May 29, 2022
How to Apply for the American Visa Lottery

How to Apply for the American Visa Lottery


The Visa Lottery, officially known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, is one of the easiest ways to obtain an American visa. Every year, 50,000 visas are awarded to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States based on random selection. All you have to do is register once every few years and hope that you’re randomly selected as a winner. To be eligible, you must have at least a high school diploma and two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform.

Follow these 3 easy steps
Determine whether you’re eligible for the US Visa lottery. Then, check your country’s chance of receiving a visa in each round and apply! For example, in 2017, Nepal’s first preference visa lottery chance was only 1 out of 42, making it a difficult country to immigrate to through lottery channels. However, citizens of South Sudan had a whopping 1 in 13 chance at getting selected. So play smart: know your chances and apply accordingly!

What documents do I need?
You’ll need to gather copies of these documents: Proof of age and identity: Passport, birth certificate, national identity card. Proof of residence: For example, current driver’s license or utility bill. Proof that you’ve lived in your country for at least one year (two years if you are under 18). This can be a school report card or job record.

What if I have an old criminal record?
If you have an old criminal record and are concerned that it might hinder your application, you’re not alone. This is one of those situations where being well informed really counts. The rules regarding criminal history on Visa lottery applications vary by country. For some countries, past convictions have no bearing on visa lottery eligibility. However, if your record involves activities such as trafficking or murder, you may be out of luck entirely.

Where do I send my application?
To apply for an American visa, you will need to fill out an application from and submit it with your supporting documents. First, you should create a profile on and print out a blank application as soon as possible after opening it. The site has detailed instructions for how you should fill out your form and what information to gather before beginning, but here’s a quick guide

Who gets selected in the visa lottery?
The Department of State runs its annual diversity visa lottery program. Each year, no more than 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) are made available. No country can receive more than seven percent of that number—approximately 4,250 visas per year.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV)
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in collaboration with the Department of State and has provided more than 50,000 immigrants a path toward permanent residency in a number of years. With its continued popularity, it is important to understand how it works and how you can apply. In 2017, approximately 20 million people from around the world applied through a lottery system for just over 14,000 visas.

Can I go on holiday after applying?
There’s no need to rush when it comes to entering a US visa lottery. You don’t have to enter right away—you can go back at any time during its submission period, which runs between October and November. However, it’s worth getting your entry in as soon as possible because some years are more popular than others, meaning demand might outweigh supply if you leave it too late.

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