Green Card

How to apply for the US Green Card lottery visa

The Diversity Visa (DV) lottery is also known as the Green Card lottery or Diversity Immigrant Visa Program It offers a chance for up to 50,000 people from countries with low immigration rates to the U.S. a chance to pursue their American dream.

It’s a way for people who wouldn’t typically have the opportunity to immigrate to the U.S. to get a green card. Every year, millions of people from around the world apply for the Diversity Visa hoping to be one of the selected people who get to immigrate to the U.S. and start a new life.

If they’re successful, they and their family members will receive green cards and move to the U.S. They also have the opportunity to start the citizenship application after living in the U.S. for at least 5 years.

This is a highly sought-after opportunity and as such it’s essential to follow the procedure and requirements to increase your chances of getting selected. Here are the requirements and procedure for the Green Card lottery application.


There are two main requirements to be eligible for the Diversity Visa:

  • Country of birth: As stated, the Diversity Visa lottery is meant for people from low immigration countries to the U.S. Your country of birth should have sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the last 5 years. People from such countries are not eligible to apply in the 2023 application period. They include:
  1. Bangladesh
  2. Brazil
  3. Canada
  4. China (including Hong Kong SAR)
  5. Colombia
  6. Dominican Republic
  7. El Salvador
  8. Haiti
  9. Honduras
  10. India
  11. Jamaica
  12. Mexico
  13. Nigeria
  14. Pakistan
  15. Philippines
  16. South Korea
  17. United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
  18. Venezuela
  19. Vietnam
  • A high school education is the minimum requirement for qualification. If you don’t have the required educational requirements, you can include your work experience which should be at least two years within the past five years in a qualified profession. Qualified professions are those that require at least two years of training.


The application process is fairly simple and there are no fees involved until you’re selected and choose to apply for the Diversity Visa. Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying for the DV Lottery.

  • While it’s available, you will fill out the application form on the US State Department’s website. It normally opens in early October and closes in early November. This year it’s open from October 4, 2023, to November 7, 2023.
  • The application form is quite straightforward but there are some key areas to pay attention to.
  1. Country of birth: you must list the country you were born in, regardless of where you currently live.
  2. Country of eligibility: you must list either your country of birth, your parents’ birth countries, or your spouse’s country if you’re eligible.
  3. Spouse: As long as you’re legally married, you must list your spouse, even if he or she doesn’t live with you or doesn’t intend to immigrate with you.
  4. Children: You must list all of your biological and/or adopted children, no matter how old they are. You must also list all of your step-children under age 21, even if you are no longer married to their parent.
  • After filling out the form, you need to include a recent passport photo (taken within the last 6 months) of you, your spouse and children if any. The photo must be in colour, taken in front of a white or off-white background. You should not wear hats or uniforms unless for religious reasons. You also shouldn’t wear eyeglasses unless for medical reasons. It’s best to go to a photographer who is experienced in taking Green card passport photos as they require specific dimensions.
  • Once you submit your application, you need to keep your confirmation number as you will need it to check whether you have been selected.
  • By early May, the selection process should be over and applicants may be able to check their DV application status and see if they were selected using the Entry Status Check at 
  • If the application is successful, you’ll only be allowed to apply for your visa during the fiscal year. You’ll receive a numerical rank, which will tell you when you can apply for your visa. It’s best to start the visa application process as soon as possible to get your visa on time.
  • Once your application is processed, it will be forwarded to the U.S. consulate, which will schedule a visa interview. You should keep in mind that the same standards for a visa application interview apply to this process as well. You need to make sure you and your family members are eligible for a green card.
  • After getting your visa, you must enter the U.S. before the expiration date. A Diversity Visa is typically valid for up to 6 months.

It’s important to note that the selection process is done randomly by a computer program. Additionally, each country cannot receive more than 7% of Diversity Visas in a given year. As long as you’re qualified and you fill the application form correctly, you stand an equal opportunity as the rest of the applicants to be one of the 50,000 winners of the Green Card lottery. If you’re in the United States in a temporary immigration status, also known as “non-immigrant status, you can also apply for the Green Card lottery.