Participating in the lottery is relatively easy. You fill out a form on the DV program website while it is available, from early October through early November. Applicants must submit entries for the DV-2022 program electronically at dvprogram.state.gov between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, October 7, 2020, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Tuesday, November 10, 2020. 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 entry period. The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries. Submission of more than one entry will render you ineligible for a DV. Most of the 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 currently live. If the country has a different name now than it did when you were born, use the country’s current name.
For “country of eligibility,” list either your country of birth, or—if you qualify to use your spouse’s or your parents’ birth countries—list that country. The country you currently live in is irrelevant for 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 of your biological children and all of your 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 parent.
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.
Passport information is required: The passport number, country of issuance, and expiration date for the principal entrant’s valid, unexpired international travel passport. This requirement applies to the principal entrant only, not to dependents.
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.
Education and other requirements: 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. See eligibility details.
Individuals who submit more than one entry during the registration period will be disqualified.
Selection and Notification
The winners of the Diversity Visa lottery are chosen at random 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 percent of the Diversity Visas available in any given year.
Although the exact dates vary, people who have entered the Diversity Visa lottery can check the status of their application beginning in early May the year following their application, by using the Entrant Status Check link on the Diversity Visa webpage. This is why it’s so important to save that confirmation number: Without it, you won’t be able to see if you’ve been selected or not.