The Fiscal Year 2018 Diversity Visa lottery (DV-2018), which makes 50,000 green card numbers available each year to nationals of countries among six different geographic regions with low rates of immigration to the U.S., will be open for entries beginning noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on October 4, 2016, and will close for entries at noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 7, 2016. Eligible individuals who wish to participate in the program must apply in advance of the November 7, 2016 deadline and are encouraged to do as close to October 4, 2016 as possible as heavy demand may result in website delays. No late entries or paper entries will be accepted.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE
This year, those born in the following countries are ineligible participate in the DV lottery due to the countries' high rates of U.S. immigration: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. There is one change in eligibility this year in which natives of Ecuador are now eligible to apply in DV-2018. People born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan can also participate. Note, there are exceptions available to certain individuals who cannot register because of their country of birth but who have a spouse or parent born in an eligible country. For a complete list of all countries eligible for the DV lottery, please visit the State Department's DV Instruction Page.
Note, all applicants must have a minimum of a high school education or its equivalent (defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education) or at least two years of qualifying work experience in order to qualify.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Applicants are encouraged to review and follow the State Department’s Diversity Visa Program Entry Instructions. Incomplete entries will be disqualified, as will any duplicate entries.
Applicants are chosen through a randomized computer drawing and the results for the FY2018 DV-lottery will be announced on May 2, 2017. Once an application is accepted, applicants will receive a confirmation number, which can be used to check the status of their application. Note, this is the only way to check the status of an application - the Department of State will not mail notification letters or notify selectees by email. Finally, interested applicants are advised to beware of DV-lottery fraud. The State Department Website is the only authorized DV lottery website and there is no fee for lottery registrations.