The U.S. Department of State announces the opening of the registration period for the 2017 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery, also known as the greencard lottery. Entries for the 2017 Diversity Visa lottery must be submitted electronically between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, October 1, 2015, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Monday, November 3, 2015. Applicants may access the electronic Diversity Visa entry form at www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period. Paper entries will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after noon EDT on November 3, 2015.
The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for DVs. The Diversity Visa Program requires the principal DV applicant to have a high school education, or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience as defined under provisions of U.S. law. Entrants may prepare and submit their own entries or have someone submit the entry for them. Regardless of whether an entry is submitted by the individual directly or assistance is provided by an attorney, friend, relative, etc., only one entry may be submitted in the name of each individual, and the person entering DV-2017 remains responsible for ensuring that the information is correct and complete. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the past five years. Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.
The law allows only one entry by or for each person during each registration period. The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries. Entrants who submit more than one entry will be disqualified.
There is no cost or fee to register for the DV Program. You are strongly encouraged to complete the entry form yourself, without a “Visa Consultant,” “Visa Agent,” or other facilitator who offers to help. If somebody else helps you, you should be present when your entry is prepared so that you can provide the correct answers to the questions and retain the confirmation page and your unique confirmation number.
It is important to note that winning the lottery is not a guarantee that you will receive a visa – winners must be interviewed and qualify for a visa.
For detailed information about entry requirements, along with frequently asked questions about the DV lottery, please see the instructions for the DV-2017 DV lottery available at http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/diversity-visa/instructions.html.