Contributed by Beth Stickney, Esq. , Consultant on Immigration Law and Policy  

What is the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery?  

The DV Lottery is a chance to be invited to apply to become a Permanent Resident (LPR) in the U.S. A person can REGISTER on-line for the Lottery from anywhere in the world. The Registration period happens once a year, usually in October. 

When can people apply for the DV-2025 Lottery? 

  • · Online registration: from noon (Maine time) on Oct. 4, 2023 to noon on Nov. 7, 2023. 
  • · People who register can check to see if they were picked beginning May 4, 2024. 
  • · Those picked in the lottery should file their residency applications on Oct. 1, 2024. 
  • · To get residency, the application process needs to be completed by Sept. 30, 2025. 

Who is eligible to apply? 

  • · Anyone who is NOT from these countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born, and Hong Kong), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Venezuela, and Vietnam. (Taiwan and Macau ARE eligible) 
  • o If you are from one of these ineligible countries but you are married to someone who is from an eligible country, if your spouse meets all the other eligibility requirements, and you would immigrate together, you can still apply. You may also be eligible if your parents were born in an eligible country. The State Department includes more information on this in its instructions
  • · Anyone who already has completed high school or secondary school, OR 
  • · Anyone who has worked for 2 of the past 5 years in a “Zone 4 or 5” occupation with an “SVP” of 7 or higher as described here. (Check your occupation in this resource – scroll down to “Job Zone”). 

Who should not apply if they are already living in the U.S., even if they meet the eligibility requirements listed above? 

  • · Anyone in the U.S. who has been out of status for more than 180 days, including before getting her/his work permit (through an asylum application or TPS etc.). 

Who should talk with an immigration attorney before applying? 

  • · Anyone who has ever had contact with the police for anything, anywhere in the world, even if there was no arrest, or charges were dropped, the case was dismissed etc. 

How to apply? 

  • · Register online at It’s FREE – you do NOT need to pay to apply. 
  • · Apply only once – if you apply more than once you will be disqualified. 
  • · If you are married and both spouses are eligible, you get two chances to win the lottery because both spouses can apply. 
  • · Be sure to list ALL children (by birth, adoption, marriage, birth outside of marriage etc.).