When Will the Green Card Lottery Begin in 2013?

The Start of DV 2015

This year, 2013, the Diversity Visa Lottery 2015 (DV 2015) will begin.

This program is also commonly referred to as the Green Card Lottery.

The lottery gives about 50,000 green cards to immigrants every year who come from countries which don’t typically send many immigrants to the U.S.

The Department of State, the governmental organization that runs the lottery, has not released a solid date for the start of this year’s lottery. However, if past lotteries are any suggestion of a pattern, the next registration period should begin in early October and end in early November.

Other Currently Active Green Card Lotteries

Though a new Green Card Lottery is beginning in 2013, there are already extant lotteries still going on.

DV 2013 – This Diversity Visa Lottery had its registration period in the fall of 2011 and winners were selected in the spring of 2012. This is the last year that winners of this particular lottery will be able to apply for visas. At the end of the year, DV 2013 will be considered officially closed.

DV 2014 – For the Diversity Visa Lottery that began in 2012, this year is when the winners of the lottery will be selected. On May 1, 2013, registrants could log on to the State Department’s website to see if they had won the lottery. The last year in which winners of this lottery may apply for visas is 2014.

Requirements Changes for DV 2015

Most of the time, the requirements for entry into the Green Card Lottery are the same. However, there is a certain amount of variation every year.

Nationalities that are allowed to enter the lottery change because they are based on the immigration numbers of the past few years.

There are many countries which consistently remain on this list, such as Canada, China, India, Mexico, the Philippines and the United Kingdom, but some countries may be added or removed from the list.

Currently, the State Department has not released their revised list of designated countries, but it will be made available before the start of the registration period.

Other Important Dates

Among other important dates or time-frames to keep in mind are:

  • Day to check status. This date is relatively stable and occurs on the first day of May the year after the registration period. For those registering in 2013, they may check to see if they have won the Green Card Lottery on May 1, 2014 unless otherwise specified.
  • Initial Visa Applications. The applications for the actual visas will be sent out during the summer of the year following the registration period. For those registering in 2013 and who win in 2014, they should look to get an application package during summer or fall of 2014. See below about visa packages.
  • End of the Lottery. A lottery program lasts only two years and in the later part of 2015, the State Department will cease giving out visas for DV 2013.

Visa Bulletin and the Diversity Visa

When registrants log in to the State Department’s website to see whether or not they have won, they will be given a code which represents their region and, effectively, their place in line.

They can then compare their code with the listing in the State Department’s Visa Bulletin to estimate the amount of time they will have to wait until they can apply for a visa.