Diversity Immigrant Visa

The United States is a unique country that draws the attention of many other nations. The diversity of cultures within the United States makes it an attractive place for foreign nationals and encourages them to immigrate on a more or less permanent basis. You may also be one of the foreign nationals who wants to settle in the United States but do not know how to immigrate to the country of your dreams.

If you seek to immigrate to this great nation, you must know about the country and about how to get an immigrant visa. Immigrant visas are absolutely necessary for foreign nationals to enter the United States and to become permanent residents with Green Cards.

Immigration Visa Types

There are a few different immigrant categories you can use to apply for a visa as long as a US citizen, Green Card holder or US employer sponsors you and files an immigrant petition for you. You will have to be the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition in order to become eligible for an immigrant visa.

If you are a US citizen's immediate relative or if you are eligible to immigrate through family a family relationship, you can get an immigrant visa. You may also get an immigrant visa through marriage to a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident after they have petitioned for your entry to the US.

If your US citizen fiancé files a K-1 non-immigrant visa for you and you get married in the US, the next step would be for your spouse to file an immigrant petition for you. If approved, you would then receive a Green Card.

Employment-based immigration is another common way through which foreign nationals immigrate to America. You may become eligible for an immigrant visa if you are sponsored by a US employer or, if you make an investment in a US business venture.

Immigrant visas are also issued on certain humanitarian conditions, such as for asylees or refugees.

The Diversity Visa Lottery

Apart from the above, you may also immigrate to America by taking part in the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. This program does not require sponsors. If you are eligible to take part in the lottery program and win you can immigrate to America.

The Diversity Visa Lottery Program is meant for the citizens of under-represented countries and not for the citizens of countries who send a lot of immigrants to the United States. The US State Department conducts this program every year and grants some of the winners diversity immigration visas.

US State Department

You should also be familiar with the US State Department which conducts the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. The State Department operates the lottery program and is the American equivalent to another country’s foreign affairs office.

Winners are selected through a random drawing. The agency gives all registered participants of the lottery program an equal chance to win the lottery and to settle in the United States.

The State Department is responsible for implementing the foreign policy of the President of the United States and it supports the activities of a few other federal agencies. Typically it provides important services to citizens of foreign countries who seek to temporarily visit or immigrate to the United States.

Diversity Visa or Green Card lottery Program of the State Department

The State Department’s Green Card Lottery is the only program that does not require sponsorship. Anyone who is eligible can take part in this lottery program and pursue a chance to obtain an immigrant visa.

This program is legislated by the government of the United States and randomly awards 50,000 Green Cards to people from eligible countries every year. This lucky 50,000 will be able to become permanent residents of this great country. Winners of the Green Card Lottery and their dependent family members will be eligible for immigration to the United States.

The Diversity Visa lottery program will not allocate immigrant visas to the nationals of countries that have sent more than 50,000 individuals to the United States in any of the past five years.

Eligibility Requirements

To take part in the program, you need to be a citizen of an under-represented country and you must have a high school diploma or two years of work experience in a profession that took two years of training.

Applicants who are from a country that is not eligible can choose to claim the country-of-origin of either their spouse or parent to become eligible for the Green Card Lottery provided that the person they are claiming came from an eligible country.

Online Diversity Visa Lottery Application

Applicants cannot apply for the Green Card Lottery through the mail or in paper. The only way to take part in the lottery program is by filing an online application. Applicants must carefully complete and file the application as the applications filed without required photographs or contain incorrect information will be rejected.

The website of the State Department contains detailed information about this program and you can check that website for more information. You need not pay any filing fees for your lottery application. However, you will need to pay immigrant visa fees after you win when you file the actual Green Card application.

Winners of the Lottery Program

All registrants of the Diversity Visa lottery program will be allotted confirmation numbers and you can check whether you have won the lottery or not only by using that number on the Entrant Status Check website. Further instructions about the interview will be mailed to the winners of the Green Card Lottery from the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC).

If you find that you have won the lottery, you will have to follow the instructions mailed to you from the KCC and file an application for an immigrant visa. You must show that you are eligible for a permanent resident card, complete a visa application and submit supporting documents which will prove your eligibility.

You will have to undergo a medical examination and pay the immigrant visa fees before being granted a visa. After being interviewed by a consular officer for eligibility, you will be issued an immigrant visa. With that visa, you can enter the United States and live there as a lawful permanent resident.


US Department of State


Federal Register

Entrant Status Check Website

Instructions for DV-2013

Instructions for DV-2014

State Department

Photograph Requirements

The USCIS Diversity Visa Lottery Website


The Federal Register, The Daily Journal of the US Government: