Show Nav
Print    |   

Feeling Lucky? Green Card Lottery Opens October 4, 2023

Contact Us

What is the Green Card Lottery?

The Green Card lottery, a.k.a The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, is a government initiative that makes 50,000 visas available to countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. These visas are available through a lottery system run by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Getting a visa through the lottery is a simple and inexpensive way to get a green card without sponsorship from U.S. family members or an employer.

Who can apply?

Nationality Requirement

You may be eligible for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program if you, your spouse, or your parent were born in an eligible country. Eligible countries are those that have sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the past five years; the DOS has a full list of these countries on its website. 

For fiscal year 2025, the following countries are not eligible to apply due to their high rates of immigration to the U.S.:

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

Education Requirement

In addition to meeting eligible country requirements, applicants must have: 

  • 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. There is a list of eligible occupations on the DOS website. 

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

When Can I Apply?

You can begin to apply on October 4, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (ET). The entry submission period ends at 12:00 p.m. (ET) on November 7, 2023. The entry form will only be available during this time. The DOS recommends submitting your application as early as you can. In past years, the DOS saw delays on the application website during the last week of registration due to heavy application demand. The results of the green card lottery will be available on DOL’s site as of May 42024.

How To Apply

Submit your application with DOS online at dvpro​gram​.state​.gov, following these application instructionsDOS does not accept paper entries. While the online applications are free, visa processing fees may apply if selected. 

To learn more about the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery, contact the immigration attorneys at Boardman Clark.

Have a question? Contact us.

More from Immigration