FAQs: What is the Diversity Lottery Program?

American Flag and Visa

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the green card lottery, annually awards up to 50,000 United States Permanent Resident Visas to applicants whose country of origin has low immigration rates to the U.S. in the last five years. The program’s goal is to diversify the immigrant population in the United States.

The Immigration Act of 1990 established the DV program, called a lottery because there are more applicants than available visas, and the visas are granted randomly among qualified applicants. Diversity Visas are available in six geographic regions and no single country may receive more than 7% of the available DVs in any one year.

Diversity Lottery Eligibility Requirements

The Green Card Through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State, and the eligibility criteria are determined by immigration law:

  • born in an eligible country
  • a high school education or its equivalent
  • within the past five years, two years of work in a field that requires 2 years of training or experience

Approximately 20 million people apply for a Diversity Visa every year. President Trump has advocated for the end of the Visa Lottery program, calling it “a disaster for our country” and that the program has created “significant vulnerabilities” for national security.

The Immigration Simplified attorneys work with you to evaluate your immigration status and guide you in your journey to getting a Green Card. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at (312) 883-9944.

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