The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

The “Diversity Immigrant Visa Program” gives an opportunity to 50,000 people around the globe to reside and work in the U.S. permanently. You too can take advantage of this opportunity by applying for the program and getting your chance of immigrating to the U.S.

Many other names, such as the Diversity Visa Lottery, Green Card Lottery or simply the Visa Lottery, have been used for this program, which is conducted every year by the U.S. Department of State.

The Diversity Visa program for receiving a U.S. permanent resident card or a green card is conducted under the terms of Section 203 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) amended by Section 131 of the Immigration Act 1990.

This law defines a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants”.  Diversity visas are available for people from countries that have historically low rates of immigration to the U.S. The U.S. Department of State makes 50,000 diversity visas available every fiscal year.

Unlike other types of immigration, a Diversity Visa (DV) does not require a U.S. sponsor, therefore, a petition is not needed. This lottery is conducted every year and you too can try your luck at winning a green card, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you receive a visa through the Diversity Visa lottery, you will be authorized to work and stay in the United States. You can also bring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years along with you to the United States.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is a two step process where step one is the Diversity Visa Lottery and step two is the visa interview.

People from eligible countries can submit lottery entries on the website (details regarding the eligibility criteria, application process and documents required can be found in the following sections of the book).

The entry period changes every year and is about a month long. It usually starts from early October to early November. Applicants can keep track of their visa applications through “Entrant Status” check on the E-DV website.

Furthermore, Entrant Status Check also provides successful applicants with the instructions that they have to follow during their diversity visa process with notifications of the date and time of their immigrant visa interview.

The Kentucky Consular Center no longer mails notification letters, nor sends emails to notify Diversity Visa lottery entrants of their successful selection in the DV program.

(The Kentucky Consular Center was established in the year 2000 by the U.S Department of State to take over the administration of the Diversity Visa Lottery Program from the National Visa Center in Portsmouth, NH).

Each year, about 110,000 applications are chosen randomly from the qualified entries and once 55,000 visas are issued or the fiscal year ends, the lottery process automatically ends.

All entries are strictly computer generated and are entirely random. All confirmation numbers of winning entries in the diversity lottery are posted to the official Diversity Lottery website.