The annual U.S. Diversity Visa (DV) lottery registration period for fiscal year (FY) 2025 opened on the U.S. Department of State’s website on Oct. 4, 2023, at noon ET. The free DV lottery offers green cards –permanent residence – through an annual lottery system to eligible applicants. For FY 2025, up to 55,000 green cards will be available, and registration will remain open until noon ET on Nov. 7, 2023.

To be eligible for the DV lottery, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Country of Birth: Applicants must have been born in one of the countries identified as having historically low immigration rates to the United States.
  2. Education or Experience: Applicants must hold a high school education (or its equivalent) or two years of qualifying work experience.

Most countries fall within the category of historically low immigration rates to the United States, making their citizens eligible for the DV lottery. In a change from FY 2024, citizens of the United Kingdom and its dependent territories are eligible to participate in the FY 2025 DV lottery.

However, individuals born in countries with historically high immigration rates to the United States are ineligible to participate in the DV lottery. For FY 2025, natives of the following countries are ineligible: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, The People’s Republic of China – including mainland and Hong Kong – Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Certain exceptions apply based on cross-chargeability of an applicant to the birth country of their spouse or parent.

All DV lottery registrations must be submitted through the Department of State’s online system and must include a digital photograph. Applicants may include their spouse and children when entering the lottery, but each person is limited to one entry. To prevent fraud, the State Department will not send email notifications or direct confirmations to DV registrants. Starting May 4, 2024, registrants can use their confirmation number to view lottery results on the State Department’s DV lottery entrant status page. For full DV lottery application instructions, visit the U.S. Department of State’s DV lottery page.