US green card: how to participate in the DV visa lottery (detailed instructions)

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USA (United States)


US green card: how to participate in the DV visa lottery (detailed instructions)

For immigrants from different countries, the immigrant visa program provides up to 50,000 immigrant visas annually, which are issued by random selection. Find out more about the requirements for the US Green Card lottery, how to apply, how the winners of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program are selected, and other important nuances that expats should know

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The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the DV Program, DV Lottery, or Green Card Lottery, is a U.S. law-enforced program that annually awards permanent immigrant visas to people from low-immigration countries to the United States. In 2025, 55,000 visas have been allocated for the DV Program. Registration in the DV program is free, but the winners will have to pay a visa fee. To participate, a participant must meet certain criteria.

The basic requirements for participation in the Green Card lottery, as well as the application procedure, are discussed below.

Requirements for participants of the Green Card lottery in the United States

1. Be from a country that is on the list of countries with a historically low level of immigration to the United States of America. Unless you are from a country with historically low levels of immigration to the United States, there are two other ways you can be admitted:

- Your spouse comes from a country with a historically low level of immigration to the US, provided that you obtain a visa at the same time.

- You come from a country that does not have a historically low level of immigration to the United States, but neither of your parents was born or permanently resided there at the time of your birth.

2. Have an appropriate level of education and professional training

Each applicant must meet the requirements of the program regarding the level of education and professional training, namely:

- to graduate from high school or its equivalent, which is considered to be a successfully completed course of 12-year primary and full secondary education;

- have two years of work experience during the last five years, which requires at least two years of professional and technical training.

How to apply for a Green Card in the USA?

Applications must be submitted in the form of an electronic registration form at Incomplete applications, as well as applications sent by any other means, will not be accepted. Applying online is free.

Necessary information for filling out the application form:

1. Full name, as in a passport or other identity document.

2. Gender – male or female.

3. Date of birth - number, month, year.

4. City/town where you were born.

5. Country of birth - the name of the country must correspond to the modern name of the country in which the applicant was born.

6. Country of origin for DV application – will usually match the country of birth

7. Photo – The applicant must provide a recent (within the last 6 months) photo of the applicant, his/her spouse/husband and each of their children.

8. Postal address.

9. The country in which you live today.

10. Telephone number (if any).

11. Email address.

12. Specify the highest level of education you received.

13. Marital status at the time of filling out the application.

14. Information about children.

For a safe move to the USA, obtaining citizenship and employment, use the advice of an international lawyer.

We help to solve complex and simple issues for your comfort and safety in the USA.

- What will happen after registration in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?

If the application is registered correctly and successfully, a confirmation will appear on the display, which will contain the name and a unique confirmation number.

From May 4, 2024 through September 30, 2025, you must independently check the status of your application using the Electronic Status Check System at using your unique number. The Electronic Status Check System will be the only means of informing you about winning a Green Card. If your application has been selected, you will be redirected to a confirmation page, where you will receive additional instructions, including information about the amount of payments related to the processing of immigration documents. Those selected in the Program will NOT be notified of their selection either by regular mail or by e-mail.

All those selected, as well as their family members, can receive visas only until September 30, 2025. To be able to immigrate, those selected in the Program must not have any restrictions on entry to the United States.

The US government only allows about 55,000 diversification visas to be issued each year. As the number of available visas is limited, selected participants in the Program must submit the necessary materials in a timely manner while continuing to participate as a visa applicant.

- How are Diversity Immigrant Visa Program winners chosen?

The Department of State determines the selected applicants through a random computer drawing according to the visa quotas allocated for each region and country, using a computer from among the correctly completed applications.

- How are visas distributed between different states and regions?

The State Department allocates visas among six geographic zones, and no country can claim more than 7% of the total annual diversification visas.

- People from which countries will not participate in the DV-2025 program?

  It will not include people from countries from which more than 50,000 people immigrated to the United States in the previous 5 years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including the mainland and people born in Hong Kong), Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Venezuela and Vietnam.

Persons born in Macau (Special Administrative Region) and Taiwan are eligible to participate in the Program.

Importantly! The list is similar to last year's, with the only exception – citizens of the United Kingdom have received the right to participate in the Green Card-2025 program.

- How many applicants will be selected for the DV-2025 program?

55,000 visas have been allocated for participation in the DV-2025 Program. The State Department selects more than 55,000 people because some of those selected for the program will not qualify for visas and, moreover, not all will see their visa cases through. Visas will be issued each month to those applicants who are ready to receive them during that month, as long as visas are available. Once 55,000 diversification visas have been issued, the annual program will end. 

Importantly! The random selection of your application by the computer at the Kentucky Consular Center does not guarantee that you will be able to obtain a visa, or even that you will apply for a visa and be scheduled for an interview. This only means that you have the right to apply for a diversification visa.

- If my application has been selected, how long will I have the right to apply for a visa allocated for the Green Card program?

Individuals selected under the DV-2025 Program are eligible to apply for a visa only during the 2025 US State Fiscal Year, i.e. from October 1, 2024 to September 30, 2025. We advise applicants to apply for visas as early as possible before their application serial numbers are allowed for further processing.

- Will the US Government help buy airline tickets, rent a place to live, find a job, provide medical care or any subsidies to a Green Card holder after moving?

No, DV visa recipients do not receive any assistance such as airfare, rental housing or subsidies.

Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit World

To move, travel or work safely in a new country, you will need travel insurance. You can apply for an extended policy on our website here.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in the United States;

Legal advice on migration to the United States;

Travel insurance for foreigners in the United States;

Medical insurance around the world.

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