Entries for the diversity visa lottery or "green card lottery" are made at a date and time that is designated by the U.S. Department of State, which is responsible for the program. In general, there is a two-month window to apply. The application process for this year is closed but you may access updated information at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Applications are made electronically and paper entries are no longer accepted.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, more commonly known as the DV Lottery or Green Card Lottery, is a congressionally mandated program based on Section 203 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The annual program provides a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (DV) each fiscal year to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The annual program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for the lottery. The visas are distributed among six regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the past five years. Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.
Individuals whose applications were selected can check the official website to see if they have been selected. This is to prevent fraud in the system as many people in the past have received fraudulent winning emails and other messages.
For more information on the DV Lottery and to access the application, please visit the Diversity Visa Program at the U.S. Department of State website.