American fly against blue sky.

On October 4, 2023, at noon EDT, the U.S. Department of State will open the annual Diversity Visa (DV) lottery registration period for fiscal year (FY) 2025. The online registration program is free to all registrants (only one registration per person is allowed), and the State Department will continue to accept registrations until noon EST on November 7, 2023.

Quick Hits

  • The annual Diversity Visa lottery registration period for FY 2025 opens on October 4, 2023, at noon EDT, and closes at noon EST on November 7, 2023.
  • DV applicants must be born in one of a list of countries identified by the State Department as having historically low rates of immigration to the United States.
  • Applicants must also meet certain education and work experience qualifications.
  • The State Department will announce the results of the FY 2025 Diversity Visa lottery in May 2024.

The DV lottery is a program that provides green cards (i.e., lawful permanent residence) via annual lottery to “diversity immigrants,” who are from countries that historically have had low rates of immigration to the United States. Up to 55,000 green cards will be made available this fiscal year as part of the FY 2025 DV lottery.

In addition to registering within the open period, DV lottery applicants must:

  • have been born in one of a list of countries identified by the State Department as having historically low rates of immigration to the United States; and
  • at a minimum, have one of the following education/experience qualifications:
    • high school education or equivalent; or
    • two years of qualifying work experience within the past five years that requires at least two years of training or experience.

Most countries in the world have historically low rates of immigration to the United States, and their birth-nationals are eligible for the DV lottery. Conversely, people born in countries with historically high rates of immigration to the United States are deemed ineligible to register for the DV lottery. For FY 2025, individuals born in the following countries are ineligible:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • The People’s Republic of China (includes mainland and Hong Kong)
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

Compared to FY 2024, the only change in eligibility for the FY 2025 lottery is that individuals from the United Kingdom and its dependent territories are now eligible to participate.

Furthermore, even if a person was born in a country deemed ineligible for the FY 2025 DV lottery, he or she still may be able to register based on cross-chargeability, which is based on the birth country of his or her spouse, or in limited circumstances, parent.

All DV lottery registrations must be completed online, must include a digital photograph, and applicants are permitted to include a spouse and children when entering the lottery. Only one entry is permitted per person, and if one person submits multiple registrations, all of their registrations will be disqualified. The State Department’s DV lottery guidance reminds registrants to print and save their unique confirmation numbers. To combat fraud, the State Department will neither email nor affirmatively notify DV lottery selections directly. Starting May 4, 2024, each registrant will need to use his or her unique confirmation number to check the lottery status by going to the State Department’s DV lottery entrant status page for results.

Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the Immigration blog as additional information becomes available.

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