U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery Application: How to Apply and What to Expect

What does it take to get your hands on one of the coveted 50,000 visas available through the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery? If you’re eligible, this article will walk you through the application process, explain what you can expect along the way, and provide tips to help you make sure your application has the best chance of being selected in this lottery draw. Along the way, we’ll also share some facts about diversity visas that might surprise you!

All about the DV-2020 registration process
If you’re dreaming of making America your new home, you’ll have a better chance if you enter that dream in a raffle. Well, not really—but if you want to become an American citizen via legal immigration (we’re partial to it), there are currently two main routes available for non-citizens seeking permanent residency status in America: family sponsorship or employment sponsorship. And for those who don’t meet those qualifications, there is one additional option—winning a visa lottery. The U.S. Department of State issues 55,000 diversity visas each year through its diversity visa program; any country except Canada and Mexico can apply for these visas, which are issued by random selection from eligible applicants. You may be wondering what exactly a diversity visa is—and how it differs from other types of visas? We break down everything you need to know about applying for a U.S. diversity visa below!

The DV-2020 application form
The diversity visa program offers a unique opportunity for persons from around the world who meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to obtain U.S permanent residence, or green card status, through a random drawing in Washington DC, held annually at noon on May 1st (May 2nd if you’re applying by mail). To learn more about all of our available USA immigration services please feel free to call us today! A lot of people have been asking how they can apply for DV-2020 so we have decided to create an informative post with all of your answers.

Submitting a successful application
If you’re planning on entering America through its diversity visa lottery, here are a few things you need to know about submitting your application. First, if you meet all eligibility requirements, there is no cost to submit an application—so don’t pay anyone who says otherwise! Second, applications must be submitted electronically; paper submissions will not be accepted. Finally, it’s important to note that applications must be submitted between October 1 and November 3 of each year for consideration in that year’s lottery. For example, U.S. citizens can apply for entry in fiscal year 2019 from October 1 until November 3 of 2018; winners will be notified by May of 2019 (about 90 days after they enter).

After your lottery application is complete
Check your e-mail frequently, because you will receive a confirmation email within minutes of submitting your application that contains very important information about the next steps if you are selected as a winner! You must return to dvlottery.state.gov and enter your confirmation number on that site in order to see if you have been selected as a winner in the U.S. Diversity Visa lottery. If you do not see your confirmation number after several hours, check your spam or junk mail folders and add dvlottery@dvlottery.state.gov to your address book so that it is sure to go directly into your inbox (and not sent back into spam). The results of the DV-2016 program will be announced sometime during May 2015 at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Good luck!

Other helpful tips
Register online through dvlottery.state.gov before it’s too late! Remember that you must be a native of a country whose residents are not already well represented in America (see DV-2012). So basically, if your home country appears on this list of countries with more than 50,000 natives currently living in America (PDF), you won’t qualify for participation in DV-2012…or any other year’s lottery. Sorry! You can read up on all eligibility requirements here. And yes, you will need to bring certain documentation with you when applying in person at an Embassy or Consulate abroad; make sure to visit travel.state.gov for details about what exactly is required. And finally, good luck! The application period ends on November 3rd so don’t delay—get started today by registering online at dvlottery.state.gov!