The only way to officially apply for a green card lottery is to apply online at the Dept. of State web site. Beware of any other non-government web sites that charge fees for this free application. See Fraud Warning.
The online form that you fill is called Form DS-5501, Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form, that is available only during the DV open registration period.
You can not download the form and fill it out. Starting with DV-2005, paper entries are not accepted. Online process makes the process more efficient and secure. Moreover, Department of State uses the special technology and other means to identify the persons who commit fraud or illegal immigration or those who submit multiple entries.
You should not wait until the last week of the registration period as there may be heavy demand and it may result in the web site delays.
If you do not fill the online form completely, your entry will be disqualified.
Regardless of who made the entry, if you make more than one entry, all of your entries will be disqualified. Regardless of who made the entry, you are are completely responsible for making sure that information in the entry is correct and complete.
Do not send any documents (birth certificate, work experience, school records etc.) anywhere, other than making an online entry.
1. FULL NAME – Last/Family Name in Capital letters, First/Given Name, Middle Name
2. DATE OF BIRTH – Day, Month, Year
Please note that even though the date of birth format normally used in the U.S. is Month, Day, Year; you are supposed to write the date of birth in the format Day, Month, Year as it is normally used in the most parts of the world.
3. GENDER – Male or Female
4. CITY WHERE YOU WERE BORN – Self-explanatory.
5. COUNTRY WHERE YOU WERE BORN – The name of the country that is currently in use for the place where you were born.
6. COUNTRY OF ELIGIBILITY OR CHARGEABILITY FOR THE DV PROGRAM – In most cases, it is the country of your birth. However, some applicants may be able to use the country of birth either their spouse or one of their parents.
Further details on Cross chargeability.
7. ENTRY PHOTOGRAPH(S) – Recent digital photographs of yourself, your spouse and all your minor unmarried children under 21 years of age, if applicable. The photograph must be an individual photograph. Family or group photographs are not accepted.
Include all your natural children, children of your other spouse, legally adopted children and stepchildren who are unmarried under the age of 21 years on the date of your application. You need to includes these children even if you are no longer married to the child’s parent, even if the child does not reside with you and/or will not immigrate with you.
Do not include your children who are already U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents.
If you are married, unless you are legally separated (i.e., there is a written agreement recognized by a court or a court order), you need to include your spouse as well even if he/she does reside with you and/or will not immigrate with you. Of course, if you are legally divorced or widowed, you no longer have a spouse and you don’t have to enter the former spouse information.
Married children and children 21 years of age or older are not eligible to be included in your DV application. However, according to the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), it may be possible for the child to immigrate with you if the DV application is made before the child turns 21 and the child turns 21 before visa issuance. In such cases, he/she may be protected from aging out and will be treated as if he/she were under 21 years solely for the purpose of processing the visa. However, in order to take advantage of this, the child actually must seek to acquire the immigrant visa within a year of the visa becoming available.
If you fail to list all of your eligible children and/or your spouse, it will result in the disqualification of the entire case and the immigration visa will be rejected at the time of visa interview. Of course, if you had any children born after you made the application and before the visa was issued, you could obviously not include those children in the original application and they would still get the immigrant visa.
Of course, you do not need to be married or have children in order to apply for lottery green card.
8. MAILING ADDRESS – In Care Of, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, City/Town, District/County/Province/State, Postal Code/Zip Code, and Country.
9. COUNTRY WHERE YOU LIVE TODAY – Self-explanatory.
10. PHONE NUMBER – It is optional. However, if you have a phone number where you can be reached, is it recommended to put it.
11. E-MAIL ADDRESS – Starting with DV-2011 onwards, it is no longer optional. It is mandatory. Please provide the email address to which you have direct access. Please do not provide someone else’s email address or a general company address.
You will NOT receive an official selection letter at this email address. However, if your entry is selected and you respond to the official letter you received from the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), you may receive follow-up communication from them by email.
12. WHAT IS THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF EDUCATION YOU HAVE ACHIEVED, AS OF TODAY? You must indicate which one of the following represents your own highest level of educational achievement: (1) Primary school only, (2) High school, no degree, (3) High school degree, (4) Vocational school, (5) Some university courses, (6) University degree, (7) Some graduate level courses, (8) Master degree, (9) Some doctorate level courses, and (10) Doctorate degree
13. MARITAL STATUS – Unmarried, Married, Divorced, Widowed, or Legally Separated
14. NUMBER OF CHILDREN- Total number of children. Please look at #7 above for further information.
15. SPOUSE INFORMATION – Name, Date of Birth, Gender, City/Town of Birth, Country of Birth, and Photograph. Please look at #7 above for further information.
16. CHILDREN INFORMATION – Name, Date of Birth, Gender, City/Town of Birth, Country of Birth, and Photograph. Please look at #7 above for further information.
Signatures are not required on the E-DV entry form.
Once you successfully register the entry, you will see a confirmation screen that contains your name and a unique confirmation number. Print this confirmation screen for your records. You will need this confirmation number in order to check the status online, starting March of the next year.
If you lose the confirmation page (or number), the only way to know whether you have been selected in the lottery would be if you receive an official letter by the post. The KCC can not resend the confirmation page or number to you. You can not get the list of selected persons from the U.S. embassy or consulate.