What is the DV Lottery?

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also the green card lottery, is a U.S. government lottery program that allows over 55,000 persons from other nations to receive the United States Permanent Resident Card. It is congressionally-mandated under the Immigration Act of 1990, administered by the Department of State, and carried out under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The government uses these programs as a way to diversify the population. It gives priority to persons from nations deemed to be under-represented in immigration within the last five years.  For example, immigrants from Mexico, China, and the Philippines outnumber those from other countries. During the lottery process, these three will get limited or no chance while others get the most significant consideration.

The green card lottery attracts masses, with over 12 million people applying in 2019. However, it remains a free and fair process where a random drawing determines the lucky 55,000 out of the millions. It is important to note that some deceptive agencies con applicants into paying to increase their chances of winning. The process is entirely free, and the only way to apply is through the entry form available on the Department of State website.

If you do not know where to begin, you can always come to us for assistance- we have no affiliation with the government or any

government agency. You can always visit www.immiggreat.com


How the Green Card Lottery Works

If you are lucky among the 55,000, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue you with a Green Card. With it, you are free to live and work in the U.S. permanently.  There are several other ways to get a Green Card, such as family, employment, or a refugee or a foreign nationality seeking asylum. The wait in these other avenues may take up to 20 years, so you can always try your luck with the lottery.

What Are Your Chances of Winning the green card lottery?

Every year there are always 50,000 Green Cards up for grabs in six different geographical areas worldwide; underrepresented regions are getting the highest priority. Countries that have seen more than 55,000 immigrants to the United States do not qualify for the lottery program.  Also, no country receives more than 3850 or 7% of the available 55,000 Green Cards. So the first qualification you must have is to come from a qualifying nation.

The probability of winning a Green card lottery stands at 1:25 to 1:75, depending on your country of birth. That is, according to the American Bream in-house analysis. For European nations, the probability is about 1:45, meaning that every 45th applicant stands a chance to win the lottery.

The overall number of applicants declined when the government passed that participants must only submit their applications online. The numbers also drop by a significant margin as a result of the 2019 passport regulations. These two factors may have a positive impact and may boost your chances of winning, especially in the European region; less competition increases your chances of success.

You also boost your chances by filling and completing your application right. Every year 40% of the applicants get disqualified because of formal errors like attaching wrong photos or filing the incorrect family status. These are just but examples of the many things that hopefuls do wrong. If you can avoid this, then you have high chances.

The worst thing is that the authorities will not tell you about what you did wrong; they will just disqualify your application on the spot. Over 100,000 winners get selected each year. Out of these, the U.S. authorities disqualify more than 50 000.

Who Is Green Card Eligible?

Several factors will determine your eligibility for the Green Card lottery program.  So, it is essential to go through every requirement to see whether you are eligible or not. Otherwise, you would be nailing Jell-O to a tree. Here are some of the needs you have to meet before you try your luck in the program,


As mentioned above, the Green card lottery aims to balance the composition of persons migrating into the United States. The most significant share goes to nations with a historically low immigration number, witching the six global geographical regions. That is Africa, Asia, North and South America, including the Caribbean. There are a few restrictions on over-represented countries like China and Mexico, so it is essential that you check where your country lies.

If your country of birth is not eligible, still qualify if your spouse comes from an eligible country. You must have name yourselves in the same entry and have the interest to migrate to the U.S. at the same time.

You also qualify if your country of birth is ineligible, but your parents’ country of birth qualifies- if none of your parents were born or were a legal resident of the ineligible country at your birth.

Education and Work Experience

You might come from an eligible country, but you might still fail to qualify due to these requirements. To qualify for the DV lottery, you must have a high school certificate or its equivalent. You must have relevant experience in a qualifying field of practice with the last five years from the time you are applying. You can always use the O*Net Online database to check if your job qualification is enough.

When to Register

The online DV Program lottery registration process runs from October to November every year.  The   State Department began to receive applications for the Fiscal Year (F.Y.) 2022 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Those who were willing had until November 10, 2020, to complete their registration. The results, however, will be out in May this year, when the selected foreign nations will start submitting their application for Green Card.

Where and How to Register

To register for the DV lottery program, you must fill in and submit your details online, in English.  You must follow every detail to the latter. Go fill in everything as required and provide every copy of the document in the correct format. Failure to do that may lead to immediate disqualification; remember, there are many people on the line, so that anything can get you out.

If you need any assistance with the application process, please feel free to check our website for help. Alternatively, you can go through The U.S. State Department video tutorial on registering for the green card lottery and learn more.

It is a requirement that you do your application in the English language. However, instructions are available in different sign languages to always read the one you understand most.

Buyer Beware

Winning the DV lottery is an opportunity that millions of people desperately want. The desperation is, however, a soft spot that scammers target. They will ask for money in exchange for useless or even harmful information. For example, you will find websites that offer to help you win the lottery or offer to trick the system. Most of them look legit and may even give you free help=. In exchange, you will receive fraudulent emails and messages that you are a winner when you are not.

To avoid going through such, please note the following;

A computer randomly does the selection process without and human interference

There is only one way to determine whether you are successful or not; visiting www.dvlottery.state.gov from 1ST May of the respective year.

There is no fee applicable in applying for the lottery. However, if you win and get permission to apply, you will have to pay a certain fee only in person at your country’s respective U.S. embassy or consulate.

Again you can always come to us for professional help. We have comprehensive and helpful resources, including how you can evade the con artists we talked about above.

It is important to note that winning the DV Green Card lottery is not a guarantee to getting a Green Card; it only gives you a chance to apply for one.

Increasing Your Chance of Winning the DV Lottery

Even though the selection process is random and done by a computer, there are few things that you can do to boost your odds. Everything here is free and depends on how you use them.

You and your spouse, if eligible, should apply. It gives you two chances to qualify as if one wins; the other one is automatically successful as a derivative spouse.

Another way to boost your chances is to use the number in your family. There is no limit to the number of family members that can apply. So if your children meet the educational and training requirements, then they should apply as well. If one of them wins, they will not be able to immediately bring you to the U.S. but be able to initiate a process that will eventually get you there as a parent.

Winning a Diversity Visa

Whining a DV lottery is but a first step towards getting your Green Card. It is not a guarantee, but it allows you to apply for a green card. Whether you are successful or not, you won’t receive any notifications. You will need to visit the DV Entrant Status Check link online and click the ‘Check Status’ link.

The site will then prompt you to click the ‘Continue’ button, enter your confirmation number, surname, year of births, and then submit. Your results will display on the screen. If you are not successful, it will display ‘HAS NOT BEEN SELECTED.’ If you win, the page will tell you that ‘you have been randomly selected for further processing in the Diversity Immigration Visa Program.’ You must save the case number as you will need it later.

Waiting List

About 125 000 winners in this stage, only about 50 000 are eligible for a Green CARD. Every winner here goes to the waiting list and gets a number. If you have a higher number and more than 50 000 people are eligible ahead of you, you will not get a chance to apply for the green card. If you get the opportunity, you will then fill the DS-260 application form and wait for your interview session.

Your schedule for the interview must depend on your case number, which the system generates automatically. If you get a smaller number, it means your plan will come up earlier and vice versa. It is independent of how soon you complete and submits your DS-260 form.

Currently Living in the U.S

If you at the moment you live in the United States under any legal status, including as a nonimmigrant, you will apply through the USCIS. That is if you win the DV lottery and get an opportunity to apply for a green card. This process is famous for the adjustment of status where you apply without returning to your country of birth.

Currently Living Outside the U.S

The most significant percentage of DV lottery applicants live outside the U.S. through the consulate process.  It requires you to apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate in your country of birth.

Bottom Line

Applying for the green card is free, so we recommend that you give it a try even if you intend to get a green card through other viable options. However, being in a lottery does not mean that you are getting a smooth ride. It has some strict rules and guidelines to follow, so you must provide every detail and document requirements as per the instructions. You can only make one application per year. Read and follow the latter’s instructions, not to let minor errors come between you and your dreams.

Link: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/021116/how-green-card-lotter y-really-works.asp

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