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The Window for the 2021 US Green Card Lottery Opens on October 2nd, 2019: Are You Ready? Are You Eligible?

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Are you aware of the US Diversity Visa Lottery Program? In this article, we will provide you with general information and explain how you can apply to this program.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The DV Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Most lottery winners reside outside the United States and immigrate through consular processing and the issuance of an immigrant visa. 

For the 2021 period, applications will be accepted electronically from noon on Tuesday, October 2 (12:00 p.m. ET) until noon on Wednesday, November 5.

Which countries can participate in this program?

The State Department’s Office of Consular Affairs explains that those nations that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years are excluded from the Visa Lottery.

For that reason, for 2019 applications, citizens native to the following countries are excluded:

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (born on the continent), Colombia, South Korea, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, United Kingdom (except those born in Northern Ireland), Republic Dominican and Vietnam.

Unlike last year’s lottery, Peru can participate in the 2021 fiscal year program.

What are the requirements?

Eligibility requirements have been indicated as “simple, but strict”. They are:

– Born in one of the countries that qualify.

– Have graduated from high school or;

– have worked for two years, in a job that requires at least two years of training.

What do I need to do?

Applicants must submit entries for the DV-2021 program (Form DS-5501) electronically at dvlottery.state.gov. Be sure that all your information is complete because the system is not going to accept incomplete information.  There is no cost to submit an entry form. You need to retain your confirmation number. This will be the way that you can review your status online and check to see if you were selected.

How do I know if I am chosen?

Applicants are chosen randomly by a computer program and those selected and approved are given permanent residence visas in the US. You must use your confirmation number to access the Entrant Status Check available on the E-DV website at dvlottery.state.gov starting May 5, 2020, through September 30, 2021.  Take care to keep your confirmation number because The State Department will NOT contact you to tell you have been selected.

IF you are selected, you will ONLY receive email communications regarding your visa appointment after you have responded to the notification instructions on Entrant Status Check.  So, it is your responsibility to review the web page to determine your status.

Once chosen, selectees may request the issuance of the visa between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021.


If you are interested in participating, we recommend that you:

– Do not wait for the last moment to submit your application. This may cause you to discover at the last minute that you do not have the required information, which could prevent you from completing your application. A delay on the program website could complicate the successful submission of your application.

– Be careful about fraudulent and unethical websites claiming to process your diversity visa application. Review the page you are submitting carefully. REMEMBER, there is NO FEE charged to submit an electronic entry on the official site. If anyone or any website  is asking you for a fee to submit an electronic entry for the diversity visa lottery, it is NOT the official US site, which will not charge you for this submission (later, if you are selected and apply for the visa, you would need to pay the standard application fees). Official websites of the United States government end with .gov. The official page where you can initiate the application process is https://dvlottery.state.gov/, and it will open for new applications on October 2, 2019, at 12:00 PM Eastern Time in the US.

– The application must be filled out in the English language. If you are not sure of some answers, consult someone who knows the language.

– Print your confirmation number and keep it for your records. This number is important to know if you were selected. Remember, the program will not notify you if you have been selected– you need to check yourself, and if you are selected, you must then request that the visa be issued. 

– Before you fill your application, review the page with all the instructions.  

We hope you will be one of those selected. Good luck!

Rocio Segura is a bilingual freelance writer with Revolution English. She holds a Master in Education, with experience in higher education and non-profits in Peru and the US. In addition to writing for Revolution English, she is also an avid travel blogger.