the U. S. Government has no part in them.

For detailed explanation and a clear understanding of how Diversity Visa cases get scheduled for interview, read this article.

Wishing you all the best!

43 thoughts on “What’s next after winning the DV Lottery

  1. Hi
    I would like to know if

    1. The primary applicant and the dependants are all to pay the 330 for the visa fee.

    2. If the amount still remains 330 for DV

  2. My husband has won the lottery this year. When he was applying for it, he chose single due to technical problem even though we were joined. Can it have any impact on me joining him?

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by joining him. However, it’s against the rules of the DV Program to enter the Lottery as single while married. If it’s discovered that that’s the case with him, he will be disqualified.

  3. Thanks a lot for this article, it’s very informative. Quick question to make sure I understand correctly. If I get selected in May, I do not have to rush to file the DS 260 form and have all documents ready by then, correct? The earliest I would need the documents is October 1st (and I can potentially wait to even file the DS 260 form according to the visa bulletin until my case number is close to being current) – am I right? I’m worried about the timeline to get some of the documents, e.g. police certificates

    1. Hi Patrick:

      Do not delay your DS-260 submission for reasons related to documents. As things currently are, documents are not sent to KCC (they are only required at the interview); meaning you could submit your DS-260 without being in possession of most of the documents.

      Not rushing into submitting your DS-260 is meant to help you understand how to go about with the application process. Every year, many applicants rush and submit their DS-260 and then realize that they’ve committed serious errors which in some cases have led to the concerned being disqualified. Once/In case you are aware of how to proceed (and you are not prevented by the reason below), then go ahead and submit.

      Another instance when you could delay submission is when there’s an important event coming up in your life (wedding, birth of a child, and the like – to
      add the new member of your family to your case) and not for obtaining documents.

  4. Thank you. Your quick responses are highly apricated! is it gonna be a disadvantage if I unlock my ds260 for two times? case number AS 22*** for 2023.Reasons I thought I might have to unlock are,

    1.I haven’t add my first job which lasted for about 2 months. after that I work one year at one place and another 4 at the current one. So I left it out.
    2. I have added high school B.sc and M.Sc in education section but the dates I attended are different in high school .I used dates on results sheet instead of the date on leaving certificate.

    Should I be worried? I know it’s a high case number but in case I get a interview I want it to go right.please help.
    *I already unlocked once

    1. There’s no consequences for unlocking multiple times. But make sure you make all necessary corrections soon enough and not have to request to unlock when your case is about to be scheduled.

  5. Hello,
    When they say 55000 visas does that include the derivatives or just main applicants? Please explain.
    Thank you

    1. That includes derivatives. The total number of visas available every year for both principal and derivative applicants is 55,000.

  6. Hi Trodvies,

    I am trying to find more information about the green card application through an “adjustment of status”. My name was selected in the DV 2023, and I live int he US. I have read one of your last comments to someone whose family is applying overseas, but he/she lives in the US. In my case, I am alone, living in the US, and I have already submitted the form DS-260 and the $330 fee. Now, I am not sure what to do, since the DS-260 confirmation page says I am responsible for contacting USCIS for an interview. I don´t understand if I should have an interview before submitting I-485 or later… I am not sure as to how to proceed from here. There´s a lot of information about the DV process for people living overseas, but for those of us already in the US, it is difficult to gather information about it.
    Thank your very much for all your help!!!

    1. Hi Karmen:
      You rightly said, there’s not much info out there on AOS. That’s why my upcoming product is an ebook on the subject. But as it’s not yet ready, I’ll provide you with relevant info. Send me an email and I’ll reply to that effect.

  7. So after submitting DS260 other than preparing our documents there’s nothing we have to do right??

  8. Hello Trodives,

    1.Can you explain about the case numbers of derivative applicants? do they get a case number at the moment when their principal applicant wins DV lottery or they get one later as the interviews get scheduled on?

    2.Regarding cut off case number-like how many people do they target from each region.AS 5000,AF10000 like wise. Also in ASIAN region up to what number normally gets scheduled for interviews?

    1. 1. The CN of the principal applicant is the same for their derivative(s). Remember, it’s called a CASE number.
      2. There is a detailed process involved when it comes to calculating the number of visas that should go to each region; it’s not straight forward and appears complicated to many.
      Usually in the second half of the FY, regions go current. And when that happens, ANY case number that is ready for scheduling (i.e. that has met the requirements to be scheduled) could be scheduled. So, there’s no CN that interviews normally stop at in any region.

  9. Hello Trodvies,
    I asked this earlier and you gave an answer as well. I’m asking this again because I saw some people have already submitted their documents to KCC. I would like to know is it gonna be unfavorable for me if I submit my documents now even though my case number is very high? Like they could miss my email?
    Also can you give a rough outline for cut off case numbers in each region. like AF 50000,AS1500 like wise. just a rough number. Thanks a lot for your support and time !!

    1. 1. Those who submitted were not asked to do so. Probably they’re not aware of the explanation I gave you earlier.
      2. There have been cases where documents were submitted and KCC later said they had not received them. Could possibly be due to submitting too early.
      3. I don’t quite get the question. What cut-offs are you referring to exactly?

      1. Thank you!!
        That means I’ll wait before submitting documents.
        I’m referring to the people who get interviews scheduled. Like in Asian region is normally up to what case number get interviewed like wise. I know it differs just a rough number would be fine.

      2. thank you,
        1.2So I have to wait and see before sending documents.
        3.Would like to know the highest case number that is being called for interviews in each region in the past. Like is there an approximate number? I know it can differ but based on the history upto which case numbers got called for interviews in Asian Region?
        Also is there an allocated amount of visas for each region.AF-20000,As 10000 like wise??
        Many thanks for your help

        1. 1,2. Yes.
          3. No, there isn’t. Usually in the second half of the FY, regions go current. And when that happens, ANY case number that is ready for scheduling (i.e. that has met the requirements to be scheduled) could be scheduled. So, there’s no appoximate CN that interviews stop at.

          Yes, there is.But it’s not a fixed number.

  10. thank you very much for the support and your time! We all appreciate it very much !I need to clarify few things.
    1.My case number is AS22*** so do I have to send the documents now or should I wait?(2023)
    2.If my BC is not in English ,I have to get it translated before sending the documents right? and do I have to send both?

    3.These last two is to get the accurate idea about the process..
    I saw some people being worried about where they set up there interview location. If all the cases are processed according to the case number do they have to worry?

    4.Is it not possible for someone in another country in my region get the interview with more higher case number?(AS23***)What if they got like 80 dv winners while in my I got 250 ?won’t their cases will be processed faster?

    Thanks a lot and sorry for asking tooo many questions.

    1. 1. Normally, you are supposed to send in your docs. However, docs submission was suspended for the 2022 program. So wait until you get confirmation that 2023 applicants should send in their docs before submitting.

      2. Yes. Yes.

      3 & 4. Applicants of the 2022 Program are worried because not all embassies have been working as they should. That resulted in the norm not being respected: some higher case numbers are being interviewed (because their embassies are working) before lower ones (whose embassies aren’t). The norm is that lower CN should be scheduled before higher ones. We’re looking forward to the 2023 program applying the norm as has not been the case with the 2022 program.

      No problem!

      1. Thank you very much for quick response!!So far what’s the highest Case number you have heard for AS region.

  11. A friend is already in the US and her employer already commenced the process of her Green card currently waiting for PWD to come back. She has also been selected in the 2023 DV lottery. The question is what are the scenarios here? Does she have to drop one and if which one? Or should she just let both run?

    Thank you!

  12. Hi Travis,

    Lukly i am the winner of 2023 DV lottery. My case number is 2023AF000198XX. Do i have a chance to be called for interview?

  13. I am a child of a DV-2023 winner. My parents are overseas, however I am in the U.S. so my DS-260 confirmation says “You must contact your local USCIS Field Office for further instructions on how to book an appointment.”

    How to do this? Every webpage I look at implies I cannot schedule an immigration interview.

    1. May I understand better: Did you enter the Lotery with your parent(s)? What is your status in the U.S.? “my DS-260 confirmation . . . “, does that mean your parent has already submitted the form? Please clarify.

      You could send me an email in case you don’t wish to discuss in the comments.

      1. To clarify: My mom is the selectee. Her lottery application listed her husband and her children including myself. Each of us has submitted a DS-260 already, including myself. I am the only one in the US — on an F-1 visa. So I am the only one of us who got the requirement to contact USCIS that I am asking about.

        1. I don’t uderstand why others are implying that you can’t schedule an immigration interview. (Please let me know the reason they advanced in case they did).

          Contacting USCIS as you were requested to do is not a “one-act” thing. There is an elaborate process to go through to schedule your interview. I instructed one of my readers how to go about with it some time ago. So send me an email indicating it’s you, and I’ll forward to you the email I sent the lady at the time.

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