The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) annually makes available up to 50,000 immigrant visas randomly selected from all entries to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The DV Program is administered by the US Department of State (DOS).
Most lottery winners reside outside of the United States and immigrate through consular processing and the issuance of immigrant visas. For more information, visit the US Department of State website.
Diversity Visa Winners Legal Residents of the United States: Apply through USCIS
However, there are a small number of lottery winners each year who, at the time they “win the lottery,” are residing in the United States as nonimmigrants or in another legal status.
For an applicant to adjust their status under the DV Program, you must establish that you:
- Have been selected for a diversity visa by DOS’s lottery;
- Have an immigrant visa immediately available at the time of filing an adjustment application (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status); and
- Are admissible to the United States.
For visa availability, please refer to DOS Visa Bulletin. Section B contains a chart showing the current month’s visa availability in the Diversity Immigrant category.
The graph shows when the immigrant diversity threshold is reached. When the threshold is reached, visas will be available that month to applicants with diverse immigrant lottery rank numbers below the specified cutoff numbers for their geographic areas.
Section C contains a chart showing the Diversity Immigrant category classification thresholds for the upcoming month, which represents advance notice of the availability of Diversity Immigrant visas.
Once a monthly Visa Bulletin is published, anyone with a classification number below the threshold classification number shown in Section C is eligible to apply for adjustment of status.
This gives lottery winners the opportunity to apply for an adjustment of status up to six to seven weeks before a visa number can be assigned. This gives USCIS additional time to determine your eligibility for adjustment of status before the end of the tax year.
A Diversity Immigrant-based adjustment application cannot be adjudicated until a visa can be assigned as indicated in the Visa Bulletin’s current Diversity Immigrant classification thresholds for a given month.
Application Process and Supporting Evidence
To obtain a Green Card, you must file Form I-485.
Supporting Evidence for Form I-485
Submit the following evidence with your Form I-485:
- Two passport-style photos
- Copy of birth certificate
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
- Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
- Copy of passport page with admission (entry) or parole stamp (if applicable)
- Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record
- Certified copies of court records (if the individual has been arrested)
- Copy of the principal applicant’s selection letter for the diversity visa lottery from DOS
- Copy of the receipt from DOS for the diversity visa lottery processing fee
- Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (if applicable)
- Applicable fees
Fraudsters may send you emails claiming you’ve won the Diversity Visa (Green Card) lottery. Never send money to anyone who sends you a letter or email claiming you have won.