Immigrant Visas: Diversity Visa Program

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The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State to provide for a new class of immigrants known as diversity immigrants (DV immigrants). Up to 50,000 permanent resident visas are given out annually to persons from countries with low immigration rates to the United States.

The annual DV program makes permanent residence visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. Applicants for Diversity Visas are chosen by a computer-generated random lottery drawing. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to citizens of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years. Within each region, no one country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

Complete information is available from the State Department’s Diversity Visa program website.

DV-2020 Visa Lottery Program

DV-2020 Program:  Online registration period for the DV-2020 Program begins on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and concludes on Tuesday November 6, 2018 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-4). Individuals who submit more than one entry during the registration period will be disqualified.

For detailed instructions for DV-2020, please see Diversity Visa Instructions.

  • We strongly encourage DV program entrants to apply early.  In the past, system delays caused by extremely heavy demand in the final days of the registration period prevented some individuals from submitting entries.  While we continue to upgrade the system, overwhelming demand could cause delays.  We will not accept entries after noon EST on November 6, 2018, regardless of system delays during the registration period.
  • Applicants must submit a recent photo taken within the last six months that is compliant with specifications published in the DV-2020 Instructions.  Entries that include the same photo submitted with a previous year’s entry or that do not meet specifications will be disqualified.
  • Registered entries that comply with form submission instructions will result in the display of a confirmation screen page that contains the entrant’s name and confirmation number, which the entrant should print.  The confirmation screen page will provide information the entrant must use to check the status of his or her entry electronically through the Entrant Status Check available at state.govOnly entrants who have their confirmation information will be able to check their Entrant Status and, if selected, receive application instructions and notification of their IV interview appointment.  A link on the Entry Status Check page will allow entrants to retrieve their confirmation number by entering their email address, last name, and year of birth.
  • Entrants may prepare and submit their own entries or have someone submit the entry for them.  Whether the individual submits an entry directly, or an attorney, friend, relative, etc. provides assistance, only one entry may be submitted in the name of each individual, and the entrant remains responsible for ensuring that the information is correct and complete.  All entrants, including those not selected, will be able to check the status of their entry through the Entrant Status Check available at
  • Neither consular sections nor KCC may release confirmation numbers to the public, nor confirm whether or not an entrant has been selected.  The only means by which an entrant may confirm selection and obtain appointment information is through the Entry Status Check.
  • The law allows only one entry by or for each person during each registration period.  Entrants who submit more than one entry will be disqualified.
As in years past, the Embassy has become aware of various notices being sent via email purporting to notify recipients they have won the Diversity Visa Lottery (also known as the “Green Card Lottery”). People have also been contacted by phone. These emails and calls are in no way connected with the Embassy, the U.S. Department of State or any U.S. Government agency. Please remember that NO FEE is ever charged to enter the annual Diversity Visa (DV) program. The U.S. Government does not employ outside consultants or private services to operate the DV program. Any intermediaries or others who offer assistance to prepare DV applications or other visa paperwork do so without the authority or consent of the U.S. Government. Use of any outside intermediary or assistance to prepare a DV entry is entirely at the applicant’s discretion. A qualified entry submitted electronically directly by an applicant has exactly the same chance of being selected as a winner by the computer at the Kentucky Consular Center, as does an entry submitted electronically through a paid intermediary who completes the entry for the applicant. Kentucky Consular Center in the U.S. will not be mailing out notification letters. Those selected in the random drawing are NOT notified of their selection by e-mail. For details, see here.