Each year, the Diversity Visa (DV) Program makes up to 55,000 immigrant visas available to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Of such visas, 5,000 are allocated for use under NACARA beginning with DV ’99.
The Department of State (DOS) holds the diversity visa drawing annually, and randomly selects approximately 110,000 applicants, from all qualified entries. The DOS selects approximately 110,000 applications since many will not complete the visa process. However once 55,000 visas are issued or the fiscal year ends, the DV program is closed.
If you receive a visa through the Diversity Visa Program, you will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.
The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random diversity drawing chooses selectees for diversity visas.
The visas 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 single country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.