Each year the Diversity Visa Lottery (DV) Program makes available 55,000 immigrant visas to aliens from selected countries (note that 5,000 of those visas are held back for the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)).

The U.S. Department of State will only accept completed E-DV entry forms submitted electronically at www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period between noon EDT Tuesday, October 1, 2013 and noon EDT Saturday, November 2, 2013. An individual will be disqualified if more than ONE entry for that individual is received, regardless of who submitted the entry. However, a husband and a wife may each submit one entry if each meets the eligibility requirements. If either is selected, the other is entitled to apply as a derivative dependent. A successfully submitted entry will result in a confirmation screen containing your name and a unique confirmation number. You must print this confirmation screen for your records and ensure that you retain your confirmation number in a safe place. You can also access www.dvlottery.state.gov for lottery frequently asked questions, eligible countries, requirements for entry, procedures for submitting an entry to the DV-2015 lottery, digital photo specifications, etc.

The E-DV Entry Form is designed to be completed and submitted at one time. The instructions can be found online (www.dvlottery.state.gov) and explain clearly and completely what information is required to fill in the form. Thus, you can be fully prepared, making sure you have all the information needed before you start to complete the form online.

The computer will randomly select individuals from among all qualified entries. Starting May 1, 2014 you will be able to check the status of your DV-2015 entry at www.dvlottery.state.gov / Entrant Status Check by entering your unique confirmation number and personal information. This is the only way you will know whether or not your application has been selected.

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of successful entrants may also apply for visas to accompany or follow to join the principal applicant. DV-2015 visas will be issued between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015. The death of a diversity lottery selectee would result in automatic revocation of the case and any eligible spouse and/or children would no longer be entitled to a visa based on that entry.

All applicants must meet two simple, but strict, eligibility requirements:

Requirement 1: To be eligible to apply for the Green Card Lottery, the alien must be a native of a country that has been selected to participate in this year's lottery (complete list of eligible countries can be found at www.dvlottery.state.gov). This is more fully explained below under Chargeability.

Requirement 2: Applicant must have a high school diploma or the equivalent by U.S. standards or have two years of work experience within the last five years in an occupation that requires at last two years of training or experience.

There is no minimum age to apply for the program, but the requirement of a high school education or work experience for each principal applicant at the time of the application will effectively disqualify most persons who are under the age of 18.

Being randomly selected does not guarantee that you will receive a visa. Selection merely means that you are eligible to apply for a Diversity Visa, and if qualified, issued a Diversity Visa. Only the first 50,000 selected applicants to qualify will be issued visas.

Chargeability

Your country of eligibility will normally be the same as your country of birth, and is not related to where you live. "Native" ordinarily means someone born in a particular country, regardless of the individual's current country of residence or nationality. For immigration purposes, "native" can also mean someone who is entitled to be "charged" to a country other than the one in which they were born.

If you are a "native" of one of the ineligible countries listed above, you can still submit an application by claiming "chargeability" to an eligible country in one of the two following ways:

1.   You can claim chargeability to the country where your derivative spouse was born, but your spouse must also meet the strict eligibility requirements;

or

2.   You can be "charged" to the country of birth of either of your parents as long as neither parent was a resident of the ineligible country at the time of your birth. In general, people are not considered residents of a country in which they were not born or legally naturalized if they are only visiting the country, studying in the country temporarily, or stationed temporarily in the country for business or professional reasons on behalf of a company or government from a country other than the country in which the applicant was born.

If you claim alternate chargeability, you must indicate such information on the electronic online Entry Form. Listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability may disqualify your entry.