The US Green Card Lottery: Information

The Green Card Lottery is the less formal name for the U.S. Department of State's Diversity Immigrant Visa program. Launched in 1990, it ensures immigration to the United States stays diverse. The program sets aside 50,000 diversity visas every year for applicants whose country of origin has low American immigration rates, meaning fewer than 50,000 immigrants accepted to the U.S. in the five years prior. Diversity visas are allocated by the Department of State between six global regions, and each country receives no more than 7% of the total amount of diversity visas. Around 8 million people submit their application electronically every year, but only 100,000 people will receive a notification letter.

The process includes providing supporting documentation and attending a visa applicant interview. The Green Card Application Guide is available now for download.


The history of the US Green Card Lottery

The History of the Diversity Immigrant (DV) Program

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is also known as the Green Card Lottery. It is a program specifically designed for people who are from countries with low immigration rates to the United States. In 1968, the United Sates Congress created a special way to immigrate disadvantaged immigrants (with special focus on persons from Ireland). It was predominantly sponsorship from Irish-American members of Congress that devised a program that would accept persons from otherwise underrepresented countries in the United States. Changes has been made over the years regarding this program. Today, the program has many different names like the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, DV Lottery program or Green Card Lottery. It is operated on an annual basis by the U.S. Department of State and handled under the terms of section 2013 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Another section, 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649) raises a new class of immigrants known as "diveristy immigrants", and is a supervised directly by the U.S. Department of State Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) in Williamsburg, Kentucky. The Consular Center was established in 2000 by the U.S. Department of State to oversee the Diversity Visa Lottery program.