Green card lottery applicants whose entries are selected must attend a visa interview. Winners are randomly selected through a computer generated system, and upon being notified of their selection must submit an immigrant visa application and prepare for their green card lottery interview.
Before selected applicants attend the DV lottery interview, they must:
- Meet green card lottery eligibility requirements, including the education and work qualification.
- Confirm their qualifications.
- Submit a visa application.
- Prepare supporting documents.
- Review any additional information provided by the US Embassy or Consulate.
- Prepare for the DV lottery visa interview.
Preparing for Green Card Lottery Interview
Once you receive a notification of your scheduled green card lottery visa interview, you should start preparing for DV lottery interview in advance. The following steps should be taken in preparation for your visa interview.
Review Scheduling Information.Find your information under DV Entrant Status Check.
Review Embassy or Consulate InstructionsThe US Embassy or Consulate at which you are attending your visa interview may provide you with specific instructions. You can find the specific details for your Embassy or Consulate by clicking on the drop down menu here.
Schedule a Medical AppointmentYou must schedule and complete a medical examination for yourself and your accompanying family members before attending your visa interview. Your physician should give you a medical exam envelope, which should be brought unopened to your scheduled DV lottery interview. It is very important that the seal is not broken on the envelope.
Gather Required DocumentsEach applicant (including each applying family member) must bring the following required documents to the green card lottery visa interview.
- Appointment letter
- DS-260 confirmation page
- Valid passport of each applicant
- 2 identical photographs of each applicant
- Medical exam results in sealed envelope
- Originals and copies of documents such as birth certificate and marriage certificate
- Supporting documents, if any
- English translations of documents that are not in English language
- Visa fees (if not paid prior to interview)
Pay Visa FeesThe diversity visa lottery fee is $330 USD (for DV-2016 and DV-2015). Each applicant must pay an individual $330 fee. In most cases, the diversity visa fee should be paid before the interview, but some US Embassies and Consulates may collect the fee at the time of the visa interview.
Spouses & Children
Children who are applicants of DV program must be unmarried and below the age of 21 years in order to qualify for an immigrant visa. However, you may check if your unmarried children turning 21 qualify for the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). Children 21 years of age or older may be able to immigrate if diversity visa application is filed before the child turns 21 years of age and child turns 21 before the immigrant visa is issued. CSPA protects a child’s age by decreasing his/her age solely for visa processing.
The principal applicant, spouse and any unmarried children below the age of 21 are required to attend the diversity visa interview. If your spouse and children plan to immigrate on a later date, they may have their interview scheduled separately. However, this may cause delays and in some cases, may cause them to lose the opportunity to immigrate on the basis of the diversity visa program.
If you were married and had children prior to applying for the diversity visa program but failed to mention their names, your case will be disqualified.
Rescheduling Green Card Lottery Interview
If you are not able to attend your diversity visa interview, you will have to reschedule it to a different date. You must contact your US Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible to reschedule your green card lottery interview. The US law states that all diversity visas for a fiscal year must be issued before September 30 of that year. Delaying your interview may cause you to lose your opportunity to immigrate through the DV program.
After Green Card Lottery Interview
On completion of your visa interview you will be informed if your case has been approved or denied. If denied, you will be informed why your case was ineligible to receive an immigrant visa. Some visa applications require administrative processing, which is usually resolved within 60 days of the visa interview.
If your case is approved after your diversity visa interview, you will:
- Receive your passport with your immigrant visa stamped on one of the pages.
- Receive a sealed immigration packet that must be presented to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the port of entry when you first arrive in the US as an immigrant. The seal must not be opened or broken.
- Enter the US before the expiration date on your immigrant visa. Immigration visas are usually valid up to 6 months from the date of issuance. In some cases, medical examination results expire before the expiration of immigrant visa, in which case you must travel before the expiration of both.
- Pay immigrant visa fee after the issuance of your immigrant visa but before traveling to the US.
- If bringing children with you, be sure their immunizations are up to date since most US schools require children to have certain vaccinations.
- Carry your X-ray reports with you; do not put them in checked luggage.
When immigrating to the United States on the basis of an approved diversity visa, you enter as a Lawful Permanent Resident, or green card holder, and may begin living and working in the US.
For more information about being a new permanent resident, read more about After Getting Green Card.