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Diversity Visa ("Green card lottery") Registration Begins Next Week

September 2018

Online registration for the DV-2020 program begins on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and concludes on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST).Eligibility requirements and instructions for the DV Lottery can be found in the Federal Register.

There is no fee to register for the program, however applicants must apply online by submitting an Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form or DS-5501) at dvlottery.state.gov. The registration via this site will open at noon EDT on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

Conducted by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), the DV program provides a limited number of immigrant (permanent) visas each fiscal year for individuals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S. Selectees are chosen through a random computer drawing, therefore the process is commonly referred to as the "green card lottery".

For DV-2020, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

Applicants who were not born in a qualifying country may also qualify on the basis of a family relationship, in the following situations:

  •  If the applicant's spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, the applicant can claim the spouse's country of birth-provided both the applicant and spouse are named on the selected DV entry, are issued diversity visas, and enter the United States simultaneously;

OR

  •  If the applicant was born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but neither of the applicant's parents were born or legally resident in that country at the time of the applicant's birth, the applicant may claim the country of birth of a parent if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the DV-2020 program.


Again, it is important to remember the lottery is a random process and there is no fee to enter. Individuals contacted by any company or individual promising to increase the chance of being selected in the DV program should be aware that it is a scam. Applications for Electronic Diversity Visa Entry can only be completed on the DOS website and applicants will be issued a confirmation number upon submission.

We urge any company representative or foreign national seeking guidance on the DV Lottery to contact an MVA team member.