Instructions for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2019)

The annual DV program makes diversity immigrant visas available to persons meeting simple but strict eligibility requirements. A computer-generated random lottery drawing chooses selectees for diversity visas. The visas, however, are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the period of the past five years. Within each region, no one country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

For DV-2019, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because they sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the period of the previous five years:

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (Mainland-Born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. (Note: Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are eligible.)

Diversity visa registration period

Entries for the DV-2019 DV lottery must be submitted electronically between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), October 18, 2017, and noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), November 22, 2017. Applicants may access the electronic DV Entry Form (E-DV) at www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period. Paper entries will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after noon, EDT, on November 22, 2017.

Requirements For Entry

To enter the DV lottery, you must be a native of one of the listed countries. The List Of Countries By Region Whose Natives Qualify is available at www.travel.state.gov  

  • Native of a country whose natives qualify: In most cases this means the country in which you were born. However, there are two other ways you may be able to qualify. First, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible but your spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible; you can claim your spouse’s country of birth provided both you and your spouse are on the selected entry, are issued visas and enter the S. simultaneously. Second, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but neither of your parents was born there or resided there at the time of your birth, you may claim nativity in one of your parents’ country of birth if it is a country whose natives qualify for the DV-2019 program.
  • To enter the lottery, you must meet either the education or work experience requirement of the DV program: You must have EITHER a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net OnLine database will be used to determine qualifying work experience. For more information about qualifying work experience, see Frequently Asked Question #13 at travel.state.gov

If you cannot meet these requirements, you should NOT submit an entry to the DV program.

Procedures For Submitting An Entry To Dv-2019

  • The Department of State will only accept completed E-DV entry forms submitted electronically at www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period between noon, EDT (GMT-4), October 18, 2017 and noon, EST (GMT-5), November 22, 2017.
  • All entries by an individual will be disqualified if more than ONE entry for that individual is received, regardless of who submitted the entry. You may prepare and submit your own entry, or have someone submit the entry for you. There are NO COSTS or FEES to register for the DV Program.
  • A successfully registered entry will result in a confirmation screen containing your name and a unique confirmation number. You should print this confirmation screen for your records using the print function of your web browser and ensure that you retain your confirmation number. Starting May 1, 2018, you will be able to check the status of your DV-2019 entry by returning to dvlottery.state.gov Entrant Status Check and entering your unique confirmation number and personal information. Entrant Status Check will be the sole means of informing you of your selection for DV-2019, providing instructions to you on how to proceed with your application, and notifying you of your appointment for your immigrant visa interview. Therefore, it is essential you retain your confirmation number. The U.S. Department of State is unable to provide your entry confirmation number if it is lost.
  • Paper entries will not be accepted. The sole method for entry to the 2018 Diversity Visa Program is through this electronic process.
  • It is very important that all required photographs be submitted. Your entry will be disqualified if all required photographs are not submitted. Recent photographs of the following people must be submitted electronically with the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form:
    • you
    • your spouse
    • Each unmarried child under 21 years of age at the time of your electronic entry, including all natural children as well as all legally adopted children and stepchildren, even if a child no longer resides with you or you do not intend for a child to immigrate under the DV program.
  • Failure to submit the required photographs for your spouse and each child listed will result in an incomplete entry to the E-DV system. The entry will not be accepted and must be resubmitted.A spouse or child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident will not require or be issued a DV visa. However, you should include all family members in your registration and photos of each person who will receive a DV visa. Group or family photographs will not be accepted; there must be a separate photograph for each family member. Failure to enter the correct photograph of each individual into the E-DV system may result in disqualification of the principal applicant and refusal of all visas associated with the case at the time of the visa interview.
    • Entries are subject to disqualification and visa refusal for cases in which the photographs are not recent or have been manipulated or fail to meet the specifications explained below.

Instructions for Submitting a Digital Photograph (Image) Instructions for Submitting a Digital Photograph (Image)

A digital photograph (image) of you, your spouse, and each child must be submitted online with the E-DV entry form. The image file should be:
– in JPEG format,
– image file size should not exceed 240 kilobytes (240 KB)

Image Resolution and Dimensions: Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 pixels (width) x 600 pixels (height). Image pixel dimensions must be in a square aspect ratio (meaning the height must be equal to the width).

Image Color Depth:   Image must be in color (24 bits per pixel). 24-bit black and white or 8-bit images will not be accepted.

  • Scanning a Submitted photograph. Before a photographic print is scanned, it must meet the compositional specifications listed above. If the photographic print meets the print color and compositional specifications, scan the print using the following specifications:

Scanner resolution: Scanned at a resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi).
Image File Format: The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
Image File Size: The maximum image file size is 240 kilobytes (240 KB)
Image Resolution: 600 by 600 pixels.
Image Color Depth: 24-bit color [Note: Black and white, monochrome or grayscale images will not  be accepted]

Information Required For The Electronic Entry

There is only one way to enter the DV-2019 lottery. You must submit the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form), which is accessible only at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Failure to complete the form in its entirety will disqualify the entry. Those who submit the E-DV entry will be asked to include the following information on the E-DV Entry Form.

NOTE: The Department of State strongly encourages applicants to complete the entry form without the assistance of “Visa Consultants,” “Visa Agents,” or other individuals who offer to submit an entry on behalf of applicants. If you use the services of somebody else to complete your entry form, you should be present when the entry is prepared, and you should retain the confirmation page and your unique confirmation number. Facilitators may try to withhold confirmation numbers in order to make an unlawful demand for money in exchange for notification information that should have been directly available to you. Your confirmation number ensures that you can go to the E-DV website and receive notification of whether your entry has been selected through the Entry Status Check available from May 2, 2017 on the E-DV website www.dvlottery.state.gov. Entry Status Check will be the sole means of informing you of your selection for DV-2019, providing instructions to you on how to proceed with your application, and notifying you of the date and time of your appointment for your immigrant visa interview,

  1. Full Name – Last/Family Name, First Name, Middle name
  2. Date Of Birth – Day, Month, Year
  3. Gender – Male or Female
  4. City Where You Were Born
  5. Country Where You Were Born – The name of the country should be that which is currently in use for the place where you were born.
  6. Country Of Eligibility Or Chargeability For The DV Program – Your country of eligibility will normally be the same as your country of birth. Your country of eligibility is not related to where you live. If you were born in a country that is not eligible for the DV program, please review the instructions to see if there is another option for country of chargeability available for you. For additional information on chargeability, please review Frequently Asked Question #1 of the DV-2019 instructions at www.travel.state.gov
  7. Entry Photograph(S) – See technical information on photograph specifications. Make sure you include photographs of your spouse and all your children, if applicable.
  8. Mailing Address – In Care Of, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, City/Town, District/Country/Province/State, Postal Code/Zip Code, Country
  9. Country Where You Live Today
  10. Phone Number (Optional)
  11. E-Mail Address – provide an e-mail address to which you have direct access. You will NOT receive an official selection letter at this address. However, if your entry is selected and you respond to the notification of your selection through the Entry Status Check, you will receive follow-up communication from the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) by e-mail notifying you that details of your immigrant visa interview are available on Entry Status Check.
  12. What is the highest level of education you have achieved, as of today?

You must indicate which one of the following represents your own highest level of educational achievement: (1) Primary school only, (2) High school, no degree, (3) High school degree, (4) Vocational school, (5) Some university courses, (6) University degree, (7) Some graduate level courses, (8) Master degree, (9) Some doctorate level courses, and (10) Doctorate degree.

  1. Marital Status – Unmarried, Married, Divorced, Widowed, Legally Separated
  2. Number Of Children – Entries MUST include the name, date, and place of birth of your spouse and all natural children. Entries must also include all children legally adopted by you, and stepchildren who are unmarried and under the age of 21 on the date of your electronic entry , even if you are no longer legally married to the child’s parent, and even if the spouse or child does not currently reside with you and/or will not immigrate with you. Note that married children and children 21 years or older are not eligible for the DV; however, U.S. law protects children from “aging out” in certain circumstances. If your electronic DV entry is made before your unmarried child turns 21, and the child turns 21 before visa issuance, he/she may be protected from aging out by the Child Status Protection Act and be treated as though he/she were under 21 for visa-processing purposes. Failure to list all children who are eligible will result in disqualification of the principal applicant and refusal of all visas in the case at the time of the visa interview. See Frequently Asked Question #11 of DV-2019 instructions at www.travel.state.gov
  3. Spouse Information – Name, Date of Birth, Gender, City/Town of Birth, Country of Birth, Photograph. Failure to list your spouse will result in disqualification of the principal applicant and refusal of all visas in the case at the time of the visa interview. You must list your spouse here even if you plan to be divorced before you apply for a visa.
  4. Children Information – Name, Date of Birth, Gender, City/Town of Birth, Country of Birth, Photograph: Include all children declared in question #14 above.

Selection Of Applicants

The computer will randomly select individuals from among all qualified entries. All Diversity Visa (DV- 2018) entrants will be required to go to the E-DV website Entry Status Check to find out whether their entry has been selected in the DV lottery or to find out they have not been selected. Selectees will be notified of their selection through the Entry Status Check available starting May 1, 2017 at the E-DV website www.dvlottery.state.gov. Selectees will be directed to a confirmation page that will provide further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the United States. Entry Status Check will be the ONLY means by which selectees will be notified of their selection for DV-2019. The Kentucky Consular Center will not be mailing out notification letters. Those selected in the random drawing are NOT notified of their selection by e-mail. Those individuals NOT selected will be notified of their non-selection through the web-based Entry Status Check. U.S. embassies and consulates will not provide a list of selectees. Selectees’ spouses and unmarried children under age 21 may also apply for visas to accompany or follow-to-join the principal applicant. DV-2019 visas will be issued between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019.

Processing of entries and issuance of DVs to selectees meeting eligibility requirements and their eligible family members MUST occur by midnight on September 30, 2019. Under no circumstances can DVs be issued or adjustments approved after this date, nor can family members obtain DVs to follow-to-join the principal applicant in the United States after this date. In order to receive a DV to immigrate to the United States, those chosen in the random drawing must meet ALL eligibility requirements under U.S. law. These requirements may significantly increase the level of scrutiny required and time necessary for processing for natives of some countries listed in this notice including, but not limited to, countries identified as state sponsors of terrorism.

Important Notice

Electronic lottery entry in the annual DV program is free (there is no fee). The U.S. Government employs no outside consultants or private services to operate the DV program. Any intermediaries or others who offer assistance to prepare DV entries do so without the authority or consent of the U.S. Government. Use of any outside intermediary or assistance to prepare a DV entry is entirely at the entrant’s discretion.

A qualified electronic entry submitted directly by an applicant has an equal chance of being randomly selected by the computer at the KCC, as does a qualified electronic entry received from an outside intermediary on behalf of the applicant. However, receipt of more than one entry per person will disqualify the person from registration, regardless of the source of the entry.

If you have questions, please contact the U.S. Embassy Ashgabat Consular Section Information Line at (993 12) 94-00-49. The Information Line operates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 11:00 a.m. to 01:00 p.m.