The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is a lottery for a green card run by the U.S. Department of State.
Each year, up to 50,000 immigrant visas become available to people from countries with low levels of immigration to the United States. A random drawing from all individuals who enter during the application period determines the winners.
How do you apply for the program?
Each year there is a limited window of time designated by the U.S. Department of State where people can apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. You need to electronically submit your application through the U.S. Department of State’s Electronic Diversity Visa website. Paper applications are not accepted. The confirmation number you receive when you register will allow you to check your status. There is no cost to register for the program.
Who is eligible for the program?
Applicants must have the equivalent of a high school education or at least two years of qualifying work experience within the last five years. That requirement only applies to the main applicant; it is not expected of accompanying spouses and children.
Is supporting documentation needed for the application?
Beginning in 2022, applicants no longer need to submit supporting documentation with their applications. Supporting documentation is not necessary until chosen for an in-person interview. Previously, the U.S. Department of State did not consider cases for interviews until after receiving supporting documentation.
The list of supporting documentation required to establish eligibility for a visa includes birth certificates, prison records and military records. Depending on the country you are from, there could be additional documentation requirements. Check on the Department of State website to verify which documents you will need when selected for an interview and how you can submit them.