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Diversity Lottery

Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 55,000 immigrant visas available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Of such visas, 5,000 are allocated for use under NACARA beginning with DV '99. The State Department (DOS) holds the lottery every year, and randomly selects approximately 110,000 applicants from all qualified entries. The DOS selects the approximately 110,000 applications since many will not complete the visa process. However once 55,000 are issued or the fiscal year ends, the DV program is closed. If you receive a visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program you will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States. Entering the Diversity Visa Lottery

Who is Eligible to Enter the Diversity Visa Lottery?
  • You or your spouse must be a native of a country that is eligible to participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery. You may also be eligible to apply if your parent was born in a country that is eligible to participate. (The State Department will publish the names of countries that are eligible to participate before each year's lottery.)
  • You must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, defined in the United States as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR you must have two years of work experience within the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.
How Much Does the Lottery Cost?

There is no fee for entering the diversity visa lottery. If you win, you must pay a fee for an immigrant visa and a separate visa lottery surcharge.

Entering the Diversity Visa Lottery

The 2010 Lottery online entry begins at Noon Eastern Daylight Time, on October 2, 2008, and ends at Noon Eastern Standard Time on December 1, 2008. Further information will be posted here when the U.S. Department of State makes it available.

How Can I Find Out If I Won?

Only the winners will be notified by mail at the addresses listed on their applications. Winners will be sent instructions and information on fees. Being selected as a winner in the diversity visa lottery does not automatically guarantee that you will be issued a visa, even if you are qualified. The number of entries selected is greater than the number of immigrant visas available, because not everyone selected will be qualified for the visa or will choose to complete the processing. Once all 50,000 visas have been issued, the diversity visa program for the year will end.

Diversity Visa Lottery Instructions