The application period for the 2014 Diversity Visa (DV) Program closed this past Saturday, November 3, 2012. The Department of State advises that entrants will be able to check the status of their entries starting on May 1, 2013 through the Entrant Status Check (ESC) website. ESC is the only means by which those who have been selected for the Diversity Visa will be notified and receive instruction on how to proceed with their applications.

Entrants who submitted applications during the 2011 registration period for the 2013 Diversity Visa lottery should now check the status of their entries through the ESC system. ESC will be available to DV-2013 entrants through September 30, 2013.

The Diversity Visa program was established by the U.S. Department of State to allow for immigration from countries that traditionally do not send many immigrants to the U.S. Diversity visas are awarded based on a lottery system, and thus diversity visas do not involve priority dates and lengthy wait times that are part of most other immigrant visa categories. The program occurs annually, and registration is only open during the specific, announced time frame.

There are 55,000 diversity visas available per year and priority is given to countries that have traditionally low rates of immigration to the U.S. In addition to the nationality requirements, in order to qualify for a diversity visa, you must have at least the equivalent of a high school education or at least two years of training or work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years' training or experience.