American Visa Lottery

How to Apply for American Visa Lottery (Step-by-step Guide)

The American Visa Lottery (United State Diversity Visa (DV)) program is a program that aims to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants mostly from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

 

 

Each year, the Department of State conducts a random selection of Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) applicants, based on allocations of available visas in each region and country, from all registered entries. On or about May 7, 2022, information on the Entrant Status Check on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website is updated to inform all entrants if their online registration was selected or not.

You will need to enter your confirmation number, which you obtained when you filled out your entry form, to check your entry status. If you have lost your confirmation number, you will not be able to check the status of your entry. We will not be able to resend the confirmation number to you.

 

Please note: The Department of State will not mail notification letters or notify selectees by email. U.S. embassies and consulates will not provide a list of selectees. Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website is the ONLY means by which the Department of State notifies selectees of their selection.

 

To apply for a diversity visa, follow the steps in this article below:

 

  • log on to the website
  • Read the given instructions and click on the “Begin Entry
  • Provide the basic details required by the form and click on “Submit
  • After your form has been submitted, be sure to download or screenshot the page that contains your confirmation number and other information for checking your status.
  • Wait and check your status when the results are ready.

 

 

If you’re selected

 

Please note: The Department of State will not mail notification letters or notify selectees by email. U.S. embassies and consulates will not provide a list of selectees. Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website is the ONLY means by which the Department of State notifies selectees of their selection. If you receive notification through the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website that you have been selected for further processing in the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, you must successfully complete the steps on the following pages before a consular interview can be scheduled to determine if you will receive a visa. You should complete these steps as soon as possible.

 

If you receive notification through the E-DV website that you have been selected for further processing in the DV Program, and you are physically present in the United States, you may be eligible to adjust your status to obtain permanent residence through the DV Program. For more information, see Adjustment of Status.

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It is important to remember that selection does not guarantee you will receive a visa. In order to receive a DV to immigrate to the United States, selectees must still meet all eligibility requirements under U.S. law.

 

 

Confirm Your Qualifications

The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program requires the principal DV applicant to have a high school education, or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience as defined under provisions of U.S. law.

If you do not have either the required education or qualifying work experience, you are not eligible for a diversity visa. (Only you, as the principal applicant, must meet this requirement. Your spouse and children do not have to meet this requirement.) You should consider not pursuing a DV application if you do not meet the qualifying education or work experience requirements explained below as you may not be eligible for a diversity visa and any fees you pay for the visa application will not be refunded.

High School Education: A high school education means successful completion of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a 12-year course in the United States.  Only formal courses of study meet this requirement; equivalency certificates (such as the G.E.D.) are not acceptable.

Work Experience: If you are qualifying with work experience, you must have two years of experience in the last five years, in an occupation which, by U.S. Department of Labor definitions, requires at least two years of training or experience that is designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating of 7.0 or higher.

 

 

 

Submit Your Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application

The principal applicant and all family members applying for a diversity visa program must complete Form DS-260. You will need to enter your DV case number into the online DS-260 form to access and update the information about yourself and your family that you included in your DV entry.

If your family circumstances have changed after you entered the Diversity Visa program, for example, if you have gotten married or had a child, you will need to add your new family members to your case. (“Family member” refers to a spouse and/or unmarried children who had not reached age 21 before you entered the DV program.) When adding family members to your case, you will need to upload a document to prove your relationship to the family member being added.

Important note: If you had a spouse or children prior to submitting your original entry, but you did not include them on your original entry form, such errors may render you, as well as any of your family members, ineligible for a diversity visa. If you listed a spouse or child on your original entry who was not your spouse or child at the time of entry, such errors may render you, as well as any of your family members, ineligible for a diversity visa. As indicated in the prior paragraph, if your family circumstances have legitimately changed after submitting your original entry, you should add those family members and all family members’ applications will be reviewed. For more information, see the DV Instructions.

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On the Sign and Submit page of the DS-260, you will need to re-enter your DV case number without the zeros (e.g. if the case number is 2023AF0000012345, enter ‘2023AF12345’). Entering the full case number with zeros will generate a validation error.

After submitting the Form DS-260 online, print the confirmation page. You must bring the confirmation page to your visa interview.

Please be aware that KCC can only tell you if your form has been processed. KCC cannot tell you whether or not you or your family members are eligible for diversity visas. Only the consular officer who interviews you can make that decision.

Contacting KCC: If you need to contact the KCC, always include your name, birthdate and case number exactly as they appear in the Entrant Status Check (ESC). Your case number should be clearly written in the upper right hand corner of your e-mail or in the subject line. KCC only receives inquiries by email. Do not mail paper documents or correspondence to the Kentucky Consular Center. All paper documents or correspondence received will be destroyed. The KCC e-mail address for Diversity Visa inquiries is KCCDV@state.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Interview

At the end of your immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the consular officer will inform you whether your visa application is 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 page, and detailed information is available on the Denials webpage.

Note: Some refused visa applications may require further administrative processing. When administrative processing is required, the consular officer will inform the applicant at the end of the interview. The duration of the administrative processing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.

Visa Approval – When You Receive Your Visa

 

Passport with Visa – Your diversity visa will be placed on a page in your passport. Please review the printed information right away to make sure there are no errors. If there are any spelling errors, contact the embassy or consulate promptly.

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Sealed Immigrant Packet – You will also receive a sealed packet containing documents that you must present to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a port-of-entry (often an airport) upon your arrival in the United States. You must not open the sealed packet.

When You Should Travel – You must arrive and apply for admission in the United States no later than the visa expiration date printed on your visa. A diversity visa is usually valid for up to six months from the date of issuance unless your medical examination expires sooner, which may make your visa valid for less than six months.

USCIS Immigrant Fee – You must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after you receive your immigrant visa and before you travel to the United States. 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. Select USCIS Immigrant Fee on the USCIS website for more information. Important Notice: USCIS will not issue a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551 or Green Card) until you have paid the fee.

Vaccination Records – Children are required to have certain vaccinations before they can enroll in school in the United States. Therefore, it is recommended that your child have complete vaccination records before immigrating. Learn about vaccination requirements by state on the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

X-rays – You must hand-carry your X-rays with you, not pack them in your luggage.

 

Entering the United States

 

When traveling to the United States, the primary (or principal) applicant must enter before or at the same time as family members with visas. With your diversity visa (before it expires), and your sealed packet, you will travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (often an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States.  The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to grant or deny admission. Learn about admission and entry requirements on the CBP website under Travel.

If you are admitted, you will enter as a Lawful Permanent Resident, also called a green card holder, and will be permitted to work and live permanently in the United States.

 

When You are a Permanent Resident – Coming to the United States to live permanently, you will want to learn more about your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident.

 

Social Security Number – To learn about the U.S. Social Security Administration benefits available to Legal Permanent Residents, and how to apply for a social security number card