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What is the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery and how to register

The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, often referred to as the Green Card Lottery, is a United States governmental program that aims to diversify the immigrant population in the United States. Administered by the Department of State, it provides an opportunity for individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. to obtain a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, commonly known as a Green Card. This article will guide you through what the DV Lottery is and how to register for it.

What is the Diversity Visa Lottery?

The Diversity Visa Lottery was established under the Immigration Act of 1990. Its purpose is to allow individuals from nations with historically low rates of immigration to the United States a chance to apply for a visa and obtain lawful permanent residency. Each year, the program makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available through a random selection process. The selection of applicants is done from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. in the previous five years.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for the DV Lottery, applicants must meet certain criteria:

  1. Country of Origin: Applicants must come from a country that is eligible to participate in the DV Lottery for that specific year. Countries with high rates of immigration to the U.S. are not eligible.
  2. Education or Work Experience: Applicants must have at least a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education. Alternatively, applicants must have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.

How to Register for the DV Lottery

Registration for the DV Lottery is done online and is free of charge. Follow these steps to register:

  1. Check Eligibility: Before applying, ensure that you are from a country eligible to participate in the DV Lottery for the year you are applying.
  2. Fill Out the Application: During the open registration period, complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form or DS-5501) on the official DV Lottery website. The form asks for personal details, including your name, date of birth, country of birth, photo, address, and more.
  3. Submit a Photograph: Applicants must submit a recent photograph that meets the requirements outlined in the DV instructions. Each member of your family applying with you must submit a photograph.
  4. Confirm and Submit: Double-check your information for accuracy and completeness before submitting your application. You will receive a confirmation number once your application is submitted. Keep this number, as you will need it to check the status of your application.

Important Considerations

  • Registration Period: The DV Lottery registration period typically opens for about a month annually, often between October and November. Exact dates vary each year and are announced by the Department of State.
  • Fraud Warning: Beware of scams and fraudulent websites claiming to be associated with the DV Lottery. Always use the official website for information and registration.
  • Selection and Further Steps: Being selected in the DV Lottery does not guarantee a visa. Selected applicants must then submit further documentation, undergo interviews, and meet all eligibility and admission requirements.

Read the instructions for the registration process.

Apply through the Electronic Diversity Visa Program online portal.

Ensure you store your confirmation number securely after registering for the lottery, as it is essential for checking the status of your entry online. Losing this number



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