Registration for the Department of State’s Diversity Lottery will be opened from noon EDT on October 3, 2017, to noon EDT on November 7, 2017.

This program makes 50,000 immigrant visas available to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. The lottery registration and application process is conducted completely online and the eligibility requirements are minimal. There is no fee to register for the lottery. Random selection of qualified lottery applications will begin on May 1, 2018.

Eligible individuals must have:

  • At least a high school education or its equivalent; or
  • Two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.

Individuals cannot apply if they were born in any of the following countries:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China, mainland-born (those born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible)
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
  • Vietnam

These countries are not eligible because more than 50,000 natives from those countries have emigrated to the U.S. in the past five years.

If you were not born in a qualifying country, you might still be eligible if:

  • Your spouse was born in an eligible country
  • Neither of your parents was born or legally resident in the country of your birth at the time of your birth, in which case you could claim eligibility based upon one of your parents’ countries of birth

Full details on how to apply to the Diversity Lottery (DV-2019) can be found on the Department of State website, which includes Frequently Asked Questions:

President Donald Trump has said he wants to eliminate the diversity lottery and he supports the RAISE Act. The Act would eliminate the program. Nevertheless, for this year, the program remains intact.