Online registration for the 2023 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is now open. This process is more commonly known as the “green card lottery.” The electronic entry/registration window will remain open until to noon (EST) on November 9, 2021.
The primary basis for eligibility to enter the lottery is country of birth. The government believes people from certain countries are already well represented in the U.S. Thus, people born in the following countries are not eligible to enter the lottery: 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, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Natives of Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.
Even if you were born in an excluded county, you may still be able to enter based on your spouse’s country of birth. In some circumstances, you can also enter based on a parents’ country of birth. In addition to birth country, there are also minimum education and work experience requirements in order to register.
To enter the lottery, go to dvprogram.state.gov. The lottery is free to enter. Entrants should carefully read all the specific requirements, directions and guidelines. Each year thousands of applicants are disqualified because they did not follow the correct registration procedures. Importantly, individuals with more than one entry will be disqualified. For detailed instructions, visit the Department of State website.
Starting May 8, 2022 applicants can go to dvprogram.state.gov to check the status of their entry. Use the unique confirmation number from your online entry registration and go to Entrant Status Check to see if you have been selected. If selected, you will be directed to a confirmation page with further instructions. Entrant Status Check is the only way to know if you were selected. The government will not separately mail or email a notification letter.
Winning the lottery does not guarantee a green card. If successful, all winners must then wait for their allotted number to become available. Then they must submit a green card application by the deadline. This application includes evidence of their background, qualifications and eligibility. We strongly recommend that winners retain legal counsel to help navigate the complex process to timely apply for a green card.
Good luck to all who dare to take a shot at the American dream!