Skip to main content

What is the Diversity Visa Lottery?

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program—a.k.a. the green card lottery—is a government lottery program for obtaining U.S. Permanent Residence (green card). The program makes 50,000 visas available every year to applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States and with specific education qualifications. It provides an inexpensive and relatively straightforward path to a green card without needing sponsorship from a U.S. employer or family.

Who Can Apply?

To be eligible for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, you, your spouse, or your parent must have been born in a country that sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years. DOS publishes a complete list of the eligible countries on its website.

For the 2025 program, the following countries are not eligible to apply due to high rates of immigration to the United States:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China, including Hong Kong SAR (Natives of Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible)
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

In addition to the nationality requirements, applicants must possess:

  • At least a high school diploma or its equivalent, or
  • Two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience. DOS publishes a list of professions that are eligible on its website.

Non-U.S. residents seeking a green card from an eligible country may apply regardless of whether they live in the United States or abroad. This includes foreign workers waiting for a green card through the labor certification program.

When Can I Apply?

The entry submission period for the FY2025 Diversity Immigrant Visa program is from 12:00 pm (ET) on October 4, 2023, to 12:00 pm (ET) on November 7, 2023. The entry form will only be available for submission during this period. In years past, the last week of the registration period saw heavy demand on DOS’s application website, causing website delays. Therefore, submitting your application as early as possible is encouraged. The results of the DV-2025 lottery will be available on the E-DV site as of May 4, 2024.

How Do I Apply?

Entries must be submitted online through DOS’s website. Paper entries are not accepted. Online applications are free, but visa processing fees may apply if selected. DOS releases detailed instructions on their website, which is available here:

If you want to learn more about the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Olivia C Cummings today via phone at (772)236-0148 or via email at You can also visit our website to schedule a consultation with our Immigration Attorney at

Immigration Lawyer | Law Office of Olivia C Cummings


Attention: This article was written to provide general information, which should not be construed as legal advice. If you are seeking advice on a specific legal matter, you are encouraged to contact our law firm directly and schedule a consultation with our Immigration Attorney for a thorough review of your case.


Author oliviacummings

More posts by oliviacummings

Leave a Reply