The Diversity Visa Lottery Program

Who Qualifies for a Diversity Visa?

The U.S. State Department offers visa applicants from countries with low numbers of immigrants to the U.S. can apply to receive a Diversity Visa. Every year 50,000 applicants receive a Diversity Visa (DV.) Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets out specific guidelines about Diversity Visas. Applicants from six different geographical locations receive DVs A single country is only aloud a maximum of 7% of the total number of DVs in one year.

Countries with over 50,000 citizens already in the U.S. family-sponsored and employment-based immigration categories, also known as “high admission countries” are ineligible for DVs. Citizens from a “high admission country” cannot receive DVs. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services calculates the “high admission countries” once a year, so the list of eligible countries changes annually.

Submitting an Entry for a Diversity Visa

The U.S. Department of State publishes instructions on how to submit an entry into the DV program. Included in these guidelines are registration dates, information on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website.

The DV program does NOT accept late entries. Once applicants complete the application, they receive a confirmation number. Additionally, The confirmation number applicants receive is used to check an application status. This confirmation number is vital, as it is used to check the status of an application. Also, the U.S. State Department will NOT be able to re-send your confirmation number if you lose it. There is no fee for applying for the Diversity Visa program.

The selection of applicants who receive a Diversity Visa is random. Applicants should check their status on the E-DV website sometime in May. Applicants must use their confirmation number to check the status of their application.

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