Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below, you will find answers for many Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the US Diversity Visa (DV) Program. If you do not find your question answered on our FAQs webpage or elsewhere on our website, please feel free to send us an email which includes you name, question and contact details so we may respond to your inquiry: info@dv-program.com

What is the US Diversity Visa (DV) Program?
The US Diversity Visa (DV) Program is an official US governmental program for immigration to the United States.
What is a Diversity Visa?
A Diversity Visa is a United States Permanent Resident Visa for immigration to the United States. A Diversity Visa is issued by the US State Department to eligible foreign nationals who meet all of the requirements for immigration to the United States through the DV-program. It should be noted that the Diversity Visa is stamped in the passport of a new immigrant so they can initially enter the United States, while the hard plastic Permanent Resident Card is carried by the immigrant while living in the USA as proof of Lawful Permanent Resident status.
Why is a “lottery” used for the US Diversity Visa (DV) Program?
A lottery system was selected by the American government for the US Diversity Visa (DV) Program as a fair method to randomly select via computer approximately 100,000 winners (called “selectees”) from the millions of foreign nationals from around the globe who register to participate in the annual DV-Lottery. The winners of the US Diversity Visa Lottery then have the opportunity to be among the 55,000 foreign nationals who are authorized by the US Congress to be issued a United States Permanent Resident Visa (Diversity Visa) each year if they complete the Consular Interview stage successfully.
What are the requirements to participate in the US Diversity Visa Lottery?
To participate in the DV-Lottery, an applicant must meet two major requirements. First, they must be BORN in a country that is listed by the US State Department as eligible to participate. Second, an applicant must meet either the education OR the work experience requirement. Additionally, even if an individual meets the two main eligibility requirements, they must also correctly prepare and submit their application and photo(s) to the DV-Lottery according to the official regulations during the annual registration period.
When is the official registration period for the DV-Lottery?
Registration for the Diversity Visa Lottery occurs during a relatively brief time period each year, usually in October. For the DV-2022 Lottery (which will be held in early 2021), the official registration period starts at 12:00PM EDT on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, and ends at 12:00PM EST on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
What is the timeline for the current/most recent Diversity Visa Lottery?
Registration for the DV-2022 American Green Card Lottery occurs between October 7, 2020, and November 10, 2020. The actual DV-Lottery will be held in early 2021 and the results will be released on May 8, 2021. The approximately 100,000 winners of the DV-2022 Lottery (referred to as “selectees”) must next correctly submit electronically the Form DS-260 to the US State Department’s Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) so that the crucial Consular Interview may be scheduled at the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where the selectee lives. Additional procedures must occur, including medical and background checks. The DV-Lottery selectee and all family members included in the application will attend the Consular Interview on a certain date and time specified by the KCC and bring with them all of the required documents and photos, plus pay the nonrefundable Diversity Visa Lottery Fee to the US government. If the DV-Lottery selectee passes the Consular Interview successfully and all goes well, a Diversity Visa (US immigration visa) will be stamped in the passport of each eligible family member and it is usually valid for up to six months from the time it is issued. The Diversity Visa holders may then enter the United States in 2022 after a certain date shown in the Diversity Visa and no later than the expiration date also printed in the Diversity Visa that was stamped inside their passport. The Diversity Visa holders will also need to pay an Immigrant Fee to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to pay for the hard plastic Permanent Resident Card(s) which will be mailed to the address provided by the DV-2022 selectee approximately 30 days after the Immigration Fee is paid. The hard plastic US Permanent Resident Card is proof that a foreign national is authorized to live, study and work in the United States long-term.
Why is the most recent Diversity Visa Lottery referred to as DV-2022?
The most recent Diversity Visa Lottery is referred to as “DV-2022” because although registration occurs October 7, 2020, through November 10, 2020, and the actual DV-Lottery will be held in early 2021, the winners (“selectees”) who successfully complete the Consular Interview procedure and are issued a Diversity Visa will be authorized to enter the United States (i.e., immigrate to the USA) in 2022.
Who may I include in my DV-Lottery Application?
You will include yourself (the main applicant) and must also include your legally married spouse of the opposite sex or same-sex (whether or not they will ultimately immigrate to the USA with you) and all unmarried children who are under 21-years-old (including all of your living natural children; all of your living step-children, even if you are not still married to the step-child’s parent; and all living legally adopted children), whether or not they live with you and regardless of whether they ultimately immigrate to the USA with you.
What information must I include in my DV-Lottery Application?
Applicants to the Diversity Visa Lottery must include: their first, middle and last name exactly as it is written on their passport; their date of birth (day, month and year); their gender; the city where they were born; the current name of the country where they were born; their country of eligibility for the DV-Lottery Program (this will usually be the country where they were BORN, unless they are claiming “nativity”); a recent (within the past six months) digital color passport-style photo  made of the main applicant according to the DV-program specifications; mailing address; current country of residence (where the applicant is living today); phone number (optional); email address; main applicant’s highest level of education; current marital status; required details about spouse (if applicable), such as their full name, date of birth, gender, city where they were born, country where they were born, and a recent (within the past six months) digital color passport-style photo of the spouse made according to the DV-Lottery standards; number of living unmarried children under 21-years-old (including all natural children, all legally adopted children and all step-children); full name(s) of all children included in the application, as well as their date of birth, gender, city where they were born, country where they were born, and a recent (within the past six months) digital color passport-style photo of each child (separate, individual photos) made according to the DV-program standards. NEW REQUIREMENT: The US State Department is now requiring that the main applicant provide details for his/her valid passport (i.e., passport number, country that issued the passport, and the passport expiration date) in the DV-Lottery Application, "unless you are stateless, a national of a Communist-controlled country and unable to obtain a passport from the government of the Communist-controlled country, or the beneficiary of an individual waiver approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State." It is very important that the details and photos in the DV-Lottery Application are all accurate and done according to the DV-program requirements, since many people are disqualified from participating in the DV-Lottery or are disqualified later during the Consular Interview procedure because they made mistakes on their application.
Why are approximately 100,000 winners selected each year in the DV-Lottery when only 55,000 Diversity Visas are available?
Out of the millions of people from around the world who participate in the DV-Lottery each year, approximately 100,000 are randomly selected by computer for further processing to apply for 50,000 Diversity Visas authorized by the US Congress to be issued to DV-Lottery winners (“selectees”) and their eligible family members annually. Since not all of the DV-Lottery selectees will go on to successfully pass the Consular Interview and be approved for immigration to the United States, approximately 100,000 winners are selected for the chance to receive one of the 50,000 Diversity Visas made available each year.
What are the benefits of being a US permanent resident?
Foreign nationals who are issued a US Diversity Visa and Permanent Resident Card can receive many benefits such as: authorization to live, work and study long-term in the USA; excellent educational opportunities; access to high-quality healthcare; the option to start a business or purchase a home; the ability to apply for a driver’s license in the state where they live; freedoms protected by law; and the option to apply for US citizenship after living in the USA as a permanent resident of the United States for at least five years and meeting other criteria. These are just some of the many benefits enjoyed by US permanent residents.
Does it cost money to apply for the DV-Lottery?
No – foreign nationals who meet the eligibility requirements may apply for the DV-Lottery for free on the US State Department website. Many people choose to pay an experienced service provider (such as the Diversity Visa Information Center) to make sure their application and photo(s) are prepared and submitted correctly according to the DV-program regulations.
If I am selected as a winner of the DV-Lottery, does this mean that I will automatically receive a Diversity Visa for immigration to the United States?
Being selected as a winner of the DV-Lottery is an important step in the procedure to immigrate to the USA, however, there are additional steps that must be completed successfully before a “selectee” and any eligible family members may be issued a Diversity Visa to move to America as a US permanent resident. Winning the DV-Lottery is a key hurdle in the US immigration process which allows a selectee to take additional steps toward immigration to the United States. After winning the DV-Lottery, a selectee will need to electronically submit the Form DS-260 to the US State Department’s Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) so that the crucial Consular Interview may be scheduled. They must also successfully pass the Consular Interview and be issued a Diversity Visa (which will be stamped inside their passport) which will authorize them to enter the United States as a US permanent resident after a certain date and no later than a specific date shown on the visa. Once the Diversity Visa has been issued to a foreign national, he/she must pay a fee to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) so that the hard plastic US Permanent Resident Card can be issued and mailed to the address they specify within 30 days after this fee is paid. The Permanent Resident Card is a form of identification and proof that the foreign national is a US permanent resident who is authorized to live, study and work in the United States long-term.
How can I get help to correctly apply for the US Diversity Visa Lottery Program?
You may apply for the DV-Lottery for free on the US State Department website during the annual registration period. If you think that you need help to correctly fill in your details and upload your photos according to the DV-Lottery standards, you may want to pay an experienced service provider (such as the affiliates who partner with the Diversity Visa Information Center) to properly prepare and correctly submit your DV-Lottery application on your behalf during the registration period.