Eligibility Requirements

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-2018 program. For more details on what this means, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

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.

Introduction to Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program:

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is also referred to as the 'Green Card Lottery'. This program makes way for the 'diversity immigrants' to enter the United States legally with his/her spouse and unmarried children. Nearly 55,000 people have the opportunity to enter the country through this program. If the applicant gets selected in the lottery, he/she will get a card for permanent residency issued by the United States. The entries for the diversity immigrant visa (DV) program are drawn randomly and selection is made among the individual's entry which is from different countries with very less rate of immigrants to the United States. This Diversity Immigrant Visa program was established in the year 1995. The main aim as to why Diversity Immigrant Visa program was introduced was to diversify the immigrants in the United States. That is the reason why applicants from countries with low immigrants to the United States are given the opportunity. The Diversity Immigrant Visa program (DV) is administered by the Department of State of the United States. According to Section 203(c) of the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act), immigrants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States are considered as "diversity immigrants". Visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program is issued to six geographic regions in a year and is restricted to seven percent per country. Though there are lesser eligibility criteria for the applying for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, it does not apply to all. This Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program is only for person born in a country where there are lesser immigrants to the United States in the past five years. The visa program places certain requirements to be fulfilled by the applicant in order to be eligible for it such as education and work requirements. If any person submits more than one application for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, then such a person will be automatically disqualified and all of his/her applications will be rejected. It is to be noted that, there is no registration fee for applying for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program. The United States Department of State accepts applications for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program that are filed electronically at the website along with the applicant's digital photographs. Undocumented people mostly don't apply for visa under this Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program.

No Minimum Age Requirement:

There is no minimum age requirement to apply for a visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program. The basic criteria being high school education or two years of qualifying work experience makes it possible for persons above the age of 18 years to apply for visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program. It is sufficient if only the main applicant satisfies these requirements. The spouse or the children who are the beneficiaries of the applicant need not have these qualifications to enter the United States under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program.

Qualifications required for an applicant to apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program:

For a person to apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, they are required to possess certain qualifications to be eligible. Under this Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, the immigration law requires an applicant to have, i) a minimum of a high school education, or its equivalent or ii) As defined under the laws of the United States, to have two years of work experience.

High School Education:

One of the criteria needed to be eligible for a visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, is that the applicant must possess a minimum of high school education. When an applicant successfully completes a formal course of education (elementary and secondary) and the secondary education is equal to 12-year course completion as in the United States.

Experience of Work:

The other criteria needed to be eligible for a visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, is that the applicant should have the required work experience. The applicant must have a minimum of two years of experience in the last five years as mentioned in the "Definitions" issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. The work experience means a training or experience that is termed as work as in the Job Zone 4 or 5 which is restricted as Specific Vocational Preparation with a rating ranging from 7.0 or higher. The Department of Labor mentions the qualifying occupations needed by an applicant to be eligible for a visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program. The rating above 7.0 is the eligibility factor. An applicant's visa will be denied and the fees paid by the applicant will not be refunded, if the applicant does not possess a high school education or does not have a minimum of two years of work experience with a SVP rating above 7.0.

Required documents to be submitted as proof for "High School Education":

During the interview at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy, for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV), the applicant must submit proof for the requirement of High School Education. The proof for the high school education includes a completion certificate which is equivalent to a diploma issued in the United States or transcripts issued by the school in which the applicant studied or any other evidence which shows that the applicant has completed high school education and such record is issued by an organization or person who has the responsibility to maintain such records especially explaining the course of study the applicant has specialized in. The applicant for the diversity visa should have finished a course elementary and secondary education in the U.S, which is for a period of 12 years or a course of study in another country that is equivalent to the study in the United States, which will allow a person to be eligible for a applying in a college for admission. There are certain proof that is not acceptable is as evidence for the requirement of High School Education. Any degree issued for vocational training that cannot make a person eligible or cannot be a basis for higher education will not be considered to be a certificate for U.S. high school education. Also any Equivalency certificates, for example, G.E.D (General Equivalency Diploma) will not be entertained as a proof for High School Education.

Required documents to be submitted as proof for "Experience of Work":

During the interview at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy, for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV), the applicant must submit proof for the requirement of work experience. The applicant must possess the requirement of two years of qualifying work experience. The work experience mentioned should be two years in the last five years immediately before the application is filed by the applicant for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program. Merely having a job for two years in the last five years immediately before the application is filed is not a sufficient requirement for the program The U.S. Department of Labor expressly mentions as to what would constitute a valid two years of qualifying work experience. It is stated in the "Definitions" clause regarding what would constitute a qualifying work experience in an occupation. If the applicant is unable to meet the criteria mentioned by the Department of Labor, the applicant would be ineligible for applying for a visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program. It is required by the U.S. Department of Labor that qualifying work experience must come under the purview of the definition "occupation" and such a work should come within the Job Zone 4 or 5. Also, the work should be in category of Specific Vocational Preparation, the rating is required to higher than 7.0.

False Documents should not be submitted by the applicant:

The documents relating to high school education and experience of work which is presented by the applicant for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program is subject to scrutiny or verification which is done by immigration professionals to filter the applications for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program based on lack of qualifications. It is advised and has to be noted that there should be no false document submitted by the applicant as it will not only deny the visa for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) but will also make the applicant's chances bleak for entering the United States legally. The applicants may belong to different countries but the education they have received should be a minimum of secondary level, so that it is equivalent of 12 years or a course of study in the United States. Also, the described "Qualified work experience" given by the U.S. Department of Labor is a minimum of two years of employment which is of full time employment nature.

Submission of proof after selection of applicants:

The proof relating to high school education and experience of work for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program is not required at the time of submission of application for the DV Program. However, the applicants have to be prepared to submit such proof relating to high school education and experience of work when his/her application is selected for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV). However, the applicant must ensure before submitting the application that he/she is eligible under either of the two categories for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV). After the applicant is selected, he/she will be called for an interview to the U.S. consulate or embassy. During the interview, the applicant is required by the process to present to the consular officer who conducts the interview the original documents relating to high school education and experience of work. If the applicant before applying for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program is ware of the fact that he/she does meet wither of the two requirements, then they should avoid applying for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program as it will lead to automatic disqualification of the applicant to receive a visa under the DV program. If any person does not possess either of the two qualifications, then they are not eligible to receive a visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program. If the applicant who does not have the qualification continues with applying for the visa program, the application will be rejected and the payment of fees made by the applicant will not be refunded. However, it is to be noted that under the immigration laws, it is sufficient for the principal applicant to meet the requirement criteria and the applicant's spouse and children need not meet this requirement.

Adjustment of Status under Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program:

An applicant who is physically present in the United States can apply for adjustment of status under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program. The applicant for adjusting his/her status under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, must establish that he/she has been selected through the lottery system, he/he has an immigrant visa at the time a filing for adjustment of status was made and the applicant is person who can be admissible in entering the United States.

Non-refundable fees if requirements not met for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program:

The basic an applicant to enter the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, he/she is required to possess certain qualifications to be eligible to qualify for the program. Under this Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, the immigration law requires an applicant to have, i) a minimum of a high school education, or its equivalent or ii) As defined under the laws of the United States, to have two years of work experience. In any case, the applicant does not possess either of the two qualifications, and then the application will be disqualified automatically. In such a case, the fees paid by the applicant for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program will not be refunded. So, an applicant should be vigilant in checking if he/she is qualified to apply for a visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, so that the applicant need not lose the fee payable along with the application for Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program.