The Diversity Visa (DV) Program is a US immigration program that makes available 55,000 Diversity Immigrant Visas and Permanent Resident Green Cards to new immigrants each year.
Around 10 million people from around the world register to participate in the annual Diversity Visa Lottery (also called the Green Card Lottery) and approximately 80,000-100,000 are chosen for the opportunity to receive one of the 55,000 Diversity Immigrant Visas and US Permanent Resident Green Cards granted every year through this US immigration program.
If you are wondering how Green Card Lottery winners are chosen, keep reading for all the answers!
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How Are DV-Lottery Winner Selected?
The Diversity Visa Program uses a lottery to randomly select “winners” (called “Selectees”) from the millions of participants for the opportunity to continue the US immigration process to receive a US Diversity Immigrant Visa and Permanent Resident Green Card.
A computer algorithm is used as a fair method to randomly choose Green Card Lottery winners from the millions of qualified participants who were born in countries from the following six global regions:
- North America
- South America, Central America and The Caribbean
Eligible countries, whose natives are allowed to participate in the DV-Lottery (if they also meet the education or work experience requirement), are determined based upon having low rates of US immigration.
An eligible country’s natives can account for no more than 7% of all DV-Lottery winners randomly selected each year, since a key goal of the Diversity Visa Program is to diversify the US population and also to give people born in other countries a fair chance to be chosen.
When Are DV-Lottery Winners Notified?
People who are selected as winners of the DV-Lottery are usually informed in May.
You can check if you were selected as a winner of the DV-Lottery on the US State Department’s DV Program website by clicking on the DV Entrant Status Check and entering your:
- Confirmation Number
- Family/Last Name
- Year of Birth
If you were selected in the DV-Lottery for further processing, you will see a letter posted which has the US State Department logo, a bar code and long Case Number, providing details about your selection and the next step of the process.
You should print this Selection Letter and keep it in a safe place, because you will need it and your Case Number later during the consular process.
As part of the service that it provides, USAFIS promptly contacts its customers who are selected as winners in the DV-Lottery so they can start the next stage of the process as soon as possible.
Being randomly selected in the Diversity Visa Lottery does not mean that you have won a Green Card; however, it does bring you and your family one step closer to becoming Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States.
After you have been chosen in the DV-Lottery, you must file the DS-260 Form with the US State Department’s Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) so that the consular interview can be scheduled at the US Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence.
If the consular official approve you for US immigration, a Diversity Immigrant Visa will be placed on a page of your passport.
You will also need to pay the online Immigrant Fee to US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) so you can receive your plastic Permanent Resident Green Card.
If all of this sounds a bit complicated, don’t worry!
For more than 20 years, USAFIS has been helping thousands of people around the world to correctly prepare and submit their applications to the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.
USAFIS notifies its customers when they are selected as winners of the DV-Lottery and offers beneficial services to help the relocation process go as smoothly as possible.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
DV-Lottery winners are randomly selected by computer from eligible countries in six regions. A lottery is used as a fair, unbiased method to choose DV Lottery participants for the opportunity to continue the US immigration process.
You can check if you were chosen as a DV-Lottery winner usually starting in May by going to the US State Department’s Diversity Visa website, clicking on the DV Entrant Status Check, and then entering your Confirmation Number, Family/Last Name and Year of Birth. If you were chosen as a DV-Lottery winner, you will see a Selection Letter with the US State Department logo, a bar code and long Case Number, stating that you were selected for further processing and giving instructions about the next step of the process.
The most important thing you can do is to submit your DV-Lottery application and photos correctly during the annual registration period usually held in October so you will participate (You cannot be selected if you do not participate!). One way that you can increase (double) your family’s chances of being chosen as a DV Lottery winner is if your spouse is also eligible to participate and files a separate DV-Lottery application which includes information and photos for you and your dependent children (if relevant). This would give your family two chances to be chosen as DV-Lottery winners!
No – Being selected as a DV-Lottery winner does not mean you won a Green Card. It does mean that you won the opportunity to apply for one of the 55,000 Diversity Immigrant Visas and US Permanent Resident Green Cards made available through the Diversity Visa Program each year. In order to receive a Green Card after being chosen as a DV-Lottery winner, you will need to file the DS-260 Form, pass the consular interview, receive a Diversity Immigrant Visa in your passport and pay the Immigrant Fee to USCIS so you can be sent your Green Card.
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