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What Applicants Should Know

The period to apply for the 2018 lottery (DV-2018) is October 4, 2016 - November 7, 2016.

  • Applications will only be accepted electronically. Mail-in and delivered applications will not be accepted, and multiple applications will be disqualified.
  • The official website is through the U.S. Department of State: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov
  • Not all countries qualify. If a person is from any of the following countries, they will NOT qualify for the lottery this year:
    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.
  • A complete list of qualifying countries can be found at https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Diversity-Visa/DV-Instructions-Translations/DV-2018-Instructions-Translations/DV-2018%20Instructions%20English.pdf
  • Selection in the lottery is completely random; there are no guarantees to being selected.
  • There is no application fee for the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery.
  • Be careful of deceptive advertisements.
    Some ads may claim the service provider is a Notary Public or "Notario" and will promise to represent you in immigration process or provide legal advice. Notaries are not authorized to do this unless they are also a licensed attorney.
  • Never leave original documents such as passports or other identity documents with an immigration service provider.
  • Don't pay to use web sites selling services or claiming they are "accredited" providers. Free filing is available by going online to the Dept. of State web site at www.dvlottery.state.gov
  • Always keep a copy of the application. If someone else files for you, be sure to get a copy as well as an acknowledgement of receipt.
  • Avoid doing business with providers using a P.O. Box.
  • No business or service provider can guarantee winning.
    Selection is random. Filers do not get a better chance by paying a higher fee or by using a particular service provider.

Applicants can also call 311, the City’s 24-hour service information line to request names of immigration service providers or file a complaint regarding potential fraud. Operators at 311 can speak 171 languages and are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.