Green Card through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program annually conducts a green card lottery, allocating 55,000 green cards for individuals categorized as "diversity immigrants" from nations with historically low immigration rates to the United States. The qualified visa applicants are determined via a random drawing from over 10-12 million people seeking to enter the United States every year worldwide. There is no charge associated with registering for the DV program, but those selected for an interview must pay a visa application fee before formally applying for a visa. During the application process, a consular officer will assess whether they meet the qualifications for the visa.
Registration for the 2025 Diversity Visa Lottery program started on October 4, 2023, and concluded on November 7, 2023, at 12 noon Eastern Time (ET). The lottery results for the fiscal year 2025 will be disclosed in May 2024.
For DV-2025, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
· China, including Hong Kong SAR (natives of Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible)
· Dominican Republic
· El Salvador
· Republic of Korea (South Korea)
What am I entitled to with the Diversity Visa?
The diversity visa allows you to live and work in the United States, but the U.S. government won’t cover your travel expenses, find you a place to live or find you a job. As part of your visa application, you will have to prove that you are unlikely to become dependent on the U.S. government for your living expenses. There is no specific amount of money you must prove to have. The consular officer will consider the totality of your circumstances during your visa interview.
What are the requirements for the Diversity Visa?
In order for you to qualify as a diversity immigrant, you must meet the following requirements:
You must belong to a country which is allowed for the DV program
You must be at least 18 years old when applying as the head of the family
You must have at least high school education or equivalent or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation
Your application will be rejected if you don’t meet these requirements.
How to Apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
Submit electronic application: The Department of State only accepts electronic submissions through the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website. Each person is allowed only one entry. Paper-based or late entries after the specified end date will not be accepted.
Receive confirmation Number: After submitting the application, you will receive a unique confirmation number along with your name. Retain this confirmation number for future reference, including checking entry status, receiving instructions, and scheduling a visa interview if selected.
DS-260: Selected candidates must complete the DS-260 application online to schedule an interview with the U.S. consulate or embassy.
Immediate Action for Selected Applicants: Act promptly upon selection. Your application must be processed and your visa issued by the end of the fiscal year. Due to more selections than available visas, delaying action may result in unavailability of visas.
Submission of Documents: Before the interview, submit scanned copies of required documents, this may vary by country; check with the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy.
DS-260 Review and Interview Scheduling: Once the DS-260 is reviewed, you may receive an email notification regarding the scheduled interview. Check the interview details on the E-DV website using your confirmation number, and bring the necessary documents and photographs.
After a successful interview, you will receive your passport with the diversity visa.
Obtain a sealed immigrant packet containing documents required at the U.S. port of entry; do not open this packet.
Arrive in the United States and apply for admission before the visa expiry date.
Pay the immigrant fee to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Carry x-rays and vaccination records when entering the United States under DV-2025.
The U.S. Embassy advises the public of a notable increase in fraudulent emails and letters sent to DV program (Visa Lottery) applicants. The scammers behind these fraudulent emails and letters are posing as the U.S. government in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants. Applicants can only find out if they were selected to continue with the DV application process by checking their status online through the DV Entrant Status Check at https://dvprogram.state.gov, Applicants will never be notified via email.
Beware of those who charge a fee to help you. There is NO fee to enter, remember that fees for the DV application process are paid to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate cashier at the time of your scheduled appointment. The U.S. government will never ask you to send payment in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer.
An immigration lawyer can provide assistance in determining DV eligibility, submitting a DV application, submitting a visa application on the basis of DV selection, and helping to ensure completion of the visa process within the required time period. Call us at (305) 371 8846, we would be happy to walk you through the Diversity Visa Lottery process!
Patricia Elizee is the managing partner of the Elizee Law Firm, an immigration law firm located at 1110 Brickell Avenue, Suite 315, Miami, Florida 33131. Phone 305-371-8846