You must have heard from someone around your corner talking about diversity immigrant visa program without necessarily knowing what the person is talking about. You must have heard an immigrant talking about how he or she won the lottery, that lottery the person is talking about is nothing but the diversity immigrant visa program which is issued by the department of state as a way to increase the diversity of the immigrants coming to reside in the United States.

The diversity immigrant visa program is meant to avail 50,000 randomly selected people from countries that don’t usually send immigrants to the USA the opportunity to obtain permanent residency otherwise known as Green card. In other to be eligible, the applicant has to fill out a form online, the form is usually available from early October through early November every year and the winners are selected randomly by a computer and given green cards alongside their immediate families.

Who is eligible for the Diversity Visa?

Basically, countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the USA in the past years are not eligible for the diversity immigrant visa program, however, if your native country is not eligible for the program, you can still qualify if,

  • Your spouse was born in a country that is eligible, that means that you will apply with your spouse’s birth country.
  • Neither of your parents is legal residents in your own country of birth, that means that you can choose any of their countries of origin if the country is eligible.

Another alternative requirement that can get you the diversity immigrant visa lottery is that the applicant must have at least a high school degree or at least two years of work experience within the past five years in a profession that requires two or more years training as required by the U.S. Department of Labor.

General admissibility requirements

If an individual is selected in the green card lottery, the individual and his family members have to meet a certain requirement that is demanded from other U.S. green card applicants. They should be free from certain criminal records and certain medical conditions which can make it difficult or impossible to secure the green card.

If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you can apply for a marriage-based green card which is more beneficial in such cases. It is worthwhile to apply for diversity Visa lottery if you have a family member that can sponsor your green card.

Who is eligible for the Diversity Visa

How to Apply

Entering the Lottery: the form is easy to fill out and can be obtained from the state department’s website during the periods mentioned earlier. However there are fields that need extra assistance like,

  • For “country of birth,” list the country you were born in, regardless of where you currently live. If the country has a different name now than it did when you were born, use the country’s current name.
  • For “country of eligibility,” list either your country of birth or—if you qualify to use your spouse’s or your parents’ birth countries— list that country. The country you currently live in is irrelevant to this question.
  • Your spouse: You must list your spouse, even if he or she doesn’t live with you and does not intend to immigrate with you.
  • Your children: You must list all of your biological children and all of your adopted children, no matter how old they are. You should also list all of your step-children under age 21, even if you are no longer married to their parent.

After submitting your application, it is recommended that you keep the confirmation number safe because that is the only means of identifying yourself if you are selected.

What happens next?

When you check with your confirmation number on the website and you were selected, there is a need for you to act fast in order to avoid the rush or coming late when the visa is finished. When you are notified, you will be given a numerical rank, check the State Department’s Visa bulletin towards the end of July of the following year to see when you can submit your application, the application can be submitted 90 days before 1st October, which is the first day of U.S. government’s fiscal year and the day the first batch of Visas are rolled out.