Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted based on United States law, specifically Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This law provides for a class of immigrants known as "diversity immigrants," with visas made available to persons from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For Fiscal Year 2014, 50,000 diversity visas (DV) will be available.
The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random drawing chooses selectees for DVs. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, and within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year. Visas are allocated to natives of countries with historically lower rates of U.S. immigration. Natives of countries who have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the past five years are not eligible to apply for the Diversity Visa program.
For DV-2014, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
The term "country" in this notice includes countries, economies, and other jurisdictions explicitly listed at the end of these instructions. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.
Changes in eligibility this year:
For DV-2014, natives of Guatemala are now eligible for selection.
The Department of State implemented the electronic registration system beginning with DV-2005 in order to make the DV process more efficient and secure. The Department utilizes special technology and other means to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit multiple entries.
Entries for the DV-2014 DV program must be submitted electronically between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 2, 2012, and noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Saturday, November 3, 2012. 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. We strongly encourage applicants not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in Web site delays. No entries will be accepted after noon, EDT, on November 3, 2012.
To enter the DV program, you must be a native of one of the listed countries. 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 that both you and your spouse are on the selected entry, are issued visas, and enter the United States 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' countries of birth if it is a country
To enter the DV program, 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 for the principal DV applicant, see Frequently Asked Question #13.
If you cannot meet either of these requirements, you should not submit an entry to the DV program.
The Department of State will only accept completed E-DV entry forms submitted electronically at
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 registered entry that complies with submission instructions will result in a confirmation screen containing your name and a unique confirmation number. You must 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, 2013, you will be able to check the status of your DV-2014 entry by returning to
Paper entries are no longer accepted. The sole method for entry to the 2014 Diversity Visa Program is through this electronic process.
On your entry, you must list your spouse (husband or wife), and all living unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of whether or not they are living with you or intend to accompany or follow to join you should you immigrate to the United States, with the exception of children who are already U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents. 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. Failure to comply with this instruction can result in the disqualification of your entry.
Each living 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. You do not need to include a photograph for a spouse or child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident.
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. Group or family photographs will not be accepted; there must be a separate photograph for each family member.
A digital photograph (image) of you, your spouse, and each child must be submitted online with the E-DV entry form. The image file can be produced either by taking a new digital photograph or by scanning a photographic print with a digital scanner. The image file must adhere to the compositional and technical specifications listed below. Entrants may test their photos for suitability through the photo validation link on the e-DV Web site before submitting their entries. The photo validation provides additional technical advice on photo composition, along with examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos.
The submitted digital image must conform to the following compositional specifications or the entry will be disqualified.
The submitted digital photograph must conform to the following specifications or the system will automatically reject the E-DV entry form and notify the sender.
Image File Format: The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
Image File Size: The maximum file size is 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.
Scanner Resolution: Scanned at a resolution of at least 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 that black and white, monochrome, or grayscale images will not be accepted.]
There is only one way to enter the DV-2014 program. You must submit the DS-5501, the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form), which is only accessible online at the EDV Web site
1. Full Name--Last/Family Name, First Name, Middle name. Enter your name exactly as listed on your passport.
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 is the one 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 chargeability available for you. For additional information on chargeability, please review "Frequently Asked Question #1" of these instructions.
7. Entry Photograph(S)--See the technical information on photograph specifications. Make sure you include photographs of your spouse and all your children, if applicable. See Frequently Asked Question #3.
8. Mailing Address--In Care Of, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, City/Town, District/Country/Province/State, Postal Code/Zip Code, and Country.
9. Country Where You Live Today.
10. Phone Number (optional).
11. E-Mail Address--Provide an email 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 Entrant Status Check, you will receive follow-up communication from the Department of State by email notifying you that details of your immigrant visa interview are available on Entrant Status Check. The Department of State may contact you at this email address, but will never send you an email telling you that you have been selected for the DV program.
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) Masters degree, (9) Some doctorate level courses, and (10) Doctorate degree.
13. Marital Status--Unmarried, Married, Divorced, Widowed, or Legally Separated.
14. Number of Children--Entries must include the name, date, and place of birth of your spouse and all living natural children. Entries must also include all living children legally adopted by you, and living step-children 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 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 fewer than 21 for visa-processing purposes. You are not required to list a spouse or child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, as they will not be eligible for a DV visa. 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.
15. Spouse Information--Name, Date of Birth, Gender, City/Town of Birth, Country of Birth, and Photograph. Failure to list your eligible 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.
16. Children Information--Name, Date of Birth, Gender, City/Town of Birth, Country of Birth, and Photograph. Include all children declared in question #14 above.
Based on the allocations of available visas in each region and country, computer software will randomly select individuals from among qualified entries. All DV-2014 entrants will be required to go to the E-DV Web site Entrant Status Check using the unique confirmation number saved from their DV-2014 online entry registration to find out whether their entry has been selected in the DV program. Entrant Status Check will be available on the E-DV Web site at
Processing of entries and issuance of DVs to selectees meeting eligibility requirements and their eligible family members must be completed by midnight on September 30, 2014. 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, entrants in the random drawing that are selected for the next steps (called selectees) 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.
A qualified electronic entry submitted directly by an applicant has an equal chance of being randomly selected by computer, 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.
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. "Native" ordinarily means someone born in a particular country, regardless of the individual's current country of residence or nationality. For immigration purposes, "native" can also mean someone who is entitled to be "charged" to a country other than the one in which he/she was born under the provisions of Section 202(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
For example, if you were born in a country that is not eligible for this year's DV program, you may claim chargeability to the country where your derivative spouse was born. Because your eligibility is based on your spouse, however, you will not be issued a DV-1 immigrant visa unless your spouse is also eligible for and issued a DV-2 visa, and both of you must enter the United States together using your DVs. In a similar manner, a minor dependent child can be "charged" to a parent's country of birth.
Finally, if you were born in a country not eligible to participate in this year's DV program, you can be "charged" to the country of birth of either of your parents as long as neither parent was a resident of the ineligible country at the time of your birth. In general, people are not considered residents of a country in which they were not born or legally naturalized, if they are only visiting the country, studying in the country temporarily, or stationed temporarily in the country for business or professional reasons on behalf of a company or government from a country other than the country in which the applicant was born. If you claim alternate chargeability, you must indicate such information on the E-DV Entry Form, in question #6. Please be aware that listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability (i.e., one to which you cannot establish a valid claim) may disqualify your entry.
Status information will be available starting May 1, 2013 through at least June 30, 2014. You must have your confirmation information in order to check your DV entry status. Only the individuals selected randomly to continue the visa process will be given additional instructions on how to pursue their DV visa application. Persons not selected may verify the non-selection of their entry using their confirmation information through the official DV Web site, but they will not receive any additional instructions. U.S. Embassies and Consulates have no access to the Entrant Status check system; they are unable to check the system for you. The Department of State is not able to provide a list of those selected to continue the visa process.
Randomly selected entrants will receive notification instructions for the DV visa application process on the selectee confirmation page available through Entrant Status Check on the E-DV Web site
The E-DV program entries are submitted on the Internet, on the official U.S. government E-DV Web site at
Please note that only Internet sites that end with the ".gov" domain suffix are official U.S. government Web sites. Many other non-governmental Web sites (e.g., using the suffixes ".com," ".org," or ".net") provide immigration and visa related information and services. Regardless of the content of non-governmental Web sites, the Department of State does not endorse, recommend, or sponsor any information or material shown at these other Web sites.
Some Web sites try to mislead customers and members of the public into thinking they are official Web sites and may contact you by email to lure you to their offers. These Web sites may attempt to require you to pay for services such as forms and information about immigration procedures, which are free on the Department of State Web site or through U.S. Embassy or Consulate Web sites. Additionally, these other Web sites may require you to pay for services you are not likely to receive (such as fees for DV immigration applications and visas) in an effort to steal your money. If you send in money to one of these scams, you will likely never see it again. Also, you should be wary of sending any personal information to these Web sites, as it may be used for identity fraud/theft.
DVs are intended to provide an immigration opportunity for persons from countries other than the historical source countries of large numbers of immigrants to the United States, as indicated in the law by stating that no Diversity Visas shall be provided for natives of "high-admission" countries. The law defines this to mean countries from which a total of 50,000 persons in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visa categories immigrated to the United States during the previous five years. Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adds the family and employment immigrant admission figures for the previous five years to identify the countries whose natives will be ineligible for the annual diversity visa program. Since there is a separate determination made before each annual E-DV entry period, the list of countries whose natives are not eligible may change from one year to the next.
By law, the DV program makes available a maximum of 55,000 permanent residence visas each year to eligible persons. However, the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that beginning as early as DV-1999, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually allocated DVs will be made available for use under the NACARA program. The actual reduction of the limit by up to 5,000 DVs began with DV-2000 and will remain in effect through the DV-2014 program.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines the regional DV limits for each year according to a formula specified in Section 203(c) of the INA. Once USCIS has completed these calculations, the regional visa limits will be announced.
The DV-2014 entry period will run from noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 2, 2012, until noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Saturday, November 3, 2012. Each year, millions of people apply for the program during the registration period. The massive volume of entries creates an enormous amount of work in selecting and processing successful individuals. Holding the entry period starting noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on October 2 and continuing until noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on November 3 ensures that selectees are notified in a timely manner, and gives both the visa applicants and our embassies and consulates time to prepare and complete cases for visa issuance. You are strongly encouraged to enter early during the registration period. Excessive demand at end of the registration period may slow the system down. No entries whatsoever will be accepted after noon EDT Saturday, November 3, 2012.
Yes, an applicant may be in the United States or in another country, and the entry may be submitted from the United States or from abroad.
Yes, the law allows only one entry by or for each person during each registration period. Individuals for whom more than one entry is submitted will be disqualified. The Department of State employs technology and other means to identify individuals who submit multiple entries during the registration period. People submitting more than one entry will be disqualified, and an electronic record will be permanently maintained by the Department of State. Individuals may apply for the program once each year during the regular registration period.
Yes, a husband and a wife may each submit one entry if each meets the eligibility requirements. If either is selected, the other is entitled to apply as a derivative dependent.
On your entry you must list your spouse (husband or wife) and all living unmarried children less than 21 years of age, regardless of whether or not they are living with you or intend to accompany or follow to join you should you immigrate to the United States. You must list your spouse even if you are currently separated from him/her, unless you are legally separated (i.e., there is a written agreement recognized by a court or a court order). If you are legally separated or divorced, you do not need to list your former spouse. You must list all your living children who are unmarried and under 21 years of age at the time of your initial E-DV entry, whether they are your natural children, your spouse's children, or children you
The fact that you have listed family members on your entry does not mean that they 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 those who were family members 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 family. See question #9 above.
No, same-sex marriages are not recognized under U.S. immigration law for the purpose of immigrating to the United States. However, your same-sex partner is free to submit his/her own entry into the DV program if he or she meets all eligibility requirements.
You may prepare and submit your own entry, or have someone submit the entry for you. Regardless of whether an entry is submitted by the individual directly, or assistance is provided by an attorney, friend, relative, etc., only one entry may be submitted in the name of each person, and the person seeking the Diversity Visa remains responsible for ensuring that information in the entry is correct and complete. All entrants, including those not selected, will be able to check the status of their entry through the Entrant Status Check available as of May 1, 2013, on the E-DV Web site at
U.S. Immigration law and regulations require that every Diversity Visa entrant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of 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. Only formal courses of study meet this requirement; correspondence programs or equivalency certificates (such as the General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.)) are not acceptable. Documentary proof of education or work experience must be presented to the consular officer at the time of the visa interview.
To determine eligibility based on work experience, definitions from the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) O*Net OnLine database will be used. The O*Net Online Database groups job experience into five "job zones." While many occupations are listed on the DOL Web site, only certain specified occupations qualify for the DV Program. To qualify for a DV on the basis of your work experience, you must have, within the past five years, two years of experience in an occupation that is designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) range of 7.0 or higher.
Qualifying DV Occupations are shown on the DOL O*Net Online Database. Follow these steps to find out if your occupation qualifies: Select "Find Occupations" and then select a specific "Job Family." For example, select Architecture and Engineering and click "GO." Then click on the link for the specific Occupation. Following the same example, click "Aerospace Engineers." After selecting a specific Occupation link, select the tab "Job Zone" to find out the designated Job Zone number and Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating range. For additional information, see the Diversity Visa--List of Occupations Web page.
All entries received from each region are individually numbered, and at the end of the registration period, a computer system 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 will be the second case registered etc. All entries received during the registration period will have an equal chance of being selected within each region. When an entry has been selected, the entrant will be notified of his or her selection through the Entrant Status Check available starting May 1, 2013, on the E-DV Web site