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All You Need To Know About Diversity Visa Lottery

U.S. Green Card Sweepstakes? Are they actually a thing?

Yes, but it’s not that simple. Sweepstakes are generally available at no charge (no purchase required to enter). The Diversity Visa Lottery, also known as the Green Card Lottery, is essentially a “game of luck”: entrants also don’t have to pay to enter, and the winner is chosen at random by a computer, which allocates a certain number of visas to each eligible region of the world. 


So what is the Diversity Visa Lottery?

The program was established in 1990 to increase diversity in the United States. The Diversity Visa Lottery is a United States government lottery program for receiving the United States Permanent Resident Card. The green card lottery makes available 55,000 immigrant visas annually by selecting applicants from countries with low numbers of immigrants to the US in the previous five years.


Do I have to pay for the Diversity Lottery Program?

There is no cost to register for the Diversity Visa Program, however, if you actually win the sweepstake, you’ll have to be permitted to apply first. In case you are permitted to apply, you then will have to pay a fee, but that will be in person at a U.S. embassy or consulate. 


How to participate in the Diversity Lottery Program?

If you are a foreign national who would like to obtain a U.S. Green Card, you may be eligible to register for the Green Card lottery. To qualify, you need to be a citizen of a country that has sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the past five years. Check if your country is eligible here.

The Diversity Visa Program is open every year for 04 to 05 weeks. It is usually held in the fall, but there is no fixed date for it. Results are then available in the spring of the following year. Once the registrations are open, you can submit your application.

Keep in mind that it must be submitted electronically! It is important to say that paper entries are not accepted for the Diversity Visa Lottery and you can’t submit more than one entry. To enter the lottery, you have to fill out a form online at


What do I have to know before registering for the Green Card Lottery?

If you have a spouse or children at the time of your application, you must include them on your original entry form. Otherwise, your case will be disqualified. You can check the status of your application using the Entrant Status Check link on the Diversity Visa webpage.


What are the main reasons that my Diversity Visa Application could be disqualified?

The main reasons why your diversity visa application might be denied are: not having the requisite education and/or work experience, submitting more than one lottery application in the same registration period, not having a passport from your country when you apply, failing to list your spouse and/or children on your application, submitting an invalid photograph, being inadmissible for previous unlawful presence, visa fraud, or criminal activity.


Is the Green Card Lottery open for registration?

Diversity Visa Lottery 2022 is officially closed, but you can apply for the 2023 DV Lottery (DV2023). The period of registration for the Green Card Lottery opened October 6, 2021 and closes November 9, 2021 at 12:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5).

For Diversity Visa Lottery 2023, up to 55,000 green cards will be available. Check the full range of countries eligible here.


Be aware of scams!

Remember that entering the Diversity Visa lottery is free. There are agencies that charge fees from applicants falsely claiming to increase their winning chances, but there is no such thing. Besides the fact that you are not allowed to submit more than one entry, the only way to apply for the green card lottery is to complete the entry form on the Department of State website, and it’s 100% free of charge. 

You will only be required to pay a fee if you actually win the visa lottery, but you’ll have to be permitted to apply first. If you are permitted to apply, you will have to pay a fee in person at a U.S. embassy or consulate. 


What happens after I register for the Diversity Lottery Visa?

When you complete your registration, you will receive a confirmation number. You will need it the following year to check the status of your entry and to confirm your participation, in case you have been chosen.


How to know if I won the Diversity Lottery Visa?

You can only find out whether you have won by going to It is important to note that you will not receive any letter nor any email about your entry. You can only receive notification through the E-DV website, and you will need to confirm your participation as soon as possible.


What happens to the winner of the Green Card Lottery?

If you are selected as a Diversity visa lottery recipient, you can then proceed with your application to legally immigrate to the United States. It is important to remember that winning the Green card lottery does not automatically guarantee your entry into the United States. Before that, you must meet all the eligibility requirements.


What are the eligibility requirements to win the diversity visa lottery?

The key applicant requirements to be eligible to win the Diversity Lottery Program, are:

You must be Born in an eligible country, have completed high school education or equivalent (or two years of qualifying work experience). For a complete overview of the eligibility requirements, check this page.


I am the winner of the Diversity Visa Lottery! What do I have to do?

First of all, congratulations! If you won the Green Card lottery, your next step now is submitting your visa application. You will need to scan and email a valid DS-260 application form along with this other documents:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Any court or prison records
  • Military records (if applicable)
  • Police certificates
  • Photocopy of your passport’s biographic data page

Note that if your family circumstances have changed after your entry into the lottery, you’ll need to include your new family members’ details in your documents. After that, your Diversity Visa Program visa interview can be scheduled!


I am the winner of the Diversity Visa Lottery, but I’m legally in the U.S. already

If you are the winner of the diversity lottery and are already legally living in the U.S. (on a valid, unexpired visa or other form of permission), you can either attend your interview overseas or adjust your status in the U.S. For this, the filing fees can be more expensive, but all you have to do is send your application to a USCIS Service Center and attend your interview at a local USCIS office. 


I am the winner of the Diversity Visa Lottery but I’m illegal in the U.S. 

In case you’re living in the United States with no legal status, or have worked without authorization you can’t file your green card application inside the U.S., unless you fall under one of a few narrow exceptions. If you are considering adjusting your status, it’s better to seek the help of a specialized attorney. Check the complete step by step for the Diversity Visa Lottery.


If you are interested in learning more, fill in the form to contact us or send us an email:

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information and content available on this website is for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal information. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the website or post does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, user, browser, website authors, and contributors.


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