Diversity Visa

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State to provide for a new class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” (DV immigrants). The Act makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

The annual DV program makes permanent residence visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. Applicants for Diversity Visas are chosen by a computer-generated random lottery drawing.

The visas, however, are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to citizens of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the past five years.  Within each region, no one country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

Important Notice

NO fee is charged to enter the annual DV program. The US Government employs no outside consultants or private services to operate the DV program.  Any intermediaries or others who offer assistance to prepare DV casework for applicants do so without the authority or consent of the US Government.  Use of any outside intermediary or assistance to prepare a DV entry is entirely at the applicant’s discretion.

A qualified entry submitted electronically directly by an applicant has an equal chance of being selected by the computer at the Kentucky Consular Center as does an entry received electronically through a paid intermediary who completes the entry for the applicant. Every entry received during the lottery registration period will have an equal random chance of being selected within its region.  However, receipt of more than one entry per person will disqualify the person from registration, regardless of the source of the entry.

Submitting an Entry for the Diversity Visa Lottery

There is only one way to enter the Diversity Visa lottery. Applicants must submit an Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (EDV Entry Form), which is accessible only athttp://www.dvlottery.state.gov. Failure to complete the form in its entirety will disqualify the applicant’s entry. The Department of State will only accept completed Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Forms submitted electronically during the annual registration period. Check this link frequently.

The Department of State will send DV lottery entrants an electronic confirmation notice upon receipt of a completed EDV Entry Form.

All entries by an applicant will be disqualified if more than ONE entry for the applicant is received, regardless who submitted the entry.

The entry will be disqualified if the entry is not PERSONALLY SIGNED by the applicant in his/her native alphabet, as it would appear on his/her passport or other official or contractual obligations.

The entry will be disqualified if all required photos are not submitted.  Recent photographs of the applicant and his/her spouse and each child, under 21 years of age, including all natural children as well as all legally-adopted and stepchildren, excepting a child who is already a US citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident, even if a child no longer resides with the applicant, must be submitted electronically with the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. Group or family photos will not be accepted; there must be a separate photo for each family member.

Each applicant, his/her spouse, and each child will therefore need a computer file containing his/her digital photo (image) which will be submitted on-line with the EDV Entry Form. The image file can be produced either by taking a new digital photograph or by scanning a photographic print with a digital scanner.

Selection of Applicants

Applicants will be selected at random by computer from among all qualified entries. Those selected will be notified at the registration link and will be provided further instructions, including information regarding the immigrant visa fee which is paid at the Consular Section on the day of the appointment. US embassies and consulates will not be able to provide a list of successful applicants.  Spouses and unmarried children under 21 of successful applicants may also apply for visas to accompany the principal applicant.

In order to receive a visa, applicants selected in the random drawing must meet ALL eligibility requirements under US law. Processing of entries and issuance of diversity visas to successful applicants and their eligible family members MUST occur by midnight on September 30th of the lottery year. Under no circumstances can diversity visas be issued after this date.

Applicant must be a native of one of the eligible countries

Native of a country whose natives qualify: In most cases this means the country in which the applicant was born.  However, if a person was born in a country whose natives are ineligible but his/her spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, such person can claim the spouse’s country of birth providing both the applicant and spouse are issued visas and enter the US simultaneously. If a person was born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but neither of his/her parents was born there or resided there at the time of the birth, such person may be able to claim nativity in one of the parents’ country of birth.

If the applicant cannot meet these requirements, he or she should NOT submit an entry to the DV program.

Applicant must meet either the education or training requirement of the DV program.

Education or Training: An applicant must have EITHER a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The US Department of Labor’s O*Net OnLine database will be used to determine qualifying work experience.  Applicants will also find a link to a Labor Department list of qualifying occupations at the Consular Affairs website.

If the applicant cannot meet these requirements, he or she should NOT submit an entry to the DV program.

There is only one way to enter the Diversity Visa lottery. Applicants must submit an Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (EDV Entry Form), which is accessible only athttp://www.dvlottery.state.gov. Failure to complete the form in its entirety will disqualify the applicant’s entry. The Department of State will only accept completed Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Forms submitted electronically during the annual registration period. Check this link frequently.

The Department of State will send DV lottery entrants an electronic confirmation notice upon receipt of a completed EDV Entry Form.

All entries by an applicant will be disqualified if more than ONE entry for the applicant is received, regardless who submitted the entry.

The entry will be disqualified if the entry is not PERSONALLY SIGNED by the applicant in his/her native alphabet, as it would appear on his/her passport or other official or contractual obligations.

The entry will be disqualified if all required photos are not submitted.  Recent photographs of the applicant and his/her spouse and each child, under 21 years of age, including all natural children as well as all legally-adopted and stepchildren, excepting a child who is already a US citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident, even if a child no longer resides with the applicant, must be submitted electronically with the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. Group or family photos will not be accepted; there must be a separate photo for each family member.

Each applicant, his/her spouse, and each child will therefore need a computer file containing his/her digital photo (image) which will be submitted on-line with the EDV Entry Form. The image file can be produced either by taking a new digital photograph or by scanning a photographic print with a digital scanner.

Applicants will be selected at random by computer from among all qualified entries. Those selected will be notified at the registration link and will be provided further instructions, including information regarding the immigrant visa fee which is paid at the Consular Section on the day of the appointment. US embassies and consulates will not be able to provide a list of successful applicants.  Spouses and unmarried children under 21 of successful applicants may also apply for visas to accompany the principal applicant.

In order to receive a visa, applicants selected in the random drawing must meet ALL eligibility requirements under US law. Processing of entries and issuance of diversity visas to successful applicants and their eligible family members MUST occur by midnight on September 30th of the lottery year. Under no circumstances can diversity visas be issued after this date.