Each year, 50,000 immigrant visas are made available through a Diversity Visa Lottery to people who are natives of countries (typically a person’s country of birth) with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The U.S. Department of State selects applications randomly from all qualified entries. The Department of State has a program tutorial video to assist in understanding the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery process.
When are applications accepted?
Diversity Visa Lottery entries for the upcoming federal fiscal year can be submitted from October 5, 2022, at noon, Eastern Daylight Time to November 8, 2022, at noon, Eastern Standard Time.
Who can apply for a Diversity Visa?
Natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply for permanent resident status through the Diversity Visa Lottery: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea (South Korea), United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Natives of Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.
A lottery applicant must possess a valid and unexpired passport as well as either a high school diploma or two years of qualifying work experience within the past five years.
Please note that spouses can each file a lottery application if they each meet the eligibility requirements independently. If one spouse is selected, both will be eligible for green cards, as will all of their minor children.
A “winner” can save his/her employer much time, money, and aggravation by avoiding the normal green card process. Applicants currently possessing H or L visas need not worry about concurrently stating immigrant and nonimmigrant intent. Applicants currently possessing other types of visas should review this issue carefully before applying for the lottery.
How can one apply for the Diversity Lottery?
Foreign nationals eligible and interested in applying can find additional information on the State Department’s Diversity Visa Lottery website, including the Lottery Entry Form that needs to be completed online. There is no cost for foreign nationals to register for the Diversity Visa Lottery.
Entrants will be able to check the status of their applications and determine if they have been selected on May 6, 2023.
What happens after an applicant receives a lottery selection?
A lottery applicant who is selected in the Diversity Visa Lottery will be given the opportunity to then apply for permanent residence on his/her own behalf and on behalf of his/her spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21. Same-sex spouses are eligible for the same US immigration benefits as opposite-sex spouses.
If selected in the lottery, the applicant must pay the required visa fees as part of the application and interview process.
If permanent residence is granted (i.e., the issuance of a “green card”) to a lottery winner, then the lottery winner will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States.