Green Card DV-Lottery Information – Apply Successfully

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the green card lottery, is a United States government lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. The Immigration Act of 1990 established the current and permanent Diversity Visa (DV) program.

The lottery is administered by the Department of State and conducted under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It makes available 55,000 immigrant visas annually and aims to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants from countries with low numbers of immigrants in the previous five years. Around 12 million people applied for the lottery in 2019. The most recent entry period for the lottery was from October 7 to November 10, 2020

For DV-2021, there was a policy change.  Each DV entry must include the passport number, country of issuance, and expiration date for the principal entrant’s valid, unexpired passport.  This requirement applies to the principal entrant only, not to dependents.  The Department has also clarified DV-2021 rules to explain that failure to provide all required entry information, including a valid passport number and compliant photographs for all family members, will result in mandatory disqualification.

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The E-DV system will be open for entries beginning noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on October 2, 2019 and will close for entries at noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 5, 2019.  We 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.

 2021/2022 Green Card DV-Lottery Information – All you need to know to Apply Successfully

All entries must be submitted electronically during the registration period at and there is no fee to enter the lottery.  All entrants must print and retain their online confirmation page after completing their DV entries so that they will be able to check their entry status.   No entries will be accepted after 10 p.m. on November 5, 2019.

The Department again will use web-based tools to notify entrants of their selection and visa interview appointment as part of ongoing efforts to combat fraud perpetrated against DV entrants.  The Department will not send selectee notification or appointment letters to successful entrants by regular mail or by email.  Starting May 5, 2020 entrants may enter their DV-2021 entry confirmation number into the Entrant Status Check, available at, to determine whether their entry was selected.

Selected individuals who respond to the notification instructions provided on the E-DV selectee confirmation page on Entrant Status Check also will receive notification of their scheduled IV appointment through Entrant Status Check.  DV-2021 data will be available through Entrant Status Check until at least September 30, 2021.  All entrants should keep their confirmation number until September 30, 2021, regardless of whether they are selected initially.

The Entrant Status Check, when available on May 5, 2020, will provide next-step instructions to selectees, and will direct each selectee to the “Instructions for Selectees” web pages, which are accessible at

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Many deceptive agencies charge fees from applicants or falsely claim to increase their winning chances, but in fact the only way to apply for the lottery is to complete the entry form on the Department of State website, free of charge.


The visas are distributed among six regions: Africa, Asia, Europe (Turkey, Cyprus and all countries in the former Soviet Union are allocated to Europe, even though some of them are geographically entirely in Asia), Latin America (Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America), North America (consisting only of Canada and the Bahamas), and Oceania.

Dependent territories are treated as part of their respective sovereign countries, and disputed territories are allocated as recognized by the United States. For example, Bermuda is treated as part of the United Kingdom under Europe, the Gaza Strip is considered part of Egypt under Africa, and the West Bank is considered part of Jordan under Asia. However, there are some exceptions: Northern Ireland and Taiwan are treated as separate countries, and Macau is considered part of Portugal under Europe (even after its sovereignty returned to China in 1999).

Each region that sent more than one sixth of the total number of immigrants to the United States in the previous five years is considered a “high-admission region” (currently Latin America and Asia), and each region that sent less than one sixth is a “low-admission region” (currently North America, Europe, Africa and Oceania). T

he proportion of diversity visas given to the low-admission group is set as the proportion of recent immigrants from the high-admission group (currently about 80%),[48] and vice versa. Among regions of the same group, the diversity visas are allocated proportionally to their population, excluding ineligible countries (those that sent more than 50,000 immigrants in the previous five years).

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Within each region, the visas are not allocated among individual countries. All applicants from the same region are selected randomly as a whole, for the number of visas allocated for that region, but with the limitation that no single country may receive more than 7% of the total diversity visas (3,850).

Although only 55,000 diversity visas are available each year, the lottery selects about 100,000 applicants. The reason for the larger selection is to ensure that all 55,000 diversity visas are eventually given each year, as some applicants are expected to fail general immigration requirements or may decide to withdraw and not to continue the process. As a result, some lottery winners who have received notifications might not obtain visas.

It is also possible that some visas remain available after all initially selected applicants are reviewed. In this case, additional applicants are selected later. For this reason, applicants who were not initially selected in the lottery should keep checking their status online periodically, until the end of the respective fiscal year

For more information about the Green Card DV Lottery program, go to



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