Your guide to the DV Lottery

The DV lottery is also called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. It is a program that gives people a chance to get a U.S. visa. It chooses people randomly like a lottery. If you win a visa you can live, work, and study in the USA. You must meet strict requirements. After 5 years of lawfully living in the United States with a visa, you can apply for citizenship.


green card and US visa

The U.S. is not accepting DV lottery applications currently. There is a limited period of time that you can apply each year. We will update this page when the U.S. government opens the DV-2024 program in early October.

You can check if you won the 2023 Diversity Visa Program here.

The DV Lottery Program for 2023

To participate in the 2023 Diversity Visa Program, you must have applied in 2021.

  • The application period was between October 6, 2021, and November 9, 2021.
  • 55,000 visas will be awarded for the fiscal year of 2023.
    • The U.S. government fiscal year starts on October 1st and ends on September 30th.
  • Applications need to be submitted through the U.S. Department of State.
  • Registration to the DV Program is free. There is no cost to apply.
  • People from these countries could not apply:
    • Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland), and its dependent territories, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
  • A computer chooses the winners of the DV Lottery Program randomly. The visas are distributed in six geographic regions by the Department of State.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOQlh2d2EbQ&feature=emb_title)

Requirements:

Participants in the DV Lottery must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be a citizen of one of the countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. If you are not, you can still enter if your spouse is a native of a country with low rates of immigration. Or, you can claim the country of birth of your parents if they were born in a low immigration country.
  2. Meet the education and work experience conditions. This means a high school diploma or two years in an occupation that requires two years of training. Learn about the qualifying occupations.

Submit an entry only if you meet both requirements.

Tips for applying

  • Do not send more than one application; this will exclude you from the lottery.
  • Gather all your information before filling in the form; this will make the process easier.
  • Submit your application early. Do not wait until the last day to send your application; heavy demand may result in website delays. 
  • Do not send a late entry or a paper entry.
  • Make sure you complete all answers on the form. The U.S. Department of State will not accept incomplete forms.
  • Check the U.S. embassy or consulate website in your country. It could have more information.
  • After submitting your entry, make sure to keep a copy of your confirmation page and number. You’ll need that information to check the status of your application. 
  • The U.S. Department of State will never send you an email telling you if you have won. You can only find out by checking on dvprogram.state.gov.

Warning about DV Lottery fraud

Be aware of fraudulent emails and letters from scammers. They will try to get payment from applicants. The U.S. government will never ask you for advance payment by check, money order, or money transfer.

That is a scam. Do not pay money for an application or to check the status of your entry. 

Try not to use a “visa consultant,” a “visa agent,” or any “facilitator” that offers help. If you do, you must be present while the person is filling out the application. Scammers will charge you for the entry and then charge you to give you your confirmation number.

Remember:

  • It is free to enter the DV Lottery 
  • You cannot increase your chance of winning by paying

You can read more information about diversity visa scams.

What comes next if you won the DV lottery

There is currently a visa backlog. 

If you applied for the 2022 DV Program, you must wait for the notification for the interview. You will need to be found eligible for the visa and adjust your status by the end of September 30, 2022.

If you applied for the 2023 DV Program, you will need to be found eligible for the visa and adjust your status by September 30, 2023.

Check the U.S. Department of State website for updates and to check your status


The information on this page is adapted from the US Department of State. It is intended for general information purposes only and is updated as often as possible. USAHello does not give legal advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal advice. If you are looking for a free or low-cost lawyer or legal help, we can help you find free and low-cost legal services.