DV Program - Eligibility Check

Do you qualify to participate in the annual U.S. DV Program? Check with just a few clicks whether you are eligible - it's 100% free!

US DV Program -Are you eligible?

What is the U.S. DV Program?

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as DV Program, DV Lottery or Green Card lottery) raffles 50,000 permanent immigrant visas each year to people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States. The Program is based on §201 to 204 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990. 

Advantages of the DV Program

If you win a Green Card under the DV program, spouses and all unmarried children under the age of 21 will also receive a diversity immigrant visa.
It allows you to live and work in the USA for an unlimited period of time and is therefore not tied to an employer!

In addition, the selection in the computer program is the fastest way to obtain an immigrant visa, as the waiting time for a family reunion, for example, can take years.

DV Program Requirements

To apply for the DV Program you only have to meet the following two requirements:

  1. You must be born in an eligible country and
  2. Your educational level has to be equivalent to an U.S. High School diploma (approximately 12 years of school)

If you visited school for less than 12 years you can still apply if you have worked at least two years within the last five years. It then needs to be a profession that requires at least two years of training.

Countries that are not eligible

The following countries are excluded from the DV Program due to their high immigration rate in the USA:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China (including Hong Kong SAR)
  • Colombia, Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
  • Vietnam

NOTE: Eligibility to apply for the program is based on a person's place of birth, not their nationality or place of residence. So if you were born in an eligible country and just moved to one of those countries, you can still apply as only your country of birth counts and not your residential address.

If you were born in one of the ineligible countries you can still apply if ... 

  1. ... your spouse was born in an eligible country or
  2. ... your parents were born in an eligible country and only temporary residents in your country of birth. 

The list of excluded countries may vary from year to year.

How does the DV Program work?

You can register for the DV Program once a year at dvprogram.state.gov. The entry period is open for four weeks and usually starts in early October and ends in early November. 

CAUTION: If you do not submit your application in due form or time, it will be excluded from the raffle with no further comment.

The results of the DV Program are then announced in May of the following year. The winners will be selected electronically. The participants have to check the result themselves online and will not be informed by the US authorities - not even if they win!

If you are among the lucky winners, you must apply for your Green Card online using the DS-260 form. After the successful interview at the consulate, you will receive your immigrant visa.
You will then need to activate your Green Card by entering the USA a maximum of 6 months after the interview. 3-6 months after activation you will receive your Green Card.

If you are uncertain about participating in the DV Program, you can also seek help from an agency who will check your application and submit it in due form and time.