Up to 55,000 foreign nationals and their families from around the globe have a chance to legally immigrate to the United States with a green card in hand in 2024, thanks to one of the most famous U.S. visa programs, popularly known as the visa lottery.
2024 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2024) entrants will be able to find out if they were randomly selected for a visa on May 6, 2023, the U.S. Department of State announced.
Visa lottery entrants can check the status of their application at the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
Lottery results in the DV Entrant Status Check function — the only way to check if a person has been selected — will be available starting May 6 at 12 p.m. EST through Sept. 30, 2024.
The winners are randomly drawn by computer from among qualified entries. The visas are available for foreigners from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.
Foreign nationals must enter their unique confirmation number saved from their DV-2024 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 2024, according to the official instructions for the 2024 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.
How to find out if I won the 2024 visa lottery
To check on whether you or a family member were selected in the visa lottery, the following information is required:
▪ Confirmation number or code issued when you registered for the program.
▪ Surnames as written in the electronic entry form.
▪ Birth year, with all four digits.
▪ Authentication code indicated by the website.
“If your entry is selected, you will be directed to a confirmation page providing further instructions, including information about fees connected with immigration to the United States,” officials said in the instructions.
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Officials noted that the Department of State will not mail notifications letters nor notify selectees by email. Additionally, U.S. consulates and embassies won’t provide the winners’ list.
What comes next for 2024 Diversity Immigrant visa winners
Though there are 55,000 green cards available, there will be even more names selected because not everyone who is selected qualifies for an immigrant visa or pursues his or her case to completion.
“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 an interview,” authorities warned. “Selections merely means that you may be eligible to apply for a Diversity Visa”.
Those selected are entitled to apply for visa issuance only during Fiscal Year 2014, which is from Oct. 1, 2023 through Sep. 30, 2024. To get a visa selectees first must:
▪ Be admissible to the United States.
▪ 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-related questions to determine eligibility.
According to the State Department, visa lottery selectees must bring the following to the interview:
▪ Appointment information printed from the Entrant Status Check website.
▪ DS-260 confirmation page.
▪ Passport(s) valid for six months beyond the intended day of entry into the U.S.
▪ Original documents or certified copies of civil documents submitted to the Kentucky Consular Center.
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Green card lottery winners residing in the U.S.
While most people selected by the Diversity Visa Program live in a foreign county (in 2023, almost 10 million people from around the world qualified to enter the program), some foreign nationals selected are already living in the U.S. under a non-immigrant legal status.
For them, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will process adjustment of status applications.
“You may apply to USCIS for adjustment of status to permanent resident,” officials said in the instructions. “You must ensure that USCIS can complete action on your case, including processing of any overseas applications for spouse or for children under 21 years of age, before September 30, 2024, since on that date your eligibility for the DV-2024 program expires.”
The first step to obtain a green card under the Diversity Visa Program for this group of selectees is to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and to provide the supportive evidence.
All selectees around the world and in the U.S., including family members, must be issued visas by Sept. 30, 2024.
Daniel Shoer Roth is a journalist covering immigration issues who does not offer legal advice or individual assistance to visa lottery winners. Follow him on Instagram or Twitter. The contents of this story does not constitute legal advice.