The Diversity Visa (DV) lottery, also known as the green card lottery, is a program created by the United States government to provide a pathway to the United States for people from countries with low immigration rates. The US Department of State administers the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery program. It allows a select number of applicants from eligible countries to apply for a chance to win a diversity visa and permanent residence in the United States.
The DV lottery program is conducted once a year, and the application usually opens for applicants in October of each year and closes after about a month in early November. The application process and eligibility requirements may vary from year to year, so it is essential to refer to the official guidelines provided by the US Department of State for detailed information.
In this guide, we will discuss the eligibility, required documents, application process, deadline, and announcement of DV lottery visa results.
Eligibility for the DV Lottery Visa Program
To participate in the DV visa lottery program, applicants must meet the following criteria and conditions:
- Be a citizen of an eligible country: The DV program is open to people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States. The list of eligible countries is published annually by the US Department of State. Afghanistan is one of the eligible countries for Diversity Visa 2025, and Afghan applicants can apply to the DV lottery. Click on this link to know the eligible countries.
- Education or work experience: Applicants must have at least a high school education (twelfth grade) or its equivalent, which is defined by the successful completion of a 12-year course of study or vocational training. Alternatively, applicants must have at least two years of work experience within the last five years in a job that requires at least two years of training or experience.
Suppose you are interested in participating in the 2025 DV Lottery program. In that case, I recommend that you regularly check the official US Department of State website or the official Diversity Visa website (www.dvlottery.state.gov) for any updates and announcements. In addition, the website provides detailed instructions on eligibility criteria, application procedures, and other requirements for the DV Lottery Program.
Documents required for DV lottery visa application
Applicants must submit the following documents during the DV lottery visa application process. However, it is not necessary to have all these documents while applying, but it is essential to have them in the following steps. These documents include:
- Passport: a valid passport for the main applicant and all dependent family members of the main applicant mentioned in the application;
- Photographs: Current photographs must be taken based on specific requirements set by the US government. We remind you that the applicants are required to have the photo at the stage of applying;
- Education or work experience documents: education or work experience that qualifies the applicant; And
- Application Fee: There is no fee to enter the DV visa lottery program.
Timetable, the start of application submission, and the deadline
The DV lottery visa program usually opens for applications in October of each year and remains open for a specified period, usually about one month. Exact dates and deadlines are announced each year on the official website of the US Department of State.
The 2025 Diversity Visa Program will be open from October 5 to November 7, 2023, allowing those from low-immigration countries in the United States who meet the eligibility requirements to apply for the 2025 Diversity Visa.
How to apply?
To apply for the DV lottery visa program, applicants must complete an online application through the official website of the US Department of State. Also, applicants can refer to this link and read the Diversity Visa or DV guidelines. Below are some essential points for a successful application:
- Follow the instructions carefully: Read the instructions on the DV program website and get the necessary information to avoid mistakes.
- Provide accurate information: Ensure all information is accurate and consistent with supporting documentation.
- Keep the confirmation number: After applying, keep the provided confirmation number because you will need to check the application status later.
10 steps of the DV lottery visa program from application to post-interview
The application process for the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program, as outlined on the official US Department of State website, is described below.
1st Step: Send application
The Diversity Visa (DV) program allows applicants to apply for this visa during a specific time each year to have a chance to receive a diversity visa. The US Department of State publishes detailed instructions for applying to the DV program, including application deadlines. All applications must be submitted electronically on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website by the specified deadline, and late or paper applications will not be accepted. Each person is allowed to apply only once in each diversity visa period, and multiple applications will lead to the rejection of all applications. After submitting a complete application, a confirmation page will be displayed with the individual's name and a unique confirmation number. It is essential to keep this confirmation number as it is used to check the status of your application and receive further instructions if you are selected for a visa interview. Enrollment in the DV program is free, and it is recommended that you complete the application form in person without the assistance of an advisor or representative. If someone else is assisting with the application, the person must be present to provide accurate answers and retain the unique confirmation page and confirmation number. Remember that:
- The DV program has a designated enrollment period during each fiscal year.
- Applications must be submitted electronically on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website within the specified registration period.
- In each registration period (in a financial year), a person can register only once.
- Multiple registrations will result in the rejection of all applications.
2nd Step: Results and selection of applicants
Each year, the US Department of State selects one diversity visa (DV) applicant through a computerized lottery based on visa availability in each region and country. The results of the DV lottery visa program are usually announced in May of the following year. Applicants can check their application status on the official website using the confirmation number received during the application process. It is important to note that being selected in the lottery does not guarantee a visa. Selected applicants still must go through the interview process and complete additional requirements before being granted a visa. Also, keep these points in mind:
- The State Department of the United States of America uses advanced technology to identify multiple requests and reject duplicate requests from individuals.
- If your request is selected, you will go to the next step.
3rd Step: If you are selected
The US Department of State will not notify those selected by mail or email that they have won the Diversity Visa (DV) program. Checking the status of the participants on the E-DV website is the only way that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs the candidates of their selection. If you are selected, immediately complete the DS-260 online application to schedule an interview appointment. Remember, selection is not a guarantee of a visa, as selectees must meet all eligibility criteria under US law. Participants in the 2025 diversity visa program can check the status of their application on the E-DV website from September 30, 2024. Remember that:
- If your application is selected, you will not receive any email notification from the DV program.
- The DV program website is the only notification authority that provides instructions on how to proceed.
- For more information on completing and submitting the DS-260 online application, refer to the guidance article on the "Beporsed" website.
4th Step: Eligibility verification
The Diversity Visa (DV) program requires the original applicant to have at least a high school education (secondary education) or two years of qualifying work experience. If you do not meet these requirements, you should not apply for DV. The US Department of Labor and Diversity Visa official website provides information on eligible occupations on its website, which groups work experience into five "occupational sectors." Also, if you have provided an invalid passport number or selected an exemption for which you are not eligible, you may not qualify for a diversity visa and you may not be reimbursed. Remember that:
- Before proceeding, you must confirm that you have completed the eligibility criteria for the DV program.
- This stage includes confirmation of your education, work experience, and other documents.
5th Step: electronic visa application (form DS-260)
To submit an electronic visa application for the Diversity Visa Program, you and your family members must complete the online DS-260 form. This form is used to update and provide information about yourself and your family that you have included in your DV application. If there have been changes in your family status, such as marriage or having children, you must add new family members to your case and provide documents that indicate your relationship. Mistakes in listing a spouse or children on the original application form may prevent you and your family members from being eligible for a diversity visa. After submitting the DS-260 online, print the confirmation page and bring it to your visa interview. Remember that only a consular officer can determine your eligibility for a diversity visa. If you need to contact the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), include your name, date of birth, and case number in your email to KCCDV@state.gov. Remember that:
- Once your eligibility is confirmed, you must complete and submit your online DS-260 form.
- This process will include providing personal and background information and supporting documents.
6th Step: Sending supporting documents
To apply for a US visa, the applicant and accompanying family members must fill out the DS-260 application form. After submitting the DS-260 application, applicants will receive instructions on submitting scanned copies of all required documents. These documents should be sent to KCCDVDocuments@state.gov with the case number in the email’s subject. Original documents must be brought to the visa interview at the US Embassy or Consulate. KCC will send instructions on scanning and emailing documents and any translations required. A visa interview appointment will not be scheduled until KCC has received and reviewed all required supporting documents. Supporting documents include the following documents:
- Birth Certificate;
- Tazkera (ID card);
- Marriage Certificate (Nikah Khat);
- Conviction documents or criminal history (if any);
- Military service documents;
- Police documents; And
- Passport copy (information page and photo).
For more information on supporting documents, visit the Diversity Visa (DV) official page. Also, remember that:
- Along with your application, you must provide supporting documents to prove your eligibility.
- Supporting documents may include Tazkera, passport, marriage certificate, police certificate, and children's birth certificates.
7th Step: Determining the date of the interview
After completing Form DS-260 and submitting supporting documents, applicants may receive an email from the Kentucky Consular Center notifying them that an interview has been scheduled at the US Embassy or Consulate of their choice. This email provides instructions on how to view the interview date, time, and location using your DV entry confirmation number. If your spouse and children are also applying for a diversity immigrant visa, you must attend an interview. Applicants will only be scheduled for an interview when a visa number is available to them. The number of diversity visas available each year is determined by immigration law and eligible countries, and allocations are reviewed monthly. Finally, your completed DS-260 form will be available from the embassy or consulate where you will be interviewed, and you will not need to fill out a new application. Remember that:
- If your application is approved, an interview will be scheduled at the US Embassy or Consulate in your country.
- The interview allows the consular officer to determine your eligibility for the DV program.
8th Step: Preparation for the interview
Interview preparation plays a vital role in ensuring the success of your US Green Card Diversity Visa application. Start by checking your schedule information on the E-DV website. Familiarize yourself with the interview guidelines of the US embassy or consulate, as each location may have additional requirements. Be sure to schedule and complete medical examinations with an authorized clinic in the country of your interview. Bring the sealed medical examination envelope to your visa interview. In addition, collect two identical photos and all the documents mentioned in the previous parts of this interview. Make sure your photos meet the requirements specified by the US State Department. By doing these steps, you can significantly increase your chances of a successful interview and visa issuance. The documents required for the interview are:
- Interview appointment information as printed from checking the status of participants on the E-DV website;
- DS-260 confirmation page You can print it any time after completing the DS-260 application from the Consular Electronic Application Center;
- Passports (passports of you and each family member applying for the visa must be valid for six months) beyond the intended date of entry into the United States; And
- Original documents or certified translation of civil documents sent to KCC. Bring a copy of any documents you did not submit to KCC as part of the interview eligibility process. You must bring documents such as a marriage certificate, divorce certificate, death certificate (in Soot Niaz), birth card, military service documents, conviction documents in case of crime, educational documents, employment documents, and police certificate with you.
- Before attending the interview, it is essential to prepare thoroughly.
- Preparing for the interview includes gathering all the required documents, practicing the interview questions, and understanding the diversity visa process and the interview.
9th step: Interviewing the applicant
As explained in the previous step, in preparation for the interview at the embassy or consulate of the United States of America, applicants should review the instructions provided and collect the necessary documents. On the interview day, a US Green Card Diversity Visa Eligibility Consular Officer will review your documents and take your fingerprints. The applicant must participate in the interview together with his wife and unmarried children who will immigrate together. If the spouse or children intend to immigrate separately, separate appointments for the interview can be arranged for them. Essential items to bring are an interview appointment letter, DS-260 confirmation page, valid passports, photographs, any unopened medical examination results, original supporting documents, such as work or education documents, marriage certificate to prove marriage, and custody documents must also be accompanied. If any document requires an English translation, a certified translation must be provided. In addition, the diversity visa fee must be paid before meeting with the consular officer.
- In the interview, you will be asked questions about your background, family, education, and work experience. You must be fully prepared.
- The consular officer will assess your eligibility for the DV program based on this interview.
10th step: After the interview
After the visa interview for an immigrant visa to the United States, the consular officer will notify you if your visa application is approved or denied. If approved, they will provide you with information on how and when to return your passport and visa. In case of denial, you will be notified of the reason for denial.
In some cases, further administrative processing may be required for rejected visa applications. The duration of this process will vary based on individual circumstances.
If your visa is approved, your diversity visa will be placed on a single page of your passport. Check for any errors in the printed information and contact the embassy or consulate if necessary. You will also receive a sealed immigration package containing documents to present to US Customs and Border Protection upon arrival, which should not be opened.
You must travel to the United States and apply for admission no later than the visa expiration date listed on your visa. The visa is usually valid for up to six months unless the medical examinations expire earlier.
After you receive your immigrant visa, you must pay the USCIS immigration fee to USCIS before traveling to the United States.
Children need special vaccinations before enrolling in school, so it is recommended to have your children's complete vaccination records with you before immigrating.
When entering the United States, the principal applicant must enter before or at the same time as visa-holding family members. If accepted, you will become a legal permanent resident (green card holder) and have permission to work and live permanently in the United States.
If you are becoming a permanent resident, it is recommended that you review the information about living in the United States on the USCIS website. To learn more about US Social Security benefits and how to apply for a Social Security Number card, visit the Social Security Administration website. Remember that:
- After the interview, the consular officer will inform you of the decision on your visa application.
- If approved, further instructions on how to proceed will be provided.
Please note that the information provided here summarizes the procedures listed on the US government website. For complete and detailed guidance, it is recommended to refer to the official website provided previously.
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