Should I apply for a diversity visa?

US Embassy and Consulates in

What is the Green Card Lottery?
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, better known as the “Green Card” lottery, raffles 50,000 permanent residences each year to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Eligibility to apply for the program is based on the person's place of birth, not their nationality or place of residence. The list of “excluded countries” may vary from year to year.

What does "exempt countries" mean?
These are countries from which more than 50,000 immigrants came to the United States in the five years immediately following the registration period.

How do I apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
Every year in autumn / winter there is a registration period during which eligible applicants can apply for the program. Applications are randomly selected by the computer, regardless of the date and time they were received during the registration period. Successful participants will be asked to apply for an immigrant visa and must provide evidence that they are eligible to obtain a visa under current laws and regulations.

When is the next registration period for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
The registration period for the next Diversity Immigrant Visa Program will be announced in the fall.

Can I apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program even if I was born in one of the exempted countries?
If you are married, you may be able to use your domestic partner's place of birth if they were born in one of the eligible countries. Note: To benefit from this provision, you must both obtain a visa and travel to the United States together.

Can both my partner and I submit an application for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
Yes. Spouses can submit their own application for each person, in which they state the respective spouse as a family member.

Does each applicant have to apply in person for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, or can someone else apply on behalf of the applicant?
Participants can prepare and submit their application themselves or have someone else submit it. However, only one application can be submitted per person. Spouses can submit their own application for each person, in which they state the respective spouse and their children as family members.

Which family members do I need to include in my application for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
You must identify your spouse even if you are currently separated and they do not intend to immigrate with you. If you are legally divorced, there is no need to list your ex-spouse. For traditional marriages, the relevant date is the date of the original wedding ceremony, not the date on which the marriage was registered. You must include all unmarried children under the age of 21, whether they are your birth children, your spouse's children from a previous marriage, or children formally adopted under the laws of your country. You must also state them if they no longer live with you and do not intend to immigrate with you. You do not need to provide children who are US citizens or permanent residents in the United States.

If I include my spouse and children in my application, will they have to immigrate with me?
No. If you list your spouse and / or your children in your application, it does not mean that they have to immigrate with you. However, if you do not list your spouse and / or children on your registration application and your immigrant visa application, your application will be disqualified. This provision only applies to spouses and / or children who were family members at the time the lottery registration application was made; it does not apply to spouses and / or children who became family members after you submitted your application. It is important to note, however, that if you were born in one of the exempt countries and your spouse is not, and you use your spouse's birthplace to apply for the program, you must immigrate to the United States together if your application is successful .

Does the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program require photos of each family member, or just the main applicant?
Up-to-date portrait photos of the main applicant, his / her spouse and all natural, formally adopted and stepchildren younger than 21 years of age and unmarried are required, even if the children no longer live with the applicant. Note: Family group photos are not allowed.

What are the education or work experience requirements for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
Education: The applicant must have attended secondary school (high school or comparable school). This is considered a successful completion of twelve years of attending elementary and secondary school in the United States. If the education was outside of the United States, students must have successfully completed twelve years of primary and secondary school comparable to a high school in the United States. Work experience: the applicant must have two years of work experience gained in the past five years in an activity that requires at least two years of training or work experience. The decision on whether or not an applicant has the required work experience is made using the US Department of Labor's O * Net OnLIne database.

How can I find out if my professional qualification / work experience meets the criteria for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
The consulate cannot answer personal questions about professional qualifications and work experience until the winners have been selected and have appeared for their visa interviews. For information on work experience, please visit the US Department of Labor's O * Net OnLIne database. If you believe you have the basic professional qualifications or required work experience, you should submit an application.

Are there any fees for applying for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
You don't have to pay a fee to register for the program. However, if your application is successful and you are selected to apply for an immigrant visa, you, your spouse and, if applicable, your children will be required to pay a special per person processing fee in addition to a visa processing fee of $ 400 per person. Successful applicants will receive further information by post.

Is there a minimum age for applicants for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
There is no minimum age to participate in the program, but since secondary school education or work experience is required, most people under the age of 18 will not be eligible.

Can I apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program while in the United States?
Yes, an applicant residing in the United States can apply for registration if they are eligible for the program.

I tried to log on to the website to register for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program without success. What can I do?
It is only possible to log in to the website during the registration period.

Do you think hiring an attorney or advisor will improve my chances of successfully participating in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
The decision to consult a visa attorney or counselor is entirely up to the applicant. Participation in the lottery is possible without assistance by following simple instructions. However, if participants prefer outside assistance, that is their choice. There are many reputable lawyers and immigration advisors available to provide assistance to participants for reasonable fees or, in some cases, free of charge. Unfortunately, there are also people who charge exorbitant prices for unrealistic promises. The lottery winners are selected at random using a computer. No outside service can increase the chances of candidates being selected, and no one can guarantee that your application will be successful. Any vendor that claims to improve a participant's chances is promising something that cannot be done.

I have applied for an immigrant visa in the preferred category of immediate family members / family reunification / taking up employment. Can I also apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
Yes. Your registration for immigration in any other immigrant visa category does not prohibit you from registering for this program.

What should I do if I believe a company has been misleading me to accept money from me?
If you have a complaint about a company that offers Visa lottery services, you should contact your local consumer protection bureau or the United States Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission address is: Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580; Telephone number: +1 202 382 4357. You can also use the complaint form on the Internet at

I applied to register for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. When will I find out if I've been selected?
DV participant notification takes place via the registration status check at Please read the DV manual for more information on the registration status check. The participants drawn by random selection will NOT be informed by email or letter.

I was selected and asked to apply for a Diversity Immigrant Visa. Why am I being asked to apply early if I have until September 30th?
Being selected does not automatically mean that you will be granted a visa. Far more winners are selected each year than the 50,000 visas available each year. Applicants who postpone applying for a visa after being notified of their registration may find that they can no longer pursue their application because there are no longer any visa numbers for them. In order to actually receive a visa, the selected applicants must also meet all of the selection criteria required by American law.

If I apply for a Diversity Immigrant Visa before September 30th and it is rejected under Section 221 (g) of the Immigration and Citizenship Act, then I will be sure to get a visa number if I can am to continue the procedure?
No. Even if you applied for the visa, there is no guarantee that you will receive a visa number if you are able to follow up on your application. You only have this guarantee when the visa is issued to you.

I was selected for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program last year but did not receive my visa by September 30th. Can I still travel to the United States?
No. Since you have not pursued your application any longer, you can no longer benefit from your registration for the program. They only had until September 30th to get an immigrant visa.

Can I save the E-DV application form as a Microsoft Word document (or in another suitable program) and then fill it out?
No, you cannot save the form to fill out in another program and submit it later. The E-DV application form is a pure web form. This makes it “more universal” than a custom word processing format. In addition, the information must be entered and forwarded online.

Can I save the form online so that I can fill in part and add the rest later?
No, this is not possible. The electronic IT participation form must be filled out at once and sent immediately afterwards. However, because the form consists of two parts, and because of possible network disruptions and delays, the E-DV system is designed to allow sixty (60) minutes between the loading of the form and the receipt of the form on the E-DV website after the Online submission may pass. If more than 60 minutes pass before the electronic application is received, the information previously entered will be deleted. This eliminates the possibility of a complete entry being mistakenly viewed as a duplicate of a previous partial entry. Suppose an applicant with wife and child submits the completed E-DV application form Part I and then receives Form Part II, but sends Part II a little later because he has to search for the file with the child's photo. If the Participant submits the completed Part II Form and it is received on the E-DV website within sixty (60) minutes, there is no problem, but if Part II is not received until after sixty (60) minutes, the Participant will be informed that he has to repeat the entire entry. The IT instructions explain clearly and in detail which information is required to fill out the form. This is a great way to prepare and make sure you have all the information you need before you start completing the form online.

The procedural rules stipulate that the system automatically rejects the E-DV entry form and notifies the participant if the digital images submitted do not meet the specifications. Does that mean that I can then resubmit my application?
Yes, the entry can be repeated. Since the entry was automatically rejected, it is not considered to have been submitted to the E-DV website. It does not count as a submitted E-DV entry and no acknowledgment of receipt is sent. If there are problems with the digital photo sent because it does not meet the requirements, the E-DV website will automatically reject it. Due to the technical nature of the Internet, it is not possible to predict how long it will take for the rejection message to reach the sender. If the participant can resolve the problem and resubmit Forms Part I or II within sixty (60) minutes, there is no problem. Otherwise the input process has to be started again. A subscriber can enter an application as many times as necessary until a complete application has been received and an acknowledgment of receipt has been sent.

Is the electronic confirmation of receipt of the completed E-DV participation form received automatically in the online system after it has been entered?
The response from the E-DV website with the confirmation of receipt for an E-DV participation form that has been received will be sent immediately by the E-DV website; how long the answer will take to reach the sender cannot be predicted due to the technical properties of the Internet. If several minutes have passed since you pressed the [Send] button, you are welcome to click the [Send] button a second time. It does not affect the E-DV system if the "Send" button is clicked a second time because no confirmation of receipt was sent. An applicant can submit an application as many times as necessary until a complete application has been received and an acknowledgment of receipt has been sent.