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Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes 50,000 diversity visas available annually, drawn from random selection among entries of individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

How To Get a Diversity Visa

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) holds a lottery each year to determine who gets one of the 50,000 diversity visas available. You must apply through DOS during the online entry registration period, which typically runs from October through December of each year. Diversity visa lottery winners are notified by mail and, if they qualify, are granted a visa. You cannot enter the diversity visa lottery through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

For more information on obtaining a diversity visa, see the "U.S. Department of State: Entering Diversity Lottery" and "U.S. Department of State: How Do I Participate in the Diversity Lottery Program" links to the right.

Note: Citizens of some countries are not eligible to apply for the diversity lottery.

Eligibility Criteria

You may be eligible to obtain a green card (permanent residence) through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You were selected for the Diversity Visa Lottery Program by the U.S. Department of State
  • An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status which can be determined by reviewing the Visa Bulletin (please see the link to the "Visa Bulletin" on the right)
  • You are admissible to the United States

You may be eligible to obtain a green card as a derivative applicant through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You are the spouse or child of the principal applicant
  • An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file Form I-485
  • You are admissible to the United States

For more information and the application process, please click here.

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