The wait is almost over for millions of foreign nationals around the globe who last year entered the 2023 visa lottery to legally immigrate to the United States with permanent resident status.
Entrants in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program can find out if they were randomly selected for a U.S. green card starting today, Saturday, May 7, at noon, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.
That’s when the DV Entrant Status Check function at the Bureau’s website will be live for status searches.
Foreign nationals must enter their unique confirmation information saved from their DV-2023 entry registration through a blue button titled “Check Status” to find out if they were selected for one of the 55,000 diversity visas available for Fiscal Year 2023.
The Entrant Status Check search tool is the only means by which the Department of State notifies DV-2023 entrants if they were selected, according to the official instructions for the 2023 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.
“The Department of State will not mail notification letters or notify selectees by email,” the instructions say, clarifying that “U.S. embassies and consulates will not provide a list of selectees.”
“Individuals who have not been selected also only will be notified through Entrant Status Check,” the document states.
The results will be available through at least Sept. 30, 2023.
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How to check if you won the 2023 visa lottery
To check on whether you or a family member won the visa lottery, the following information is required:
▪ The confirmation number or code issued to you when you registered for the lottery
▪ Your surnames, just as you wrote them when you registered
▪ Your birth year, with all four digits
▪ The authentication code indicated by the system
However, not everyone who is selected immediately qualifies for a visa. The Department selects more than 55,000 entrants, because some will not be able to complete the process.
“Being randomly chosen as a selectee does not guarantee that you will receive a visa or even the chance to make a visa application or to schedule a visa interview,” the Department warns. “Selection merely means that you are eligible to apply for a Diversity Visa.”
READ MORE: Fewer people will be eligible to apply for the Visa Lottery thanks to this new change
Diversity Immigrant visa winners’ next steps
If selected, an individual will be directed to a confirmation page that provides further instructions, including legal fees related to immigration to the United States.
“Selected applicants who wish to apply for visas must be prepared to act promptly on their cases,” officials said in the instructions. “Once all of the 55,000 diversity visas have been issued, the program will end.”
In order to immigrate, DV winners must be admissible to the United States.
The following steps are necessary to prove admissibility:
▪ Electronically submit Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application.
▪ Pass an in-person consular interview when there is a visa number available at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate selected on the DS-260 Form, which includes criminal and security questions to determine eligibility to immigrate to the U.S.
Approved visas are not available the day of the interview.
You must bring the following to the interview:
▪ Appointment letter
▪ Confirmation of the DS-260 page
▪ Medical exam results
▪ Originals of the supporting documentation
▪ Certified English translations of these documents
▪ Visa fee ($330)
“There may be either additional instructions for obtaining civil documents in a specific country or additional documents required, depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply,” the Department explains in its Supporting Documents page.
READ MORE: Here’s what it takes for an immigrant to get a green card — and not lose it
Green card winners legally living in the U.S.
While most lottery winners live in a foreign country and immigrate through consular processing, some foreign nationals selected are already living in the United States in a nonimmigrant or other legal status.
For them, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will process an adjustment of status application.
The first step to obtain a green card under the Diversity Visa Program for this group is to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and the supporting evidence.
All the diversity visas available this fiscal year, including those for family members, must be issued no later than Sept. 30, 2023. Otherwise the foreign nationals selected will lose the change to obtain — through the 2023 visa lottery — a green card, which paves the way for U.S. citizenship thorough naturalization.
Daniel Shoer Roth is a journalist covering immigration law who does not offer legal advice or individual assistance to visa lottery applicants. Follow him on Twitter @DanielShoerRoth or Instagram. The contents of this story do not constitute legal advice.
This story was originally published May 5, 2022 1:15 PM.