There’s still time to register for the Diversity Visa Program. Registration for the 2018 lottery closes at noon EST (17:00 GMT) November 7, 2016.
Are you in? If you’re still planning to enter, take a look at the most frequently asked questions about the program, with answers from the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.
What does a diversity visa entitle me to? Will the U.S. government help me find work?
Drawing of woman using computer (State Dept./Doug Thompson)If you are issued a diversity visa (DV), you can seek admission to live and work in the United States. The U.S. government will not pay for your airfare, find you a place to live or find you work. As part of your visa application, you will have to prove that you are unlikely to become dependent on the U.S. government for your living expenses. There is no specific amount of money you must prove you have. The consular officer will consider the totality of your circumstances during your visa interview.
Why isn’t my country eligible for this year’s DV program?
Drawing of woman putting paper in envelope (State Dept./Doug Thompson)Countries that have had more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years are ineligible for the DV lottery. Although the ineligible countries are not permanently ineligible, we cannot speculate as to when they will again be eligible.
If I register for the DV program as the principal applicant, can my spouse make a separate application as the principal applicant? Could this cause our applications to be disqualified?
Spouses may each submit one entry if each meets the eligibility requirements. If either spouse is selected, the other may apply as a derivative dependent. Be sure to include your spouse and children on your entry. If both spouses enter, both should include the other spouse and all children. Not listing your existing spouse or children on the entry will result in disqualification.
Can I use the same photo I submitted in last year’s entry?
No. Entries that include the same photo from the last DV year (DV-2017) will be disqualified. You must use a photograph taken within the last six months in your entry.
Can I apply for a diversity visa if I already hold a U.S. visa?
Yes, you can apply for DV-2018 even if you already hold a U.S. visa.
Is it possible to change the address on my application if I’m selected but have since moved?
Drawing of hands exchanging piece of paper (State Dept./Doug Thompson)
Yes. If you are selected and need to change your address, contact the Kentucky Consular Center.
Why do you run out of diversity visas for people who were selected for the program?
There are 50,000 DVs available for DV-2018. More than 50,000 people are selected in the program because some people selected don’t qualify for the visa or don’t pursue the visa, and we want to make sure all 50,000 visas are issued. Only the first qualified 50,000 applicants and derivative family members will be issued visas. After those visas are issued, the program will end. If you wish to receive your visa, you must act promptly when selected. If you miss or reschedule your appointment or come without the required documentation, you risk a visa being unavailable.
How much does it cost to enroll in the Diversity Visa Program?
Drawing of visa (State Dept./Doug Thompson)There is no cost to enroll in the program. If selected, you will pay visa fees at the embassy when you have your interview. Beware of scams related to payment of diversity visa fees!