INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 2020 DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM (DV-2020)
The Department of State annually administers the statutorily-mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For Fiscal Year 2020, 50,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) will be available. There is no cost to register for the DV program.
Applicants who are selected in the program (“selectees”) must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a diversity visa. The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing. The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than 7 percent of the available DVs in any one year.
For DV-2020, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.
There were no changes in eligibility this year from the previous fiscal year.
Requirement #1: Individuals born in countries whose natives qualify may be eligible to enter.
If you were not born in an eligible country, there are two other ways you might be able to qualify.
Was your spouse born in a country whose natives are eligible? If yes, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth – provided that both you and your spouse are named on the selected entry, are found eligible and issued diversity visas, and enter the United States simultaneously.
Were you born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but in which neither of your parents was born or legally resident at the time of your birth? If yes, you may claim the country of birth of one of your parents if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the DV-2020 program. For more details on what this means, see the Frequently Asked Questions.
Requirement #2: Each DV applicant must meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program by having either:
at least a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education;
two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform. The Department of State will use the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net Online database to determine qualifying work experience.
For more information about qualifying work experience, see the Frequently Asked Questions.
Do not submit an entry to the DV program unless you meet both of these requirements.
Applicants must submit entries for the DV-2020 program electronically at dvlottery.state.gov between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, October 3, 2018, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Do not wait until the last week of the registration period to enter, as heavy demand may result in website delays. No late entries or paper entries will be accepted. The law allows only one entry per person during each registration period. The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries. Individuals with more than one entry will be disqualified.
Completing your Electronic Entry for the DV-2020 Program
Submit your Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form or DS-5501), online at dvlottery.state.gov. We will not accept incomplete entries. There is no cost to submit an entry form. Please use an updated browser when submitting your application; older browsers (Internet Explorer 8, for example) will likely encounter problems with the online DV system.
We strongly encourage you to complete the entry form yourself, without a “visa consultant,” “visa agent,” or other facilitator who offers to help. If someone helps you, you should be present when your entry is prepared so you can provide the correct answers to the questions and retain the confirmation page and your unique confirmation number. It is extremely important that you retain your confirmation page and unique confirmation number. Without this information, you will not be able to access the online system that informs you of your entry status. Be wary if someone offers to keep this information for you. You also should retain access to the email account listed in your E-DV entry. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about Diversity Visa program scams. You may also wish to view our video for an introduction to the Diversity Visa program and step-by-step guide to help you submit an entry.
After you submit a complete entry, you will see a confirmation screen containing your name and a unique confirmation number. Print this confirmation screen for your records. Starting May 7, 2019, you will be able to check the status of your entry by returning to dvlottery.state.gov, clicking on Entrant Status Check, and entering your unique confirmation number and personal information. You must use Entrant Status Check to check if you have been selected for DV-2020 and if selected, to check your immigrant visa interview appointment date. The U.S. government will not inform you directly. Entrant Status Check is the sole source for instructions on how to proceed with your application. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the selection process.
You must provide the following information to complete your entry:
1. Name – last/family name, first name, middle name – exactly as it appears on your passport. If you have only one name, it must be entered in the last/family name field.
2. Gender – male or female.
3. Birth date – day, month, year.
4. City where you were born.
5. Country where you were born – Use the name of the country currently used for the place where you were born.
6. Country of eligibility for the DV program – Your country of eligibility will normally be the same as your country of birth. Your country of eligibility is not related to where you live or your nationality, if it is different from your country of birth. If you were born in a country that is not eligible, please review the Frequently Asked Questions to see if there is another way you may be eligible.
7. Entrant photograph(s) – Recent photographs (taken within the last six months) of yourself, your spouse, and all your children. See Submitting a Digital Photograph for compositional and technical specifications. You do not need to include a photograph for a spouse or child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, but you will not be penalized if you do.
DV entry photographs must meet the same standards as U.S. visa photos. Your entry will be disqualified or your visa application refused if the entry photographs for you and your family members do not fully meet these specifications or have been manipulated in any way. Submitting the same photograph that was submitted with a prior year’s entry will result in disqualification. See Submitting a Digital Photograph (below) for more information.
8. Mailing Address – In Care Of Address Line 1 Address Line 2 City/Town District/Country/Province/State Postal Code/Zip Code
9. Country where you live today.
10. Phone number (optional).
11. Email address – An email address to which you have direct access, and will continue to have direct access, after we notify selectees in May of next year. If your entry is selected and you respond to the notification of your selection through the Entrant Status Check, you will receive follow-up email communication from the Department of State notifying you that details of your immigrant visa interview are available on Entrant Status Check. The Department of State will never send you an email telling you that you have been selected for the DV program. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the selection process.
12. Highest level of education you have achieved, as of today: (1) Primary school only, (2) Some high school, no diploma, (3) High school diploma, (4) Vocational school, (5) Some university courses, (6) University degree, (7) Some graduate-level courses, (8) Master’s degree, (9) Some doctorallevel courses, and (10) Doctorate. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about educational requirements.
13. Current marital status: (1) Unmarried, (2) married and my spouse is NOT a U.S. citizen or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), (3) married and my spouse IS a U.S. citizen or U.S. LPR, (4) divorced, (5) widowed, or (6) legally separated. Enter the name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, and country of birth of your spouse, and a photograph of your spouse meeting the same technical specifications as your photo.
Failure to list your eligible spouse or, listing someone who is not your spouse, will result in your disqualification as the Diversity Visa principal applicant and refusal of all visa applications in your case at the time of the visa interview. You must list your spouse even if you currently are separated from him/her, unless you are legally separated. Legal separation is an arrangement when a couple remain married but live apart, following a court order. If you and your spouse are legally separated, your spouse will not be able to immigrate with you through the Diversity Visa program. You will not be penalized if you choose to enter the name of a spouse from whom you are legally separated. If you are not legally separated by a court order, you must include your spouse even if you plan to be divorced before you apply for the Diversity Visa. Failure to list your eligible spouse is grounds for disqualification.
If your spouse is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, do not list him/her in your entry. A spouse who is already a U.S. citizen or LPR will not require or be issued a visa. Therefore, if you select “married and my spouse IS a U.S. citizen or U.S. LPR” on your entry, you will not be prompted to include further information on your spouse. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about family members.
14. Number of children – List the name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, and country of birth for all living unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of whether they are living with you or intend to accompany or follow to join you, should you immigrate to the United States. Submit individual photographs of each of your children using the same technical specifications as your own photograph.
Be sure to include:
all living natural children; all living children legally adopted by you; and, all living step-children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 on the date of your electronic entry, even if you are no longer legally married to the child’s parent, and even if the child does not currently reside with you and/or will not immigrate with you.
Married children and children who are already aged 21 or older when you submit your entry are not eligible for the DV program. However, the Child Status Protection Act protects children from “aging out” in certain circumstances. If you submit your DV entry before your unmarried child turns 21, and the child turns 21 before visa issuance, it is possible that he or she may be treated as though he or she were under 21 for visa processing purposes.
A child who is already a U.S. citizen or LPR when you submit your DV entry will not require or be issued a Diversity Visa; you will not be penalized for either including or omitting such family members from your entry.
Failure to list all children who are eligible or, listing someone who is not your child, will result in disqualification of the principal applicant and refusal of all visa applications in the case at the time of the visa interview. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about family members.
See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about completing your Electronic Entry for the DV-2020 Program.
Selection of Applicants
Based on the allocations of available visas in each region and country, the Department of State will randomly select individuals by computer from among qualified entries. All DV-2020 entrants must go to the Entrant Status Check using the unique confirmation number saved from their DV-2020 online entry registration to find out whether their entry has been selected in the DV program. Entrant Status Check will be available on the E-DV website at dvlottery.state.gov beginning May 7, 2019, through at least September 30, 2020.
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. Entrant Status Check will be the ONLY means by which the Department of State notifies selectees of their selection for DV2020. The Department of State will not mail notification letters or notify selectees by email. 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. You are strongly encouraged to access Entrant Status Check yourself. Do not rely on someone else to check and inform you.
In order to immigrate, DV selectees must be admissible to the United States. The DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application, electronically, and the consular officer, in person, will ask you questions about your eligibility to immigrate under U.S. law. These questions include criminal and security related topics.
All selectees, including family members, must be issued visas by September 30, 2020. Under no circumstances can the Department of State issue DVs nor can USCIS approve adjustments after this date, nor can family members obtain DVs to follow-to-join the principal applicant in the United States after this date.
See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the selection process.
Submitting a Digital Photograph (Image)
You can take a new digital photograph or scan a recent (taken within the last six months) photograph with a digital scanner, as long as it meets all of the standards below. DV entry photos must be of the same quality and composition as U.S. visa photos. You can see examples of acceptable photos here. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/photos/photoexamples.html. Do not submit a photograph older than six months or a photograph that does not meet all of the standards described below. Submitting the same photograph that you submitted with a prior year’s entry, a photograph that has been manipulated, or a photograph that does not meet the specifications below will result in disqualification.
Your photos or digital images must be:
In color In focus Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details. Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily. Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo. Do not wear Eyeglasses If you normally wear a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo.
Review the Photo Examples to see examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos. Photos copied or digitally scanned from driver’s licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.
You must upload your digital image as part of your entry. Your digital image must be:
In JPEG (.jpg) file format Equal to or less than 240 kB (kilobytes) in file size In a square aspect ratio (height must equal width) 600×600 pixels in dimension
Do you want to scan an existing photo? In addition to the digital image requirements, your existing photo must be:
2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) Scanned at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter)
Use the Department of State’s free photo tool to:
select a digital image stored on your computer resize and rotate it if necessary crop it to a square image of exactly 600 x 600 pixels
Taking photos of your baby or toddler: When taking a photo of your baby or toddler, no other person should be in the photo, and your child should be looking at the camera with his or her eyes open.
Tip 1: Lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. This will ensure your baby’s head is supported and provide a plain background for the photo. Make certain there are no shadows on your baby’s face, especially if you take a picture from above with the baby lying down.
Tip 2: Cover a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat. This will also ensure your baby’s head is supported
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
1. What do the terms “native” and “chargeability” mean?
Native ordinarily means someone born in a particular country, regardless of the individual’s current country of residence or nationality. Native can also mean someone who is entitled to be charged to a country other than the one in which he/she was born under the provisions of Section 202(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Because there is a numerical limitation on immigrants who enter from a country or geographic region, each individual is charged to a country. Your chargeability refers to the country towards which limitation you count. Your country of eligibility will normally will be the same as your country of birth. However, you may choose your country of eligibility as the country of birth of your spouse, or the country of birth of either of your parents if you were born in a country in which neither parent was born, and in which your parents were not resident at the time of your birth. These are the only three ways to select your country of chargeability.
Listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability (i.e., one to which you cannot establish a valid claim) will disqualify your entry.
2. Can I still apply if I was not born in a qualifying country?
There are two circumstances in which you still might be eligible to apply. First, if your derivative spouse was born in an eligible country, you may claim chargeability to that country. As your eligibility is based on your spouse, you will only be issued an immigrant visa if your spouse is also eligible for and issued an immigrant visa. Both of you must enter the United States together using your DVs. Similarly, your minor dependent child can be “charged” to a parent’s country of birth.
Second, you can be “charged” to the country of birth of either of your parents as long as neither of your parents was born in or a resident of your country of birth at the time of your birth. People are not generally considered residents of a country in which they were not born or legally naturalized, if they were only visiting, studying in the country temporarily, or stationed temporarily for business or professional reasons on behalf of a company or government of a country other than the one in which you were born.
If you claim alternate chargeability through either of the above, you must provide an explanation on the E-DV Entry Form, in question #6.
Listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability (i.e., one to which you cannot establish a valid claim) will disqualify your entry.
3. Why do natives of certain countries not qualify for the DV program?
DVs are intended to provide an immigration opportunity for persons who are not from “high admission” countries. U.S. law defines “high admission countries” as those from which a total of 50,000 persons in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visa categories immigrated to the United States during the previous five years. Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) counts the family and employment immigrant admission and adjustment of status numbers for the previous five years to identify the countries that are considered “high admission” and whose natives will therefore be ineligible for the annual Diversity Visa program. Since USCIS makes this calculation annually, the list of countries whose natives are eligible or not eligible may change from one year to the next.
4. How many DV-2020 visas will go to natives of each region and eligible country?
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines the regional DV limits for each year according to a formula specified in Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The number of visas the Department of State eventually will issue to natives of each country will depend on the regional limits established, how many entrants come from each country, and how many of the selected entrants are found eligible for the visa. No more than seven percent of the total visas available can go to natives of any one country.
5. What are the requirements for education or work experience?
U.S. immigration law and regulations require that every DV entrant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience. A “high school education or equivalent” is defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education in the United States OR the successful completion in another country of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a high school education in the United States. Only formal courses of study meet this requirement; correspondence programs or equivalency certificates (such as the General Equivalency Diploma G.E.D.) are not acceptable. You must present documentary proof of education or work experience to the consular officer at the time of the visa interview.
If you do not meet the requirements for education or work experience, your entry will be disqualified at the time of your visa interview, and no visas will be issued to you or any of your family members.
6. What occupations qualify for the DV program?
The Department of State will use the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) O*Net OnLine database to determine qualifying work experience. The O*Net OnLine database categorizes job experience into five “job zones.” While the DOL website lists many occupations, not all occupations qualify for the DV program. To qualify for a DV on the basis of your work experience, you must have, within the past five years, two years of experience in an occupation classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) range of 7.0 or higher.
If you do not meet the requirements for education or work experience, your entry will be disqualified at the time of your visa interview, and no visas will be issued to you or any of your family members.
7. How can I find the qualifying DV occupations in the Department of Labor’s O*Net OnLine database?
When you are in O*Net OnLine, follow these steps to determine if your occupation qualifies: 1. Under “Find Occupations” select “Job Family” from the pull down menu; 2. Browse by “Job Family,” make your selection, and click “GO;” 3. Click on the link for your specific occupation; and 4. Select the tab “Job Zone” to find the designated Job Zone number and Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating range.
As an example, select Aerospace Engineers. At the bottom of the Summary Report for Aerospace Engineers, under the Job Zone section, you will find the designated Job Zone 4, SVP Range, 7.0 to < 8.0. Using this example, Aerospace Engineering is a qualifying occupation.
For additional information, see the Diversity Visa – List of Occupations webpage.
8. Is there a minimum age to apply for the E-DV Program?
There is no minimum age to apply, but the requirement of a high school education or work experience for each principal applicant at the time of application will effectively disqualify most persons who are under age 18.
COMPLETING YOUR ELECTRONIC ENTRY FOR THE DV PROGRAM
9. When can I submit my entry? The DV-2020 entry period will run from 12:00 pm (noon), Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, October 3, 2018, until 12:00 pm (noon), Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Each year, millions of people submit entries. Holding the entry period on these dates ensures selectees receive notification in a timely manner, and gives both the visa applicants and our embassies and consulates time to prepare and complete cases for visa issuance.
We strongly encourage you to enter early during the registration period. Excessive demand at end of the registration period may slow the system down. We cannot accept entries after noon EST on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
10. I am in the United States. Can I enter the DV program?
Yes, an entrant may apply while in the United States or another country. An entrant may submit an entry from any location.
11. Can I only enter once during the registration period?
Yes, the law allows only one entry per person during each registration period. The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries. Individuals with more than one entry will be disqualified.
12. May my spouse and I each submit a separate entry?
Yes, each spouse may each submit one entry if each meets the eligibility requirements. If either spouse is selected, the other is entitled to apply as a derivative dependent.
13. What family members must I include in my DV entry?
Spouse: If you are legally married, you must list your spouse regardless of whether he/she lives with you or intends to immigrate to the United States. You must list your spouse even if you currently are separated from him/her, unless you are legally separated. Legal separation is an arrangement when a couple remain married but live apart, following a court order. If you and your spouse are legally separated, your spouse will not be able to immigrate with you through the Diversity Visa program. You will not be penalized if you choose to enter the name of a spouse from whom you are legally separated. If you are not legally separated by a court order, you must include your spouse even if you plan to be divorced before you apply for the Diversity Visa. Failure to list your eligible spouse or, listing someone who is not your spouse, is grounds for disqualification. If you are not married at the time of entry but plan on getting married in the future, do not list a spouse on your entry form as this would be grounds for disqualification. If you are divorced or your spouse is deceased, you do not have to list your former spouse.
The only exception to this requirement is if your spouse is already a U.S. citizen or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident. If your spouse is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, do not list him/her in your entry. A spouse who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident will not require or be issued a DV. Therefore, if you select “married and my spouse IS a U.S. citizen or U.S. LPR” on your entry, you will not be able to include further information on your spouse.
Children: You must list ALL your living children who are unmarried and under 21 years of age at the time of your initial DV entry, whether they are your natural children, your step-children (even if you are now divorced from that child’s parent), your spouse’s children, or children you have formally adopted in accordance with the applicable laws. List all children under 21 years of age at the time of your electronic entry, even if they no longer reside with you or you do not intend for them to immigrate under the DV program. You are not required to list children who are already U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, though you will not be penalized if you do include them.
Parents and siblings of the entrant are ineligible to receive DV visas as dependents, and you should not include them in your entry. If you list family members on your entry, they are not required to apply for a visa or to immigrate or travel with you. However, if you fail to include an eligible dependent on your original entry or, list someone who is not your dependent, your case will be disqualified at the time of your visa interview, and no visas will be issued to you or any of your family members. This only applies to those who were family members at the time the entry was submitted, not those acquired at a later date. Your spouse, if eligible to enter, may still submit a separate entry even though he or she is listed on your entry, as long as both entries include details about all dependents in your family (see FAQ #12 above).
14. Must I submit my own entry, or can someone else do it for me?
We encourage you to prepare and submit your own entry, but you may have someone submit the entry for you. Regardless of whether you submit your own entry, or an attorney, friend, relative, or someone else submits it on your behalf, only one entry may be submitted in your name. You, as the entrant, are responsible for ensuring that information in the entry is correct and complete; entries that are not correct or complete may be disqualified. Entrants should keep their own confirmation number so that they are able to independently check the status of their entry using Entrant Status Check at dvlottery.state.gov. Entrants should retain access to the email account used in the E-DV submission.
15. I’m already registered for an immigrant visa in another category. Can I still apply for the DV program? Yes.
16. When will E-DV be available online?
You can enter online during the registration period beginning at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4) on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, and ending at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5) on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
17. Can I download and save the E-DV entry form into a word processing program and finish it later?
No, you will not be able to save the form into another program for completion and submission later. The E-DV Entry Form is a web-form only. You must fill in the information and submit it while online.
18. Can I save the form online and finish it later?
No. The E-DV Entry Form is designed to be completed and submitted at one time. You will have 60 minutes starting from when you download the form to complete and submit your entry through the E-DV website. If you exceed the 60-minute limit and have not submitted your complete entry electronically, the system discards any information already entered. The system deletes any partial entries so that they are not accidentally identified as duplicates of a later, complete entry. Read the DV instructions completely before you start to complete the form online, so that you know exactly what information you will need.
19. I don’t have a scanner. Can I send photographs to someone in the United States to scan them, save them, and email them back to me so I can use them in my entry?
Yes, as long as the photograph meets the requirements in the instructions and is electronically submitted with, and at the same time as, the E-DV online entry. You must already have the scanned photograph file when you submit the entry online; it cannot be submitted separately from the online application. The entire entry (photograph and application together) can be submitted electronically from the United States or from overseas.
20. If the E-DV system rejects my entry, can I resubmit my entry?
Yes, you can resubmit your entry as long as your submission is completed by 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5) on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. You will not be penalized for submitting a duplicate entry if the E-DV system rejects your initial entry. Given the unpredictable nature of the Internet, you may not receive the rejection notice immediately. You can try to submit an application as many times as is necessary until a complete application is received and the confirmation notice sent. Once you receive a confirmation notice, your entry is complete, and you should NOT submit any additional entries.
21. How soon after I submit my entry will I receive the electronic confirmation notice?
You should receive the confirmation notice immediately, including a confirmation number that you must record and keep. However, the unpredictable nature of the Internet can result in delays. You can hit the “Submit” button as many times as is necessary until a complete application is sent and you receive the confirmation notice. However, once you receive a confirmation notice, do not resubmit your information.
22. I hit the “Submit” button, but did not receive a confirmation number. If I submit another entry, will I be disqualified?
If you did not receive a confirmation number, your entry was not recorded. You must submit another entry. It will not be counted as a duplicate. Once you receive a confirmation number, do not resubmit your information.
23. How do I know if I am selected?
You must use your confirmation number to access the Entrant Status Check available on the E-DV website at dvlottery.state.gov starting May 7, 2019, through September 30, 2020. Entrant Status Check is the sole means by which the Department of State will notify you if you are selected, provide further instructions on your visa application, and notify you of your immigrant visa interview appointment date and time. In order to ensure the use of all available visas, the Department of State may use Entrant Status Check to notify additional selectees after May 7, 2019. Retain your confirmation number until September 30, 2020 in case of any updates. The only authorized Department of State website for official online entry in the Diversity Visa Program and Entrant Status Check is dvlottery.state.gov.
The Department of State will NOT contact you to tell you that you have been selected (see FAQ #24).
24. How will I know if I am not selected? Will I be notified?
The Department of State will NOT notify you directly if your entry is not selected. You must use the Entrant Status Check to learn whether you were selected. You may check the status of your DV-2020 entry through the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website at starting May 7, 2019, until September 30, 2020. Keep your confirmation number until at least September 30, 2020. (Status information for the previous year’s DV program, DV-2019, is available online from May 15, 2018, through September 30, 2019.)
25. What if I lose my confirmation number?
You must have your confirmation number to access Entrant Status Check. A tool is now available in Entrant Status Check (ESC) on the E-DV website that will allow you to retrieve your confirmation number via the email address with which you registered by entering certain personal information to confirm your identity.
U.S. embassies and consulates and the Kentucky Consular Center are unable to check your selection status for you or provide your confirmation number to you directly (other than through the Entrant Status Check retrieval tool). The Department of State is NOT able to provide a list of those selected to continue the visa process.
26. Will I receive information from the Department of State by email or by postal mail?
The Department of State will not send you a notification letter. The U.S. government has never sent emails to notify individuals that they have been selected, and there are no plans to use email for this purpose for the DV-2020 program. If you are a selectee, you will only receive email communications regarding your visa appointment after you have responded to the notification instructions on Entrant Status Check. These emails will not contain information on the actual appointment date and time; they will simply tell you to go to the Entrant Status Check website for details. The Department of State may send emails reminding DV lottery applicants to check the ESC for their status. However, such emails will never indicate whether the lottery applicant was selected or not.
Only internet sites that end with the “.gov” domain suffix are official U.S. government websites. Many other websites (e.g., with the suffixes “.com,” “.org,” or “.net”) provide immigration and visa-related information and services. The Department of State does not endorse, recommend, or sponsor any information or material on these other websites.
You may receive emails from websites that try to trick you into sending money or providing your personal information. You may be asked to pay for forms and information about immigration procedures, all of which are available free on the Department of State website, travel.state.gov, or through U.S. embassy or consulate websites. Additionally, organizations or websites may try to steal your money by charging fees for DV-related services. If you send money to one of these non-government organizations or websites, you will likely never
see it again. Also, do not send personal information to these websites, as it may be used for identity fraud/theft.
These deceptive emails may come from people pretending to be affiliated with the Kentucky Consular Center or the Department of State. Remember that the U.S. government has never sent emails to notify individuals they have been selected, and there are no plans to use email for this purpose for the DV-2020 program. The Department of State will never ask you to send money by mail or by services such as Western Union.
27. How many individuals will be selected for DV-2020?
For DV-2020, 50,000 Diversity Visas are available. Because it is likely that some of the first 50,000 persons who are selected will not qualify for visas or not pursue their cases to visa issuance, more than 50,000 entries will be selected to ensure that all of the available DVs are issued. However, this also means there may not be a sufficient number of visas for all those selected.
You can check the E-DV website’s Entrant Status Check to see if you have been selected for further processing and your place on the list. Interviews for the DV-2020 program will begin in October 2019 for selectees who have submitted all pre-interview paperwork and other information as requested in the notification instructions. Selectees who provide all required information will be informed of their visa interview appointment through the E-DV website’s Entrant Status Check four to six weeks before the scheduled interviews with U.S. consular officers overseas.
Each month, visas will be issued to those applicants who are eligible for issuance during that month, as long as visas are available. Once all of the 50,000 diversity visas have been issued, the program will end. Visa numbers could be finished before September 2020. Selected applicants who wish to apply for visas must be prepared to act promptly on their cases. Being randomly chosen as a selectee does not guarantee that you will receive a visa. Selection merely means that you are eligible to apply for a Diversity Visa. If your rank number becomes eligible for final processing, you potentially may be issued a Diversity Visa. Only 50,000 visas will be issued to such applicants.
28. How will successful entrants be selected?
Official notifications of selection will be made through Entrant Status Check, available May 7, 2019, through September 30, 2020, on the E-DV website dvlottery.state.gov. The Department of State does not send selectee notifications or letters by regular postal mail or by email. Any email notification or mailed letter stating that you have been selected to receive a DV that does not come from the Department of State is not legitimate. Any email communication you receive from the Department of State will direct you to review Entrant Status Check for new information about your application. The Department of State will never ask you to send money by mail or by services such as Western Union.
All entries received from each region are individually numbered; at the end of the entry period, a computer will randomly select entries from among all the entries received for each geographic region. Within each region, the first entry randomly selected will be the first case registered; the second entry selected will be the second case registered, etc. All entries received within each region during the entry period will have an equal chance of being selected. When an entry has been selected, the entrant will receive notification of his or her selection through the Entrant Status Check available starting May 7, 2019, on the E-DV website dvlottery.state.gov. If you are selected and you respond to the instructions provided online via Entrant Status Check, the Department of State’s Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) will process the case until those selected are instructed to appear for visa interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate or until those in the United States who are applying to adjust status apply with USCIS in the United States.
29. I am already in the United States. If selected, may I adjust my status with USCIS?
Yes, provided you are otherwise eligible to adjust status under the terms of Section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), you may apply to USCIS for adjustment of status to permanent resident. You must ensure that USCIS can complete action on your case, including processing of any overseas applications for a spouse or for children under 21 years of age, before September 30, 2020, since on that date your eligibility for the DV-2020 program expires. The Department of State will not approve any visa numbers or adjustments of status for the DV-2020 program after midnight EDT on September 30, 2020, under any circumstances.
30. If I am selected, for how long am I entitled to apply for a Diversity Visa?
If you are selected in the DV-2020 program, you are entitled to apply for visa issuance only during U.S. government fiscal year 2020, which is from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. We encourage selectees to apply for visas as early as possible, once their program rank numbers become eligible.
Without exception, all selected and eligible applicants must obtain their visa or adjust status by the end of the fiscal year. There is no carry-over of DV benefits into the next year for persons who are selected but who do not obtain visas by September 30, 2020 (the end of the fiscal year). Also, spouses and children who derive status from a DV-2020 registration can only obtain visas in the DV category between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. Individuals who apply overseas will receive an appointment notification from the Department of State through Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website four to six weeks before the scheduled appointment.
31. If a DV selectee dies, what happens to the case?
If a DV selectee dies at any point before he or she has traveled to the United States or adjusted status, the DV case is automatically closed. Any derivative spouse and/or children of the deceased selectee will no longer be entitled to apply for a DV visa. Any visas issued to them will be revoked.
32. How much does it cost to enter the Diversity Visa program?
There is no fee charged to submit an electronic entry. However, if you are selected and apply for a Diversity Visa, you must pay all required visa application fees at the time of visa application and interview directly to the consular cashier at the U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are a selectee already in the United States and you apply to USCIS to adjust status, you will pay all required fees application directly to USCIS. If you are selected, you will receive details of required DV and immigrant visa application fees with the instructions provided through the E-DV website at dvlottery.state.gov.
33. How and where do I pay DV and immigrant visa fees if I am selected?
If you are a randomly selected entrant, you will receive instructions for the DV application process through Entrant Status Check at dvlottery.state.gov. You will pay all DV and immigrant application visa fees in person only at the U.S. embassy or consulate at the time of the visa application. The consular cashier will immediately give you a U.S. government receipt for payment. Do not send money for DV fees to anyone through the mail, Western Union, or any other delivery service if you are applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
If you are selected and you are already present in the United States and plan to file for adjustment of status with USCIS, the instructions page accessible through Entrant Status Check at dvlottery.state.gov contains separate instructions on how to mail adjustment of status application fees to a U.S. bank.
34. If I apply for a DV, but don’t qualify to receive one, can I get a refund of the visa fees I paid?
No. Visa application fees cannot be refunded. You must meet all qualifications for the visa as detailed in these instructions. If a consular officer determines you do not meet requirements for the visa, or you are otherwise ineligible for the DV under U.S. law, the officer cannot issue a visa and you will forfeit all fees paid.
35. As a DV applicant, can I receive a waiver of any grounds of visa ineligibility? Does my waiver application receive any special processing?
DV applicants are subject to all grounds of ineligibility for immigrant visas specified in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). There are no special provisions for the waiver of any ground of visa ineligibility aside from those ordinarily provided in the INA, nor is there special processing for waiver requests. Some general waiver provisions for people with close relatives who are U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Resident aliens may be available to DV applicants in some cases, but the time constraints in the DV program may make it difficult for applicants to benefit from such provisions.
DV FRAUD WARNING AND SCAMS
36. How can I report internet fraud or unsolicited emails?
Please visit the econsumer.gov website, hosted by the Federal Trade Commission in cooperation with consumer-protection agencies from 36 nations. You also may report fraud to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center. To file a complaint about unsolicited email, use the “Telemarking and Spam” complaint tool on the econsumer.gov website or visit the Department of Justice Unsolicited Commercial Email (“Spam”) webpage for additional information and contacts.
37. How many visas will be issued in DV-2020?
By law, a maximum of 55,000 visas are available each year to eligible persons. However, in November 1997, the U.S. Congress passed the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), which stipulates that beginning as early as DV-1999, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated DVs will be made available for use under the NACARA program. The actual reduction of the limit began with DV-2000 and will remain in effect through the DV-2020 program, so 50,000 visas remain for the DV program described in these instructions.
38. If I receive a visa through the DV program, will the U.S. government pay for my airfare to the United States, help me find housing and employment, and/or provide healthcare or any subsidies until I am fully settled?
No. The U.S. government will not provide any of these services to you if you receive a visa through the DV program. If you are selected to apply for a DV, you must demonstrate that you will not become a public charge in the United States before being issued a visa. This evidence may be in the form of a combination of your personal assets, an Affidavit of Support (Form I-134) submitted by a relative or friend residing in the United States, an offer of employment from an employer in the United States, or other evidence.
LIST OF COUNTRIES/AREAS BY REGION WHOSE NATIVES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR DV-2020
The list below shows the countries whose natives are eligible for DV-2020, grouped by geographic region. Dependent areas overseas are included within the region of the governing country. USCIS identified the countries whose natives are not eligible for the DV-2020 program according to the formula in Section 203(c) of the INA. The countries whose natives are not eligible for the DV program (because they are the principal source countries of Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based immigration or “high-admission” countries) are noted after the respective regional lists.
Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cabo Verde Central African Republic Chad Comoros Congo Congo, Democratic Republic of the Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Djibouti Egypt* Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia, The Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya
Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Mozambique Namibia Niger Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa South Sudan Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe
* Persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.
In Africa, natives of Nigeria are not eligible for this year’s Diversity Visa program.
Afghanistan Bahrain Bhutan Brunei Burma Cambodia Hong Kong Special Administrative Region** Indonesia Iran Iraq Israel* Japan***
Jordan* Kuwait Laos Lebanon Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Nepal North Korea Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia Singapore Sri Lanka Syria* Taiwan**
Thailand Timor-Leste United Arab Emirates Yemen
*Persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.
**Hong Kong S.A.R. (Asia region), Macau S.A.R. (Europe region, chargeable to Portugal), and Taiwan (Asia region) do qualify and are listed here. For the purposes of the diversity program only, persons born in Macau S.A.R. derive eligibility from Portugal.
***Persons born in the Habomai Islands, Shikotan, Kunashiri, and Etorofu are chargeable to Japan. Persons born in Southern Sakhalin are chargeable to Russia. Natives of the following Asia Region countries are not eligible for this year’s Diversity Visa program: Bangladesh, China (mainland-born), India, Pakistan, South Korea, Philippines, and Vietnam.
Albania Andorra Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark (including components and dependent areas overseas) Estonia Finland France (including components and dependent areas overseas) Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Kazakhstan Kosovo Kyrgyzstan Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania
Luxembourg Macau Special Administrative Region** Macedonia Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro Netherlands (including components and dependent areas overseas) Northern Ireland*** Norway (including components and dependent areas overseas) Poland Portugal (including components and dependent areas overseas) Romania Russia**** San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Tajikistan Turkey Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan Vatican City
** Macau S.A.R. does qualify and is listed above and for the purposes of the diversity program only; persons born in Macau S.A.R. derive eligibility from Portugal.
***For purposes of the diversity program only, Northern Ireland is treated separately. Northern Ireland does qualify and is listed among the qualifying areas.
**** Persons born in the Habomai Islands, Shikotan, Kunashiri, and Etorofu are chargeable to Japan. Persons born in Southern Sakhalin are chargeable to Russia.
Natives of the following European countries are not eligible for this year’s DV program: Great Britain (United Kingdom). Great Britain (United Kingdom) includes the following dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
In North America, natives of Canada and Mexico are not eligible for this year’s DV program.
Australia (including components and dependent areas overseas) Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Micronesia, Federated States of Nauru New Zealand (including components and dependent areas overseas)
Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN
Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Barbados Belize Bolivia Chile Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Ecuador Grenada Guatemala Guyana
Honduras Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago Uruguay Venezuela Countries in this region whose natives are not eligible for this year’s DV program: Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, and Peru.