Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes up to 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 (The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act). 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 a person receives a visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program they will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. The winner will also be allowed to bring their spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.
The Diversity Visa Lottery Program
Each year, 50,000 immigrant visas are made available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. None of these visas are available for people who come from countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the past five years. The State Department’s National Visa Center holds the lottery every year, and chooses winners randomly from all qualified entries. Anyone who is selected under this lottery will be given the opportunity to apply for permanent residence. If permanent residence is granted, then the individual will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. The individual will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.
Eligibility to Enter the Diversity Visa Lottery
A person or their spouse must be a native of a country that is eligible to participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery. A person 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.)
A person 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 they 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 a person wins, they must pay a fee for a DV category immigrant visa.
Please watch the State Department Website for more information on the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. You may also call the State Department’s Kentucky Consular Center at 1- 606-526-7500 for more information. You may also contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A listing of U.S. Embassies and Consulates can be found at the State Department Website.