Millions of foreign citizens around the globe yearning to immigrate to the United States legally without a U.S. sponsor once again will have a chance to try their luck at getting a U.S. green card through one of the most popular immigration programs.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs announced that it will officially open the entry period for the 2025 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2025), better known as the visa lottery.
Foreigners interested in immigrating, if qualified, must submit their Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (DS-5501) online between noon on Wednesday, Oct. 4, and noon on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Entries must be submitted through the official site dvprogram.state.gov. There is no cost to enter the visa lottery.
“Do not wait until the last week of the registration period to enter as heavy demand may result in website delays,” consular authorities advised prospective applicants in the just-released Instructions for the 2025 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.
“No late entries or paper entries will be accepted. The law allows only one entry per person during each entry period. The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries,” the instructions noted.
Who qualifies for the 2025 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?
The 2025 Diversity Visa Program provides permanent resident visas or green cards to foreign citizens in countries with low immigration rates to the United States in the previous five years.
For Fiscal Year 2025, up to 55,000 green cards will be available through the visa lottery. To qualify, applicants must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements:
▪ Every foreign national can apply to the DV-2025 except natives from these countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including mainland and Hong Kong-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Venezuela and Vietnam.
▪ Applicants must meet the education or work experience requirement: Have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, or two years’ work experience over the past five years in an eligible field that requires at least two years of training.
When and how can I enter the 2025 U.S. visa lottery?
Applicants can submit their electronic entries to participate in the U.S. visa lottery starting Oct. 4 through Nov. 7. The online entry form is free.
To complete an entry, foreigners must provide the following information:
▪ Name — last name, first name, middle name — exactly as it appears in your passport.
▪ Birth date — day, month, year.
▪ City of birth
▪ Country of birth
▪ Country of eligibility for the DV-2025 program
▪ Photographs of entrant and family members
▪ Mailing address
▪ County of residence
▪ Phone number (optional)
▪ E-mail address
Consular authorities advice applicants to “complete the entry from yourself without a ‘visa consultant,’ ‘visa agent,’ or other person who offers to help.”
“It is extremely important that you have the printout of your confirmation page and unique confirmation number,” they stressed alluding to “unscrupulous visa facilitators.”
How to know if I was selected for a U.S. green card in the DV-2025 lottery?
According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ instructions, DV-2025 entrants must visit the Entrant Status Check web page to find out if their entry was selected.
The DV-2025 results will be available from May 4, 2024, through Sept. 30, 2025.
To check if you won the visa lottery:
▪ Use the unique confirmation number saved from your DV-2025 online entry registration to find out if you were selected.
▪ Those selected will be directed to a confirmation page providing further instructions.
▪ Diversity Visa winners must be admissible to the United States in order to immigrate.
▪ Selectees must go through a strict consular interview process, that include questions regarding criminal an security-related issues.
▪ Selectees must pay a U.S. immigrant visa application fee prior to making their formal visa application with the consular officer.
▪ All winners approved for immigration, must be issued visas by Sept. 30, 2025.
As it does every year, the Department of State will select more than 55,000 foreigners because not all of them will qualify for a visa or will be able to pursue their cases to completion.
However, authorities emphasized that, “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.”
This story was originally published September 29, 2023, 3:53 PM.