Have you heard an immigrant in your neighborhood talk about how he or she “won the lottery”? It is most likely the lottery your neighbor is talking about is the US Diversity Visa program.
Each year, 50,000 people are selected randomly to obtain a permanent residency through the US Diversity Visa program. It’s a way to help individuals and families who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to legally migrate to the United States to get a green card.
Is traveling to the US been your age-long dream?
The Diversity Lottery Visa Program is an opportunity you cannot easily turn down especially if you are hoping to receive a US permanent residence card. Draw closer to your screen let’s take you through the step-by-step procedure on how you can secure your own Visa lottery and make your dream a reality.
What Is the US Diversity Visa Lottery?
The US Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, is a US government lottery program to receive a US permanent residency card.
The DV program is administered by the Department of State as a way to increase the diversity of the immigrants coming to live in the United States.
Entering the Diversity Visa lottery doesn’t cost anything. It simply involves filling out a simple form online, and it doesn’t cost anything. You can participate in the lottery from the beginning of October to the beginning of November of each year. Winners are randomly selected by a computer and they and their immediate families receive green cards.
Who Is Eligible for the Diversity Visa?
Country of Birth
To be eligible for the United States diversity visa, you must have been born in a country that has sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the last 5years.
Other circumstances you can qualify to apply for the US Diversity Visa if your native country is not eligible are:
- If your spouse was born in an eligible country, you can apply to your spouse and select your spouse’s country of birth on your application.
- If neither of your parents was born in or is a resident of your country of birth at the time of your birth, you can choose your mother or father’s country of birth.
The second major requirement you must meet as a US Diversity Visa applicant is that you must have either;
- At least a secondary level or equivalent education, defined as the successful completion of a 12-year formal elementary and secondary level course
- Two years of work experience in the last five years in a job that, according to the US, requires at least two years of training.
To find qualifying US DV occupations on the Department of Labor’s O*Net OnLine database
- Visit www.onetonline.org on your browser
- Under “Find Occupations” select “Job Family” from the pulldown menu;
- Browse by “Job Family,” make your selection, and click “GO;”
- Click on the link for your specific occupation; and
- Select the tab “Job Zone” to find the designated Job Zone number and Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating range.
General Admissibility Requirements
If you’re selected in the US Diversity Visa lottery, you and your family members will have to meet the same requirements as any other U.S. green card applicant.
Certain types of criminal records may make you ineligible for a green card. There are also medical conditions that can make it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a green card.
List of Excluded Countries
Almost everyone qualifies for the DV Lottery. The only exceptions are people born in a country with a very high rate of immigration into the US
The following countries not eligible to participate in the DV Program because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years:
- China (including Hong Kong SAR)
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador, Guatemala
- South Korea
- United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
People born in Macao SAR and Taiwan are eligible.
People born in one of the countries excluded above can apply if:
Your spouses were born in one of the eligible countries or your parents (both not born in that excluded country) were only temporary residents of the excluded and ineligible countries.
How to Apply for US DV Lottery 2023
Applying for the US Diversity Visa Lottery is relatively easy.
Below are the step-by-step guidelines that you need to follow.
1. Get the form (usually available from early October to early November).
- Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and fill out the form.
The form contains the following fields:
- Country of birth: You must enter the country in which you were born, regardless of your current residence. If the country has a different name now than it was when you were born, use the current country name.
- Claim country: Enter your country of birth. If you are allowed to use your spouse’s or parents’ country of birth, please include that country. Please note that the country you currently live in is not relevant to this question.
- Your spouse: You need to list your spouse even if they don’t live with you and don’t plan to emigrate with you.
- Your children: List your birth children and all of your adopted children, regardless of age. You must also include all of your stepchildren under the age of 21, even if you are no longer married to their parents.
- Review and submit the form.
After submitting your application, it is important to keep your confirmation number as this is the only way to determine whether you have been selected.
US DV application process and supporting documents
To get a green card, you must submit receipts for Form I-485.
Submit the following supporting documents with your Form I-485:
- Two passport photos
- Copy of the birth certificate
- Form I-693, the medical examination report, and vaccination report
- Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
- Copy of passport page with admission (entry) or probation stamp (if applicable)
- Form I-94 Arrival / departure log
- Certified copies of court documents (if the person has been arrested)
- Copy of the main applicant’s selection letter for the DOS Diversity Visa Lottery
- Copy of DOS receipt for the Diversity Visa Lottery processing fee
- Form I-601 Request for the waiver of grounds for inadmissibility (if applicable)
What is the selection process for the US DV program?
The winners of the US Diversity Visa Lottery are selected at random by a computer program. Each region of the world is assigned a certain number of visas, and no country receives more than 7% of the diversity visas available in any given year.
After registering for the Diversity Visa Lottery, you can check the status of your application the following year, usually at the beginning of May. Use the Check Participant Status link on the Diversity Visa website.
You can check the status of your request using the confirmation number. Without the confirmation details, you will not be able to see whether you have been selected or not.
What Happens Next?
Once you’re selected in the US green card lottery, ensure you act fast, even though it might take a year or more before you’re able to visit the United States.
Here are reasons you should act immediately:
- First of all, your application must have been processed and your visa issued before the end of the fiscal year for which it was selected.
- Second, the number of people selected for the US Diversity Visa is more than the visas available. If you wait until the last minute, there may be no more visas.
When you receive a notification that you won the US Diversity Visa, you’ll get a numerical rank indicated you when you can apply for your visa.
You can check the State Department’s visa bulletin in late July to find out when you can submit your application. The first visas are available on October 1, the first day of the US government fiscal year, and you can submit your application up to 90 days in advance.
If You’re Outside the United States
The vast majority of those selected for the diversity visa are not residents in the United States and will apply for a green card from the United States Consulate in their home country. Once you see that a visa is available, submit form DS-260 to the National Visa Center. Once your application is processed, it will be sent to the United States Consulate, which will arrange a visa interview. If you meet all the conditions, your immigrant visa will be approved during the interview.
If You’re in the United States
If you are in the United States with “ nonimmigrant status ” when you win the Diversity Visa Lottery, apply for a green card through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by filing Form I-485. You must submit your application as soon as the visa is available, according to the visa bulletin.
Diversity Visa Fraud Warning
Please read the following information in order to prevent falling victim to a global fraud using the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, often known as the visa lottery.
The American Diversity Visa Lottery allows you to live and work in the United States permanently. Although there are several ways to get a green card, including through family, work or refugee or asylum seeker status, not everyone is eligible.
If you are eligible for the DV program, be sure to follow the strict rules outlined in the instructions to avoid disqualification or rejection.
Be sure to complete the application form yourself without the help of a consultant, agent or intermediary, as there have been cases of fraud in recent years by individuals and organizations suing people to complete the request.
We also recommend that you register early to increase your chances of being selected. Excessive demand at the end of the recording period can slow down the system.
FAQs US Diversity Visa DV program 2023
On Saturday 07 May 2023, the 2024 green card lottery (open from October to November 2022) delivers its results.
Registrations for the 2023 DC Lottery program opened on October 8, and anyone may now sign up. They are accessible till November 9. There will be 55,000 immigration visas available for DV 2023.
China (including Hong Kong SAR)
El Salvador, Guatemala
United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
Every year, the US government randomly chooses up to 50,000 applications for the Diversity Visa Lottery, which is formally known as the U.S. Green Card Lottery.
There is a yearly limit of one application per person for the lottery. Married couples are eligible to submit separate applications and benefit from the double chances.
- travel.state.gov: INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 2022 DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM (DV-2022)
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