*** Latest information June 2006 :  Congratulations to all our Lottery winners ! We are beginning to inform all our lucky winners. We are pleased to inform you that registration for this year's lottery is now open. Be sure to send us your registration information as soon as possible. You can register today for this year's lottery (DV-2008).  You can register by mail or use our special online registration service. To avoid delays make sure you send us your registration material as soon as possible !  

  The Green Card Lottery: What is it ?

What is the process to apply for this year's lottery ?

Why apply ?

What are the requirements ?

What is the application process ?

What difference can an attorney make ?

How much will it cost ?

How do I apply now ?

One step at a time ...

  The U.S. Department of State holds the “Green Card Lottery” annually to allow individuals, who otherwise might not qualify, to apply for immigrant visas.  An immigrant visa is simply another name for a green card or permanent resident status.  The lottery is officially known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program or Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery.

Apart from minimal requirements concerning your country of birth and your school education or work experience, there are no other prerequisites for applying for the lottery.

Entries for the lottery may only be submitted during a brief period of time each fall (generally in October and/or November).  Properly completed and timely-filed entries are then selected at random by computer.

“Winners” of the lottery are notified by mail the following spring (between April and June) so that you may proceed to the second step, which is submitting an application for an immigrant visa (i.e., a green card application).

Because more entries are selected than there are available visas, if you win the lottery you will have to act promptly once you have been notified of your initial selection.  Having your entry form selected does not guarantee that you will get an immigrant visa.

When applying for your visa, you will have to meet all visa eligibility requirements, or, if you already are in the United States, you will have to meet all of the requirements for adjustment of status.

The lottery offers approximately 50,000 green cards to individuals from countries with lower rates of immigration to the U.S.  For purposes of the lottery, the world is divided into 6 geographic regions:


·        Africa,

·        Asia,

·        Europe,

·        North America,

·        Oceania, and

·        South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.



Most regions contain at least one country that is not eligible for the lottery.  When the State Department officially announces the entry period and instructions for this year’s lottery, it also will publish a list of eligible countries.




Each year the Department of State announces the instructions for the year’s lottery .  The instructions include the dates for mailing in lottery entry forms and the list of eligible countries.  They also include a few changes concerning submission procedures. When preparing and submitting our clients' entry material we will follow them carefully to make sure all the submissions we mail comply with all those rather complex guidelines so as to be adequately entered in the draw.





Individuals who win the lottery will be able to apply for permanent resident visas.  Permanent resident status allows individuals to permanently live and work in the U.S.

As a permanent resident, you may apply for U.S. citizenship after five years, or after only three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen. Both permanent residents and U.S. citizens may sponsor other qualifying family members for residency.





Generally, in order to apply for the lottery, you must:

  1. be a native of a qualifying country; and
  2. have either a high school education or its equivalent, or within the past five years have two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two year of training or experience.

There is no minimum age requirement, although the education or work requirement will preclude most people under the age of 18.

You do not have to speak English.

You do not have to have family already living in the U.S.

You do not have to have a job offer from a company in the U.S.

You do not have to be presently living in your country of birth; you simply have to have been born in a qualifying country.

You can enter the lottery even if you have other family or employment-based visa petitions currently pending.



The lottery involves a two step process.  First, you must submit an entry form.  On your entry form, you must list your  spouse and all children who are unmarried and under the age of 21. 

You must include your spouse’s name on your entry even if you currently are separated. If your marriage has ended in a formal divorce, however, you do not need to list your former spouse.  Failure to include your spouse and children on your entry form could later prevent you from receiving a green card if your entry form is selected.

Listing family members on your entry does not mean that they must later travel with you to the U.S.  Nonetheless, they still must be included on your form.  

You must personally sign your lottery entry form using your usual signature in your native language.  In addition to your entry form, you must also submit 1 good quality photograph for yourself and, if applicable, your spouse and your children.  The photograph(s) should be less than six months old, and it should be 50 mm square (50 mm x 50 mm) in size.

Entry forms are submitted in the fall during the specified entry period announced by the State Department.  Entries received before or after the registration time, regardless of when they were postmarked, will be disqualified.  Also, submission of more than one entry form will result in your disqualification.  Your spouse, however, may submit a separate entry, thereby increasing your family’s chances of being selected.

At the close of this period, winning entries are selected at random by computer.  If your entry is selected, you will be notified by mail the following spring (approximately between April and July).  You will only be notified if your entry is selected; you will not receive any notification if your entry is not selected.  If you are selected, you will be provided with information on how to apply for your immigrant visa.  You will have to meet all eligibility requirements to obtain your visa.  If you already are physically present in the U.S., you may be eligible to receive your green card here, thus obtaining permanent resident status without leaving the country. 

Because more entries are selected than there are available visas, you will have to act promptly once you have been notified of your initial selection.  Simply having your entry form selected does not guarantee that you will receive a visa.  The law requires that all visas issued through the lottery be issued by September 30.  

After your visa applications are processed and approved, you, your spouse, and eligible children will receive visas allowing you to travel and live in the U.S.




The Department of State does not charge any initial fee for entering the lottery, nor does a specific entry form need to be used.  

Nonetheless, every year many lottery entries are disqualified for failure to properly follow directions. In a May 1999 press release, the State Department noted that during that year’s lottery, 2.5 million entries out of a total of 10.5 million were thus disqualified. Last year, over 3 million lottery applications were rejected because they did not comply with the official guidelines.

The guidelines are very precise, and the least error could result in disqualification.  I will ensure that your entry form contains all required information; that it is properly prepared, formatted and completed; that it contains all necessary material; and that it is submitted during the registration period.

Furthermore, if your lottery entry is selected, I can continue to assist you in preparing and filing your application for an immigrant visa (i.e., green card).


Fees for Attorney Services:

  •  $45 for the preparation and submission of 1 lottery entry form;


  •  $80 for the preparation and submission of 2 lottery entry forms (for a husband and wife);


  •  There will be a $30 surcharge for all lottery entry forms prepared in the final two weeks before the official deadline.


Your payment must be in U.S. dollars.  Instructions on how to make your payment are available through the links below to the “Mail Registration” and “On-line Registration” pages, which will take you through the entire registration process with my office.

If your lottery entry form is selected, the fees you pay me will be credited to any future fees should you retain my services in preparing and filing your application(s) for immigrant visas.

There  are 2 ways my office can assist you in registering for the lottery:


  1. Option 1 : Mail Registration
  2. Option 2 : On-line Registration


Option 1 – Mail Registration


To register right away by mail, you can click on the button " Mail registration " at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions to print out and complete a lottery form, which you will then mail to my office.  Upon my receipt of the form and payment, I will review your form for accuracy, make any necessary corrections, and then submit it at the appropriate time.


Option 2 – On-line Registration


By clicking on the button " On-line Registration " at the bottom of the page, you will be able to electronically submit the relevant information for me to prepare a lottery entry form for you.  After I have received your payment, I will send you your 'Lottery-registration package'. 




           Whichever option you choose, please note that in order for me to prepare and ultimately submit your lottery entry form, I must receive the following material:


(1)   a completed and signed lottery entry form;

(2)   a recent id photograph of the applicant, and if applicable his/her spouse and his/her children;

(3)   payment for my office’s services; and

(4)   a completed and signed client agreement form (which is available through both the Mail Registration and On-line Registration pages).


When registering for the lottery, the U.S. Department of State requires that you provide a mailing address so that you can be contacted if your entry form is selected.  

I offer the possibility of using my office’s address as the return mailing address for your lottery entry form.  You may prefer this option if you plan to move in the near future or if mail service in your country is unreliable.

By using my office’s address, the Department of State will contact me directly if your entry form is selected.  I then will immediately contact you (by mail, telephone, fax, and/or e-mail) to inform you of the next steps to take to continue with the visa application process.

If you prefer, however, to use your own mailing address, you can indicate so on the client agreement form.


 Register now !

For mail registration :


            To complete an on-line registration :


On-line Registration :

Otherwise, if you have any specific questions concerning the Diversity Lottery and your eligibility, please contact me by: 

e-mail :,

fax : (630) 604-5836 

phone : (617) 889-0215 (office in the US),


regular mail.


For the same information in French/ Pour consulter ces informations en Français

Click Here / Cliquez Ici

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