EP9: Winning The Diversity Visa or Green Card Lottery

Another great episode of the podcast today! We are talking about the Diversity Visa Program or what most people refer to it as the Green Card Lottery. Are you ready to win?

Here are a few facts about the DV lottery:

  • The DV lottery opens October – November for application submission.
  • Over 20 millions applications are received every year!
  • Program started in 1986 to diversify the immigrants coming to the US.
  • Popular way to become a U.S. permanent resident if you have no other way to enter the United States.

Who Is Eligible For The DV Lottery?

Okay, so you want to live in the U.S., but are you eligible to even enter the diversity visa lottery?
  • You must be a foreigner.
    •  must live outside the U.S. and not already a permanent resident or U.S. citizen.
  • You are from a country with a low U.S. immigration rate.
    • USCIS wants to promote immigration from countries who’s citizens are not well represented in the United States.
    • NOT Mexico, Philippine, India or China
    • country of your birth not citizenship or resident.
    • born in India but your parents immigrated to Tahiti
dv visa lottery
Diversity Immigrant Visa

Countries That Are Excluded From DV Lottery

Excluded Nationalities

China (mainland only)
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
South Korea
United Kingdom
(except Northern Ireland)

Number Of Diversity Visas Available Every Year

  • Each year, USCIS makes 50,000 diversity visas available worldwide.
  •  Created to diversify the immigration system in the United States.
  • For anyone who doesn’t have an American family member or can’t get a U.S. company to employ them can use DV green card lottery.
  • No limit to how many DV lotteries you can submit your application
  • Many people apply every single year.
  • Millions of applications around the world and only 50,000 people will be selected.

Submitting Entry For Green Card Lottery

Step 1: You must be from an eligible country.
  • country of nationality (or your spouse’s country) must NOT be on the list of excluded countries.
Step 2: You must meet the education/work requirement.
  • At least a high school education or its equivalent.
  • Defined as successfully completing 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education; or
  • Two years of work experience within the past five years in a job that requires at least two years of training or experience.
  • The Department of State will use the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net Online database to determine qualifying work experience.
Step 3: Include a validated photo (optional).
  • USCIS will require a recent photo of you similar to a passport style photograph.
Step 4: Apply online during open registration.
  • Log on to dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period, then you will see the Welcome Page for AES.

DV Visa Green Card Lottery Interview

After you are notified that an interview has been scheduled for your DV visa at the , U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the consular officer will let you know whether your DV visa has been approved or denied.

  • Visa approval – When approved, you will be informed how and when your passport and visa will be returned to you.
  • Visa denial – If denied, you will be informed why you are ineligible to receive a visa. There is additional information about visa denials at the bottom of this post.
Note: Some visa applications are denied because they require further administrative processing,
Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case.

DV Lottery Visa Approval Notice.

  • Passport with Visa – Your diversity visa will be placed on a page in your passport.
  • Sealed Immigrant Packet – sealed packet for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a port-of-entry.
  • Travel Information – use your DV visa before it expires. A diversity visa is usually valid for up to 6 months from the date of issuance unless your medical examination expires sooner.
  • USCIS Immigrant Fee – After receiving immigrant visa, you must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee to USCIS.
  • Only children who enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague adoption programs, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants, returning residents (SB-1s), and those issued K visas are exempt from this fee.
Important Notice: USCIS will not issue a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551 or Green Card) until you have paid the fee.
  • Vaccination Records – All children are required to have certain vaccinations
  • X-rays – You must hand-carry your X-rays with you, not pack them in your luggage.

Entering The US On DV Lottery Visa

  • primary applicant will need to enter before any other family members or enter at the same time.
  • provide your passport with the DV visa stamp inside and the sealed packet
  • If CBP admits you into the U.S., you will enter as a Lawful Permanent Resident

DV Lottery Visa Denied After Interview

  • consular officer does not have enough information to finalize your application
  • require additional administrative processing after the interview
  • Not qualified or eligible for a Diversity Visa
  • Can apply for a waiver for the ineligibility

So, how do you feel about the DV lottery? Do you want to see the green card lottery stick around? Let me know in the comments below.

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