Green Card Lottery Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the registration dates for the calendar year 2016 green card lottery ("DV-2018")?
A: Registration for the calendar year 2016 lottery is closed. The 2016 open registration dates were from Tuesday, October 4, 2016 beginning noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-5) to Monday, November 7, 2016 at noon, Eastern Standard Time (EDT) (GMT-5).
Q: How do calendar year 2016 (DV-2018) green card lottery applicants find out if they won?
A: Applicants for the 2016 green card lottery can check the status of their entry online at the State Department Entry Status Check (ESC) website here beginning May 1, 2017. You must have your official confirmation number to check your entry. It looks like this: 20182UPV0LIQOL9D. Please note that you only have to check once. You do not have to recheck your entry again if you were not selected. If you lost your confirmation number you can now get it using the "forgot confirmation number" link.
Q: What countries were ineligible for DV-2018?
A: Ineligible countries (and islands) for the calendar year 2016 lottery ("DV-2018") were: ANGUILLA, BANGLADESH, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (MAINLAND BORN), COLUMBIA, BERMUDA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, CAYMAN ISLANDS, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, FALKLAND ISLANDS, GIBRALTAR, GREAT BRITAIN, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, MONTSERRAT, NIGERIA, PAKISTAN, PERU, PHILIPPINES, PITCAIRN, SOUTH KOREA, ST. HELENA, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland), VIETNAM are all ineligible.
Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are visa eligible. EQUADORwas a visa eligible country. Natives of the newly recognized country of SOUTH SUDAN were visa eligible.
Q: The DV-2018 rules stated that submitting the same photo as last year will result in disqualification. What do I do?
A: According to the new rules published by the State Department, submitting the same photograph that was submitted with last year’s entry (DV-2017) will result in disqualification. Therefore, you must get a new photograph immediately. If you used a lottery service last year, and paid for this calendar year's entry, you must send your lottery service a new photograph. Better lottery services will contact you first. Please see our book for standard passport photo specifications. They are also available on line.
Q: Where do I register?
A: Applicants for the green card lottery can register at the official U.S. government website at: www.dvlottery.state.gov/ during the 30-day open registration period in October. Or you can register any time of year using any one of the highly rated lottery services listed on our reviews page.
Q: I lost my confirmation number. What can I do?
A: If you lost your confirmation number you can still check your winning status. The U.S. Department of State now provides a forgot confirmation number page so you can look up your lost number. You must enter the year you entered the lottery (“Program Year”), Last Name, First Name, Middle Name, Date of Birth, Email Address, and the “CAPTCHA” authentication code shown on the screen to get their lost number.
If you are using a reputable lottery service or attorney, they should store and provide you with your official confirmation number from the U.S. government after they register your entry. Most services will also check with the U.S. government to see if you won and notify you at no additional charge.
Q: How do I contact the KCC?
If you have a question about your lottery status you can contact the Kentucky Consular Center via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can try to reach them by telephone:
Please check here for other important Green Card Lottery Dates and Deadlines for DV-2018, DV-2017, and DV-2016. Remember: Winning letters are no longer postal mailed to lottery winners.
Q: Are there any other good sources of lottery information?
Besides our inexpensive book, available on Amazon, there is a forum dedicated for the lottery at: http://forums.immigration.com/
Q: What about fake diversity visa winning letters?
A: Emails requesting fees for lottery "winners" are ALL frauds. Fraudulent spam emails have been sent on behalf of The United States Department of State.
Fraud letters on behalf of the U.S. Department of State were sent last year and are reappear intermittenly all year. See sample scam emails. These scam emails are nearly identical and begin with:
"Congratulations on winning a United States Permanent Resident Card through Diversity Visa Lottery"
Q: If I win, what are the next steps?
A: If you are selected for further processing in the Diversity Visa program, you will need to demonstrate you are eligible for a diversity immigrant visa by successfully completing the next steps. When requested to do so by the Kentucky Consular Center, you will need to complete the immigrant visa application, submit required documents and forms, pay required fees, complete a medical examination, and be interviewed by a consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate to demonstrate you qualify for a diversity visa. Please note that the Kentucky Consular Center will provide application information online through the Entry Status Check on the EDV website at: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ESC/.
Q: If a person is on a Exchange (J-1) Visa, what happens if I am selected for the Diversity Visa Lottery? Can I adjust status?
A: Yes. As long as the applicant is not undocumented/out of status he/she can apply to adjust his/her status in the USA. NOTE: This situation is discussed in detail in our book, "Win the Green Card Lottery!"
Q: I am in a civil union or domestic partnership; will this be treated the same as a marriage?
A: At this time, only a relationship legally considered to be a marriage in the jurisdiction where it took place establishes eligibility as a spouse for immigration purposes.
Q: I am in a same-sex marriage. Can I adjust status or apply for a visa?
A: Yes. Same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), along with their minor children, are now eligible for the same immigration benefits as opposite-sex spouses. Consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates will adjudicate their immigrant visa applications upon receipt of an approved I-130 or I-140 petition from USCIS. Diversity Visa applicants may include same-sex spouses in their initial entries or add spouses acquired after their initial registration. The Supreme Court has found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Effective immediately, U.S. embassies and consulates will adjudicate (rule on) visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that they adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses. This means that the same sex spouse of a visa applicant coming to the U.S. for any purpose – including work, study, international exchange or as a legal immigrant – will be eligible for a derivative visa. Likewise, stepchildren acquired through same sex marriages can also qualify as beneficiaries or for derivative status. You do not have to live in a state in which same-sex marriage is legal in order to qualify for an immigrant (or non-immigrant) visa.
Q: How do I reach an Immigration Attorney?
A: Visit the American Immigration Lawyers Association at AILA.org.
If you are an AILA member and wish to advertise at myGreencard.com please Contact Us.
Q: How do I purchase Creative Networks publications?
A: The COMPLETE version of our booklet, Win the Green Card Lottery! is available on our Order Now Page via Google Plus.
Q: Why should I purchase your booklet since I can get the official lottery rules for free?
A: We provide additional information beyond that provided by the U.S. State Department. For example, we include tips to help you prevent common mistakes; additional rules for family and extended family members; a section explaining alternate state chargeability; detailed information for creating and scanning photographs; an entire chapter devoted to lottery winners, an immigration glossary, and much more. It has been edited by immigration attorneys and is thoroughly indexed for easy reference. If you are still not convinced of the incredible value of our booklet, compare our Table of Contents with the basic information provided by the U.S. State Department. Again, the first three chapters are FREE.
Q: Do you accept advertising on myGreencard.com?
A: YES. Creative Networks now accepts limited advertising. Advertisements only link to services that pass our review criteria. These ads may appear on our website and in the electronic version of our booklet. Some advertisers may also be Resellers. We made this decision so we can continue to operate myGreencard.com to provide you with the latest immigration news, immigration opinions, and immigration reports. However, we will continue to provide unbiased lottery service ratings.
Q: I was contacted by a representative from myGreencard for payment.
A: This is a scam. We never ask for money of any kind for visas or anything else.
Q: Can I send myGreencard.com my lottery application?
A: NO. MyGreencard is not a lottery service. We suggest you download our FREE booklet and enter yourself, OR use one of the top lottery services we review. If you have specific legal questions, you should contact an attorney.
Q: How can I get a list of lottery winners?
NO. There is no list of winners published by the State Department.
Q: Where can I get the "official" U.S. State Department information?
A: The official rules are available on our free downloads page.
Q: What are the mailing addresses?
A: Applications must be submitted online, not by mail. However, some of the websites we rate accept mail-in entries for a fee anytime of year. You can also enter at no charge at the official government web site at: www.dvlottery.state.gov. This site is only accessible
during the open registration period. Mail-in applications to the government are not accepted.
Q: Must each applicant submit his/her own entry?
A: Applicants may prepare and submit their own entries OR have someone submit the entry for them. Regardless
of whether an entry is submitted by the applicant directly, or assistance is provided by an attorney, friend, relative, etc.,
only one entry may be submitted in the name of each person.
Q: May persons who are in the U.S. apply for the program?
A: YES, an applicant may be in the U.S. or in another country, and the entry may be submitted from the U.S. or
Q: Is each applicant limited to only one entry?
A: YES, the law allows only one entry by or for each person during each registration period; applicants for whom
more than one entry is submitted will be disqualified. The Department of State employs sophisticated technology and other
means to identify individuals that submit multiple entries during the registration period. Applicants submitting more than one
entry will be disqualified and an electronic record will be permanently maintained by the Department of State. Applicants may
apply for the program each year during the regular registration period. There are situations where more than one entry is possible. For example, a qualifying spouse can enter his or her spouse in a separate entry (see below).
Q: May a husband and a wife each submit a separate entry?
A: YES, a husband and a wife may each submit one entry if each meets the eligibility requirements. If either were
selected, the other would be entitled to "derivative" status.
Q: What family members must I include on my DV entry?
A: On your entry you must list your spouse, that is husband or wife, and all unmarried children under 21 years of
age, with the exception of a child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident. You must list your spouse even
if you are currently separated from him/her. However, if you are legally divorced, you do not need to list your former spouse.
For customary marriages, the important date is the date of the original marriage ceremony, not the date on which the marriage
is registered. You must list ALL your children who are unmarried and under 21 years of age, whether they are your natural
children, your spouse's children by a previous marriage, or children you have formally adopted in accordance with the laws
of your country, unless a child is already a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident. List all children under 21 years of
age even if they no longer reside with you or you do not intend for them to immigrate under the DV program.
The fact that you have listed family members on your entry does not mean that they later must travel with you. They may
choose to remain behind. However, if you include an eligible dependent on your visa application forms that you failed to
include on your original entry, your case will be disqualified. (This only applies to persons who were dependents at the
time the original application was submitted, not those acquired at a later date.) Your spouse may still submit a separate
entry, even though he or she is listed on your entry, as long as both entries include details on all dependents in your
Q: What are the requirements for education or work experience?
A: The law and regulations require that every applicant must have at least a high school education or its
equivalent or, within the past five years, have two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two
years training or experience. A "high school education or equivalent" is defined as successful completion of a twelve-year
course of elementary and secondary education in the United States or successful completion in another country of a formal
course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a high school education in the United States. Documented proof
of education or work experience should not be submitted with the lottery entry, but must be presented to the consular
officer at the time of the visa interview. To determine eligibility based on work experience, definitions from the
Department of State's O*Net OnLine database will be used.
Q: How will successful entrants be selected?
A: At the Kentucky Consular Center, all entries received from each region will be individually numbered.
After the end of the registration period, a computer will randomly select entries from among all the entries received
for each geographic region. Within each region, the first entry randomly selected will be the first case registered,
the second entry selected the second registration, etc. All entries received during the registration period will have
an equal chance of being selected within each region. The Kentucky Consular Center will process
your paperwork until those who are selected are instructed to appear for visa interviews. Interviews will be held either
at a U.S. consular office abroad, or a USCIS office in the United States to change status.
Q: How many applicants will be selected?
A: There were 50,000 diversity visas available, but more than that number of individuals will be selected.
Because it is likely that some of the first 50,000 persons who are selected will not qualify for visas or pursue their
cases to visa issuance, more than 50,000 entries will be selected by the Kentucky Consular Center to ensure that all of
the available DV visas are issued. However, this also means that there will not be a sufficient number of visas for all
those who are initially selected.
Interviews with those selected will begin in early October. The Kentucky Consular Center will send appointment
letters to selected applicants four to six weeks before the scheduled interviews with U.S. consular officers at overseas
posts. Each month visas will be issued, visa number availability permitting, to those applicants who are ready for
issuance during that month. Once all of the 50,000 DV visas have been issued, the program for the year will end. Selected applicants who wish to receive visas must be
prepared to act promptly on their cases. Random selection by the Kentucky Consular Center computer does not automatically
guarantee that you will receive a visa.
Q: Is there a minimum age for applicants to apply for the DV program?
A: There is no minimum age to apply for the program, but the requirement of a high school education or work
experience for each principal applicant at the time of application will effectively disqualify most persons who are under
Q: Are there any fees for the DV program?
A: There is no fee for submitting an entry. A special DV case processing fee will be payable later by persons
whose entries are actually selected and processed at a U.S. consular section for this year's program. DV applicants, like
other immigrant visa applicants, must also pay the regular visa fees at the time of visa issuance. Details of required
fees will be included with the instructions sent by the Kentucky Consular Center to applicants who are selected.
Q: May persons who are already registered for an immigrant visa in another category apply for the DV
A: YES, such persons may apply for the DV program.
Q: If the Principle Applicant in the Diversity Visa Lottery dies before visa he or she receives their visa, can his eligible family members still receive DV visas?
A: NO. If the applicant dies first, the DV case is revoked and any eligible spouse and/or children are no longer entitled to the DV visa for that entry.