Green Card Lottery / Electronic Diversity Visa Program – a Quick Guide


On May 8, 2021, entrants can check the status of the DV Lottery (green card lottery) at This is free and entrants do not need to pay anything to verify their information. If the entrant forgot the confirmation number or lost it, the entrant can click the button Forgot Confirmation Number and fill out the Name, Date of Birth, Email, and complete the Authentication. It is important to keep the confirmation number.

If you are lucky, the system will show you that “you have been randomly selected for further processing in the Diversity Visa Program.” It does not mean you can already pick up your green card. This is just the first step and the beginning of the process. The next steps are to submit Form DS-260, gather all the necessary documents, complete the medical evaluation, and the visa interview.

DS-260 is a very detailed form about the applicant. The applicant will need to provide all the information about the marital status, divorces, if any, children, study and work experience, felony, etc. Also, it is very important to follow the step-by-step process and keep all the records, for example, the system will tell you to save and print the receipt confirmation. It means the applicant needs to do so; otherwise, the applicant may have problems at the visa interview.

The applicant should receive a list of documents based on his/her case and be ready to bring them to the embassy. The following documents may be required: birth certificate, passport, marriage/divorce certificates, diplomas, employment record book, military ID, certificate of clean criminal record, certificate of income, etc. This is not a full list of all the possible documents, because it varies based on the particular case. If the applicant was born in a different country or studied abroad, the applicant would be asked to bring a certificate of clean criminal record from that country as well. 

The applicant can complete the medical evaluation after he/she gets the interview date at the embassy. The medical evaluation is not free and can be done only at a special facility. The applicant cannot go to his/her physician and complete the evaluation. The embassy will not accept it. Depending on your location, the facility can be in a different city or in the capital of your country. 


Interview: The applicant brings all of his/her documents to the interview and pays a fee for the visa. The consul will verify the information, documents, and ask questions. Once the applicant gets approval, the visa is valid for 6 months. This is the immigrant visa, and the applicant must leave his/her country during this time, otherwise, the visa will be annulled. 

Sometimes, people win the first step (DV lottery), and do not have enough money to pay for the medical evaluation, visa, other fees, and lose this opportunity to get the green card. The applicant will receive the green card only after arriving to the USA.

If the applicant is already in the US, has won the lottery, but for some reason cannot go back to his/her country to complete the DV lottery program, he/she needs to consult with an immigration attorney to make sure he/she is still eligible to participate in this lottery program.

For informational use only. 
Photo by Raúl Nájera


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