The State Department will begin accepting online registrations for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery starting Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at noon EDT. Foreign nationals who wish to enter the lottery have until Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at noon EST to file online.
For FY 2021, the DV lottery program will make 55,000 green card numbers available through random selection. FY 2021 lottery results will be announced in May 2020. Foreign nationals selected in the FY 2021 lottery can submit their green card applications starting on October 1, 2020.
Are you eligible for the lottery?
The DV lottery is open to natives of countries that have historically low rates of immigration to the United States. Individuals from countries with high rates of U.S. immigration are not eligible to register.
This year, those born in the following countries are ineligible: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.People born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan can participate. Those who cannot register because their country of birth is excluded may be able to qualify through a spouse who was born in an eligible country or, in certain circumstances, through a parent’s country of birth.Entrants must have a high school education (or equivalent) or at least two years of qualifying work experience.
How to Register for the lottery
Entrants must submit an online form and a digital photo through the official DV lottery website. DV lottery applicants may include a spouse (same-sex or opposite-sex) and children in their entry. Only one entry is permitted per person. If there are multiple registrations on behalf of one person, all of them are disqualified.Applicants must carefully follow the State Department’s official lottery instructions. Lottery entries and digital photos that do not precisely conform to the instructions will be disqualified.For FY 2021, the principal applicant must enter information from his or her valid international travel passport unless the applicant is stateless, a national of a Communist-controlled country and unable to obtain a passport from the government of the Communist-controlled country, or the beneficiary of an individual waiver approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State. Once the application is accepted, applicants will receive a confirmation number, which can be used to check the status of their application.
How lottery winners are chosen and notified
The State Department chooses lottery winners by random computer selection. Results will be published starting May 5, 2020 through September 30, 2021, on the official DV lottery entry status website.
Foreign nationals can learn whether they were selected only by visiting the official DV website and entering their confirmation number. The State Department does not notify entrants by letter, e-mail, fax or telephone. The official website is the only legitimate source of lottery results.
Note about DV lottery fraud
DV lottery fraud is very common, but foreign nationals can and should take a few precautions to protect themselves. You should look out for fraudulent lottery websites. If lottery assistance is needed, seek advice from a legitimate source. Applicants may use a lawyer or other representative to prepare a lottery registration, but they should be wary of commercial websites that claim to register applicants outside of the registration period or purport to be authorized by the State Department to accept registrations for a fee.
This post is for informational purposes only. Contact our office for a consultation.