Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery

How the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery Works

Every year, millions of immigrant hopefuls apply for the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery which is a program that grants 50,000 immigrants visa to winners annually. Obtaining a green card is the first step towards becoming a U.S. citizen. If you’re looking for information about how the green card lottery works and how you can apply for it,

Established by the Immigration Act of 1990, the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery is a program initiated with a view towards encouraging a multicultural society in the USA. It is administered by the U.S. Department of State and is commonly referred to as the Green Card Lottery or the Diversity Visa Lottery. It is called a visa lottery because winners are first issued a temporary visa which is then upgraded to a green card upon entry into the U.S.

What is a green card?

A green card is a card that proves that the bearer is authorized to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. The card, which is also to be used for identification, is to be carried about by foreign nationals who live in the U.S. Additionally, having a green card is one of the requirements to be met before one can apply for USA citizenship.

The Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery process

The following is a brief overview of the process involved in obtaining a green card:

  1. Submit your application

Every year, new applications are submitted with the hope of winning the lottery. Before you apply, make sure you confirm that nationals from your country are eligible as the lottery is not open to all. Countries whose citizens have immigrated into the U.S. in large numbers over the past five years are often excluded from the eligibility list.

When you have confirmed that your country is eligible, proceed to the website where you will be asked to fill out the form. Make sure you provide correct details as well as the recent photographs of you. When you’ve submitted the form, you will be given a unique reference number with which you can check the status of your application the following year, usually from 1st of May.

  1. Get selected

After you’ve submitted your application, an immigration team will evaluate your application and approve it if you meet the requirements. Your application will then be forwarded to the Department for State where it will be added for the drawing which is 100% random. If you’re selected, you must then complete the online Form DS-260 application to schedule an interview appointment at your U.S. Consulate.

  • Pass the interview

At this stage, you will be required to pay a fee before the interview. You must also come with the following documents alongside applicable civil documents:

  • Appointment letter
  • DS-260 confirmation page
  • Passport
  • Photographs
  • Medical exam results
  1. Receive your green card

At the end of the interview, you will be notified of the decision of the consular officer. If you pass the interview, your passport will be returned to you with a temporary visa for you to travel to the U.S. where you will receive your green card at the address you provided.


The Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery is the gateway towards living and working permanently in the United States. Applicants can boost their chances by correctly filling the form as most applications are usually fraught with errors and omissions.

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