These are basic instructions for applying for the US lottery. The stages will assist you in submitting an entry as well as guiding you once you have been chosen.
Submit An Entry
Each fiscal year, you have a limited window of opportunity to apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program. The Department of State offers thorough instructions for applying to the DV Program every year. The dates of the registration period during which you will be able to enter are included in these guidelines.
During the registration period, all entries must be submitted electronically on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website. No late or paper entries will be accepted. During each registration period, the legislation allows only one entry by or for each person. To detect repeated submissions, the Department of State employs advanced technology. You will be disqualified if you submit more than one entry. Until the date and time mentioned on the DV Instructions webpage, this website is not available for submitting an entry.
Detailed guidance for completing the online entry form is included in the DV Instructions.
You’ll receive a confirmation screen with your name and a unique confirmation number after you submit a full entry. For your records, print this confirmation screen. It is critical that you keep track of your confirmation number. It’s the sole method to monitor the progress of your application, and you’ll need it to get more information or schedule a visa interview if you’re chosen.
There is no charge to join the DV Program. You are highly advised to complete the admission form without the assistance of a “Visa Consultant,” “Visa Agent,” or other facilitator. You should be present when your entry is being produced, even if someone else is assisting you, so that you can provide the proper answers to the questions and keep the confirmation page and your unique confirmation number.
Selection of Applicants
The Department of State selects Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) applicants at random from all registered entries each year, based on visa allotment in each region and country. On or around May 8, 2022, information on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website’s Entrant Status Check is updated to inform all entrants whether their online registration was selected or not. To check your entry status, enter your confirmation number, which you received when you filled out your registration form. You won’t be able to monitor the status of your submission if you lose your confirmation number.
They won’t be able to provide you with a new confirmation number. Please note that the Department of State will not send notification letters or email notifications to selectees. The United States’ embassies and consulates will not provide a list of those who have been chosen. The ONLY way the Department of State notifies selectees of their selection is through the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website.
Entrants in the Diversity Visa 2022 program may check the status of their entries on the E-DV website from May 8, 2021 through September 30, 2022.
Selected entrants are encouraged to complete the online DS-260 application immediately to schedule an interview appointment at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
If your entry is chosen, you will be taken to a confirmation page with additional instructions, including information on immigration fees in the United States. The ONLY way that selectees are notified of their selection is through the Entrant Status Check. The State Department does not send out notification letters or send emails to selectees, and US embassies and consulates do not provide a list of those who have been chosen. Individuals who have not been chosen will only be notified via Entrant Status Check. It is strongly advised that you access Entrant Status Check yourself rather than relying on someone else to do it for you.
See the Frequently Asked Questions at the end of the DV Instructions for further information about the selection process.
If You Are Selected
Selected entrants are encouraged to complete the online DS-260 application immediately to schedule an interview appointment at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Please note that the Department of State will not send notification letters or email notifications to selectees. The United States’ embassies and consulates will not provide a list of those who have been chosen. The ONLY way the Department of State notifies selectees of their selection is through the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website. If you are notified that you have been selected for further processing in the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program through the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website, you must complete the steps on the following pages before a consular interview can be scheduled to determine if you will be granted a visa. These actions should be completed as quickly as possible.
If you are physically present in the United States and get notification from the E-DV website that you have been selected for further processing in the DV Program, you may be eligible to alter status to seek permanent residence through the DV Program. See Status Adjustment for further details.
It’s vital to keep in mind that being chosen does not ensure you’ll get a visa. Selectees must still complete all eligibility conditions under US law in order to receive a DV to immigrate to the US.
From May 8, 2021 until September 30, 2022, entrants in the Diversity Visa 2022 program can check the status of their applications on the E-DV website.
Confirm Your Qualifications
The major DV candidate must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, as well as two years of qualifying work experience as specified by US law.
You will not be eligible for a diversity visa if you do not have the required education or job experience. (As the primary applicant, you are the only one who must meet this condition.) This restriction does not apply to your spouse or children.) If you do not meet the qualifying academic or work experience standards outlined below, you may not be eligible for a diversity visa, and any visa application expenses you pay will not be returned.
High School Education: In the United States, high school education is defined as the successful completion of a formal primary and secondary education course equivalent to a 12-year course. This qualification is only met by formal courses of study; equivalency certifications (such as the G.E.D.) are not accepted.
Work Experience: To qualify with work experience, you must have two years of experience in the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience and is classified as Job Zone 4 or 5, with a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating of 7.0 or higher, according to US Department of Labor definitions.
About their website, http://www.onetonline.org/, the US Department of Labor provides information on job duties, knowledge and abilities, education and training, and other occupational characteristics. Work experience is divided into five “job zones” by the O*Net online database. Despite the fact that many occupations are listed, just two years of experience in particular specific occupations is required to qualify for a Diversity Visa.
How to Find the Qualifying Occupations on the Department of Labor Website
The Department of Labor’s ONet Online Database lists qualifying DV occupations. To see if your occupation qualifies you for a Diversity Visa, go to ONet Online and follow these steps:
- Under “Find Occupations” select “Job Family” from the pull-down;
- Then Browse by “Job Family”. (For example, select Architecture and Engineering) and click “GO”;
- Then click on the link for your specific occupation. (As an example, select Aerospace Engineers. At the bottom of this Summary Report for Aerospace Engineers, under the Job Zone section, you will find the designated Job Zone 4, SVP Range, 7.0 to < 8.0. This means using this example, Aerospace Engineering is a qualifying occupation.)
Passport Requirement: Starting with DV-2021 entries, the Department of State’s regulations require all entrants to furnish a valid passport number at the time of DV entry, unless they are unable to obtain a passport and qualify for one of three limited exemptions. A passport that is valid for foreign travel is required. Internal passports, which are granted by some nations, are ineligible for DV entrance.
If you listed a false or invalid passport number on your DV entry, or if you selected a passport exemption and did not match the conditions for that exemption, you may not be eligible for a diversity visa, and any visa application payments you pay will not be returned. (As the primary applicant, you are the only one who must meet this condition.) This restriction does not apply to your spouse or children.)
Again, you should consider not pursuing a DV application if you do not meet the qualifying education or work experience requirements explained above, or if you provided an invalid passport n+umber with your entry or selected an exemption for which you do not qualify. Such errors may render you ineligible for a diversity visa and any fees you pay for the visa application will not be refunded.
Submit Your Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application
Form DS-260 must be completed by the principal applicant and any family members asking for a diversity visa. To view and amend the information about yourself and your family that you supplied in your DV application, enter your DV case number into the online DS-260 form.
If your family circumstances have changed after you first applied for a Diversity Visa, such as if you’ve married or had a child, you’ll need to update your application to include your new family members. (“Family member” refers to a spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 at the time you enrolled in the DV program.) When adding family members to your case, you will need to upload a document to prove your relationship to the family member being added.
Important note: If you had a spouse or children prior to submitting your original entry, but you did not include them on your original entry form, such errors may render you, as well as any of your family members, ineligible for a diversity visa. If you listed a spouse or child on your original entry who was not your spouse or child at the time of entry, such errors may render you, as well as any of your family members, ineligible for a diversity visa. As indicated in the prior paragraph, if your family circumstances have legitimately changed after submitting your original entry, you should add those family members and all family members’ applications will be reviewed. For more information, see the DV Instructions.
On the Sign and Submit page of the DS-260, you will need to re-enter your DV case number without the zeros (e.g. if the case number is 2023AF0000012345, enter ‘2023AF12345’). Entering the full case number with zeros will generate a validation error.
After submitting the Form DS-260 online, print the confirmation page. You must bring the confirmation page to your visa interview.
Please be aware that KCC can only tell you if your form has been processed. KCC cannot tell you whether or not you or your family members are eligible for diversity visas. Only the consular officer who interviews you can make that decision.
Contacting KCC: If you need to contact the KCC, always include your name, birthdate, and case number exactly as they appear in the Entrant Status Check (ESC). Your case number should be clearly written in the upper right-hand corner of your e-mail or in the subject line. KCC only receives inquiries by email. Do not mail paper documents or correspondence to the Kentucky Consular Center. All paper documents or correspondence received will be destroyed. The KCC e-mail address for Diversity Visa inquiries is [email protected].
Submit Supporting Documents
You will receive information on how to submit required supporting papers after KCC receives and processes the DS-260 application form for you and your accompanying family members. You will not be booked for an interview until you have submitted scanned copies of all required supporting documents in accordance with the criteria below. If you are unable to access a document, email [email protected] an explanation of why you are unable to obtain the document as an attachment in.jpeg or.pdf format, with your case number in the subject line. You will bring the original documents to your consular officer interview. It is strongly advised that you begin this process as soon as possible.
The applicant and each family member accompanying the applicant to the United States must submit scanned copies of original documents, as well as any applicable translations, or certified copies of the documents specified below from an appropriate office, authority, or issuing entity in their country. You’ll need to bring the original paperwork, as well as any translations, to your visa interview at the US embassy or consulate.
Examine the information below to figure out which documents you’ll need. After you submit a valid DS-260 application for yourself and all accompanying family members, KCC will offer instructions on how to scan and email the papers, as well as any required translations. KCC will not schedule your visa interview until all required supporting documents have been received and reviewed. To your interview in a U.S. embassy or consulate, you will bring original documents. None of these documents should be mailed to the Kentucky Consular Center. Paper documents and communications sent to KCC will be shredded.
- Birth Certificates
- Court and Prison Records
- Military Records
- Police Certificates
- Photocopy Of Valid Passport Biographic Data Page
Additional Embassy or Consulate Instructions
Depending on availability, civil and personal documents may differ from country to country. Depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply, there may be additional instructions or papers required for acquiring civil documents in a certain nation. Choose the embassy or consulate where you want to apply to find out whether there are any additional requirements. Please keep in mind that some of the material in these instructions may also apply to other immigrant visa classifications besides diversity visas. Please contact the embassy or consulate where you will apply for your visa if you have any queries regarding the country-specific information provided here.
Please visit the List of U.S. Embassies and Consulates to review Embassy/Consulate instructions provided by your city.
You may get an e-mail from the Kentucky Consular Center once the Kentucky Consular Center has evaluated your completed DS-260 form, informing you that an interview has been set at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate you specified on your DS-260 form. The e-mail will instruct you to use your DV entry confirmation number to log into the Entrant Status Check on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website to view the date, time, and location of your interview. Print this page and bring it with you to your interview. You, as well as your spouse and children (if applicable), who are applying for a diversity immigrant visa, must attend the interview.
Note that you will only be scheduled for an interview if and when a visa number becomes available. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which governs the amount of diversity immigrant visas available each year, determines visa number distributions. The overall amount of diversity visas is distributed based on visa category and geographic location. As available visas are issued, the allocations are updated monthly. The Visa Bulletin is published by the Department of State every month and offers crucial information on revised allocations and the chances of obtaining a diversity visa number. By choosing Visa Bulletin, everyone can see the most up-to-date information.
Your completed Form DS-260 will be accessible by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will be interviewed. You do not need to fill out a new application.
Important Applicant Notice:
According to US law, not everyone who asks for a visa will be approved to enter the country. There are a variety of reasons why someone may not be eligible for a visa. Each instance has its own set of circumstances. In most cases, approved visas are not accessible on the day of the interview.
It is critical that you wait until you receive your immigrant visa before selling your home, car, or other property, quitting your employment, or booking non-refundable flights or other travel arrangements.
Prepare For The Interview
You should properly and meticulously prepare for your interview. Failure to be completely prepared for your U.S. interview Your visa application may be delayed or denied if you visit an embassy or consulate.
After you have been notified of your scheduled interview, you will need to take the following important steps in advance of the interview date:
Carefully Review your immigrant visa interview schedule on the E-DV website’s Entrant Status Check, noting the date, time, and place of your interview.
Review U.S. Embassy or Consulate Interview Instructions
Please read any extra guidelines provided by the United States Embassy or Consulate where you will be applying and being questioned carefully. Select the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will be interviewed from the list below to see this information. Please keep in mind that some of the material in these instructions may also apply to other immigrant visa classifications besides diversity visas. Please contact the embassy or consulate where you will apply for your visa if you have any queries regarding the country-specific information provided here.
Schedule and Complete a Medical Examination
You (and each member of your family applying for a visa with you) must make an appointment with a licensed physician in the nation where you will be interviewed. Before your scheduled visa interview date, you must complete your medical examination and any applicable vaccinations. If you are handed a medical exam envelope after your medical exam, you must bring it sealed (not unsealed) to your visa interview. Some doctors may send the results of the medical exam immediately to the embassy or consulate.
The dropdown list below has a list of authorized physicians for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply. You must contact a physician and make an appointment with him or her. The embassy or consulate will not help you with this. Explain that the exam is for an immigrant visa application and provide the doctor with the date of the interview. The cost of the examination and testing will be determined by the physician. Please keep in mind that some of the material in these instructions may also apply to other immigrant visa classifications besides diversity visas. Please contact the embassy or consulate where you will apply for your visa if you have any queries regarding the country-specific information provided here.
Please visit the List of U.S. Embassies and Consulates to review Embassy/Consulate instructions
Gather Photographs and All Remaining Required Documents
Each DV applicant will need to bring two (2) identical photos to the interview. Please review the detailed information about photo requirements to ensure that your photos will be acceptable.
Each applicant will be required to present the following:
- Appointment information printed from the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website.
- DS-260 confirmation page You can print this from the Consular Electronic Application Center any time after you complete your DS-260 application.
- Passport(s) valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the U.S. for you and each family member applying for a visa.
- Original documents or certified copies of civil documents submitted to KCC. Bring one photocopy of any document that you did not submit to KCC as part of the interview qualification process. You should be prepared to present:
- Evidence of required DV Qualifying Education Or Work Experience
- Deportation Documentation
- Marriage Certificate
- Marriage Certificate Documentation
Review Additional Information
Visit the U.S. embassy or consulate website where you will be interviewed for any additional information.
Before the interview, each applicant must pay the Diversity Visa fee. For DV-2022 applicants the fee is $330 per person. This fee is nonrefundable, whether a visa is issued or not. Learn more about Fees.
Distinct states in the United States have different fee payment systems. Embassies and Consulates are two types of diplomatic missions. Following the directions of the U.S. Department of State, you should make plans to pay your costs before your interview date and time at most sites. You will be interviewed at an embassy or consulate. There are a few Americans in the U.S. Fees are collected in the consular section of embassies and consulates at the time of your interview. Make sure you’ve read the relevant instructions for the United States. You will be interrogated at an embassy or consulate so that you can follow the proper processes.
Various fees, such as medical exam fees or local government fees for certified copies of records, may apply to other phases of the procedure.
Make sure you’ve followed the U.S. Embassy or Consulate interview preparation requirements before your interview. Go to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the scheduled date and time of your interview. A consular officer will interview you (and any accompanying family members) to determine if you are eligible for an immigrant visa. Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of the interview process.
Who Must Attend the Interview?
The interview must be attended by you, your spouse, and any unmarried children who are accompanying you. Your spouse and/or qualifying unmarried children are not required to attend your interview if they will immigrate at a later date and travel separately from you. They will have a separate interview appointment set up for them. If separate interviews are required, you should contact the US Embassy or Consulate directly.
What to Bring to the Interview
Appointment Letter – Your appointment information from the Entrant Status Check on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website.
DS-260 Confirmation Page – You can print this from the Consular Electronic Application Center any time after you complete your DS-260 application.
Passport – For each applicant, an unexpired passport valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the United States
Photographs – Two identical color photographs for each applicant. Photos must meet the standards explained in the Photograph Requirements.
Medical Exam Results – If the panel physician gave you sealed envelopes containing each applicant’s medical examination results, please bring those unopened envelopes. Some physicians send the medical examination results directly to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For more information, review Prepare for the Interview.
Original and Supporting Documents – Bring original documents or certified copies of all documents you submitted to KCC for you and each family member applying for a visa (with the exception of your passport). You may also be required to provide evidence of work and education requirements, marriage certificates, marriage termination documentation, and custody documentation. If you have a new document that you did not submit to KCC, bring both the original and one photocopy. Your original documents will be returned to you when the interview has been completed. The photocopies will be kept. For more information, review Prepare Your Supporting Documents.
English Translations – If documents require English translation, you must obtain certified translations and present them on the day of your interview. For more information, review Prepare Your Supporting Documents.
Visa Fees – If you did not pay your visa fees prior to your interview, you will need to pay them before speaking with a consular officer. For more information, review Prepare for the Interview.
I need to reschedule my appointment – If you cannot appear at your scheduled interview, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible. Under U.S. law, all diversity visas for a fiscal year must be issued prior to September 30. Available visas for some countries and regions may be used up prior to that date. If you delay your appointment, you may lose your opportunity to immigrate on the basis of your DV application.
I would like my spouse and/or children to follow me to the United States after I immigrate. Can they do that? – Yes, but remember that all diversity visas for a fiscal year must be issued by September 30. Available visas for some countries and regions may be used up prior to that date. If your spouse and children delay obtaining their visas, they may lose their opportunity to immigrate on the basis of their DV applications. If this happens, you will need to file a petition to bring your family to the United States at a later date. If they do not obtain diversity visas prior to September 30, your spouse and/or children may have to wait several years to join you.
Can my spouse or children receive diversity visas, even if they were not on my original entry? – If you were married, or your child was born or adopted after you submitted your entry to the DV program, you can add them to your case and they may be eligible to receive diversity visas.
If you were married or had children prior to entering the DV program, and you failed to include your family members on your original entry, your case will be disqualified. Neither you nor your family members will receive visas. Your fees will not be refunded.
My child will turn 21 years old soon – Children generally must be unmarried and under age 21 to qualify as derivative applicants. Also, they generally must use their visas to enter the United States while still under age 21.
If you have a child who will be turning 21 soon, you should immediately contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your interview is scheduled. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will determine whether an earlier appointment is needed. If your child no longer qualifies to immigrate with you based on age, then a separate petition must be filed for the child after you immigrate.There may be a significant delay before your child becomes qualified for a visa.
After the Interview
At the end of your immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the consular officer will inform you whether your visa application is approved or denied.
Visa approval – When approved, you will be informed how and when your passport and visa will be returned to you.
Visa denial – If denied, you will be informed why you are ineligible to receive a visa. There is additional information about visa denials at the bottom of this page, and detailed information is available on the Denials webpage.
Note: Some refused visa applications may require further administrative processing. When administrative processing is required, the consular officer will inform the applicant at the end of the interview. The duration of the administrative processing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.
Visa Approval – When You Receive Your Visa
Passport with Visa – Your diversity visa will be placed on a page in your passport. Please review the printed information right away to make sure there are no errors. If there are any spelling errors, contact the embassy or consulate promptly.
Sealed Immigrant Packet – You will also receive a sealed packet containing documents that you must present to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a port-of-entry (often an airport) upon your arrival in the United States. You must not open the sealed packet.
When You Should Travel – You must arrive and apply for admission in the United States no later than the visa expiration date printed on your visa. A diversity visa is usually valid for up to six months from the date of issuance unless your medical examination expires sooner, which may make your visa valid for less than six months.
USCIS Immigrant Fee – You must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after you receive your immigrant visa and before you travel to the United States. Only children who enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague adoption programs, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants, returning residents (SB-1s), and those issued K visas are exempt from this fee. Select USCIS Immigrant Fee on the USCIS website for more information. Important Notice: USCIS will not issue a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551 or Green Card) until you have paid the fee.
Vaccination Records – Children are required to have certain vaccinations before they can enroll in school in the United States. Therefore, it is recommended that your child have complete vaccination records before immigrating. Learn about vaccination requirements by state on the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website under State Vaccination Requirements.
X-rays – You must hand-carry your X-rays with you, not pack them in your luggage.
Entering the United States
When traveling to the United States, the primary (or principal) applicant must enter before or at the same time as family members with visas. With your diversity visa (before it expires), and your sealed packet, you will travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (often an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to grant or deny admission. Learn about admission and entry requirements on the CBP website under Travel.
If you are admitted, you will enter as a Lawful Permanent Resident, also called a green card holder, and will be permitted to work and live permanently in the United States.
When You are a Permanent Resident – Coming to the United States to live permanently, you will want to learn more about your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident. See Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants to review information on the USCIS website about living in the United States.
Social Security Number – To learn about the U.S. Social Security Administration benefits available to Legal Permanent Residents, and how to apply for a social security number card, visit the Social Security Administration website.
About Visa Denials
- In some situations the consular officer does not have sufficient information needed to process your application to conclusion, or you may be missing some supporting documentation. The consular officer will inform you if information or documents are missing and how to provide it.
- As noted above, some applications may require additional administrative processing after the interview before the application can be processed to conclusion. The consular officer will inform you if additional administrative processing is necessary.
- Based on U.S. law, not everyone who applies is qualified or eligible for a visa to come to the United States. Under U.S. law, many factors could make an applicant ineligible to receive a visa. See Ineligibilities for U.S. Visas. In some instances, the law might allow you to apply for a waiver for the ineligibility. If you are able to apply for such a waiver, the consular officer will advise you on the steps to take.