Learn out about the historic inclusion of the UK, the timeline, the cost, and how to apply
Oct 12, 2023
Experts believe the inclusion occurred because the number of British immigrants to the US significantly decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is subject to change as British immigration behaviour is picking up steam as the pandemic has subsided. Hence, Britain’s categorisation as a Green Card Lottery country may not be permanent.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended that British nationals with out-migration quickly enrol in the DV-2025 Program to secure one of 50,000 US immigrant visas in 2024.
We also advise applying early in the registration period in case of any website delays because of expected high demand.
Entering the green card lottery involves filling out a simple form online, and it doesn’t cost anything. The winners are selected at random by a computer, and they and their immediate families receive green cards
The Diversity Visa Lottery, Explained
The Diversity Visa program gives citizens from countries that typically don’t send many immigrants to the United States the chance to receive a green card. For fiscal year 2025, up to 55,000 diversity visas will be available. To apply, applicants must submit their entry online at dvprogram.state.gov now.
The registration period began on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at 12:00 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and will conclude on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at 12:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time (EST). You may submit only one application per person; duplicate entries will end in disqualification.
Diversity Visa Lottery Requirements
There are two main requirements when applying for a Diversity Visa:
1. Country of birth
The location of a person’s birth determines their eligibility. There is some yearly variation in the eligible countries. For the 2024 application period, nationals from the following countries aren’t eligible to apply:
- China (including Hong Kong SAR)
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- South Korea
For more information, the State Department provides a list of all eligible countries.
PLEASE NOTE: If your native country is not eligible, there are still two ways you could qualify for the Diversity Visa:
- If your spouse was born in an eligible country, you can apply with your spouse and choose your spouse’s birth country on your application.
- If neither of your parents were legal residents in your country of birth, you can choose your mother or father’s country of birth.
The second major requirement for Diversity Visa applicants is to have at least a high school education diploma or at least two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience, as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Diversity Visa Lottery Cost
Registration is free for the green card lottery. However, if you’re selected and choose to apply for a Diversity Visa, you’ll need to pay the mandatory green card application fees.
How to Enter the Diversity Visa Lottery
Participating in the green card lottery is relatively easy. You fill out a form on the State Department’s website while it is available, from early October through early November. The online form’s questions are easy to understand; however, there are a few places where these extra suggestions may be helpful:
- For “country of birth,” list the country you were born in, regardless of where you live. If the country has a different name now than it did when you were born, use its current name.
- For “country of eligibility,” list either your country of birth or—if you qualify to use your spouse’s or your parent’s birth countries—list that country. The country you currently live in is irrelevant to this question.
- Your spouse: You must list your spouse, even if he or she doesn’t live with you and does not intend to immigrate with you.
- Your children: You must list all your biological and adopted children, no matter how old they are. You should also list all of your step-children under age 21, even if you are no longer married to their parents.
- You’ll also need to include a recent photo (taken within the past six months) of you, your spouse, and your children.
- Once you submit your application, it’s essential to keep your confirmation number because this is the only way to know if you’ve been selected
Diversity Visa Lottery Timeline
The Diversity Visa lottery winners are randomly chosen by a computer program, with a certain number of visas allocated to each region of the world and no one country receiving more than 7% of the Diversity Visas available in any given year. Although the dates vary, the winners of the green card lottery are typically notified seven months after submitting their entry.
Selected candidates can apply for an immigrant visa. They may enter the US and get a permanent resident card, also known as a Green Card, to live and work permanently. This opportunity allows individuals with nonimmigrant visas and those not eligible for nonimmigrant visas to pursue an easier path to US permanent residency.
The Advantages of a Green Card
The Green Card allows you to live, work, and study in the US indefinitely. As a Green Card holder, you enjoy the following privileges:
- You can reside anywhere in the US and seek employment.
- You can practice any profession or start a business.
- You can sponsor family members to receive a Green Card as well.
- You can apply for US citizenship once you meet specific criteria.
- You are entitled to social benefits after a certain period.
Important Points to Consider
- If you’re selected in the green card lottery, you and your family must meet the exact requirements of any other U.S. green card applicant. Certain types of criminal records could make you ineligible for a green card. Some medical conditions could make it difficult or impossible to get a green card.
- If you’re selected in the green card lottery, it’s essential to act fast, even though it could still be a year or more before you can come to the United States. There are two reasons to act immediately: First, your application must be processed, and your visa must be issued by the end of the fiscal year for which you were selected. Second, more individuals are selected for the DV Program than immigrant visas/green cards are available, and if you wait until the last minute, there might not be any visas left.
- You’ll get a numerical rank when you’re notified that you won the Diversity Visa, which will tell you when you can apply for your visa. Once you see a visa available, you should submit form DS-260 to the National Visa Center. Once your application is processed, it will be forwarded to the U.S. consulate, which will schedule a visa interview. You will be approved for your immigrant visa at the interview if you meet all the requirements.
- If an applicant is selected for the DV-2025 Program, the actual application for permanent residence must be filed and approved by September 30, 2025. If the application is not approved by that date, the application is invalidated. Fees and eligibility requirements are associated with the application for permanent residence, including a medical exam.
What Happens Next?
Get expert advice if you have questions about your application or immigration status. This will make you more confident that you’re doing the process correctly.
At Centuro Global, we understand the importance of the Diversity Visa Lottery and how it can impact your dependents. We will provide you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision and maximize your chances of success. We will also help you with any post-lottery issues you might encounter. Get in touch with us today and start your path to US citizenship.