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How do I check the status of my diversity visa?

The diversity visa program, also known as the green card lottery, is a program run by the U.S. Department of State that makes available up to 50,000 immigrant visas each year to people from countries with historically low immigration rates to the United States. If you’ve entered the diversity visa lottery and been selected, you’ll need to check the status regularly to see if you’ve been invited to apply for a diversity visa.

When can I check the status of my entry?

You can check the status of your diversity visa lottery entry starting on May 1 in the year you entered the lottery. The entry period for the diversity visa program is typically in October and November each year, for entry the following fiscal year. For example, if you entered the lottery in October 2022 for fiscal year 2023, you could check the status starting on May 1, 2023.

The U.S. Department of State does not notify you directly if you have been selected or not. You must check the online Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website to see if you have been selected to continue the visa process. Even if you don’t get selected right away, you should keep checking back regularly because selection is random. Being selected does not guarantee that you will receive a visa.

How do I check if I was selected?

To check if you were selected in the diversity visa lottery, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Department of State’s diversity visa lottery website at
  2. Click on “Entrant Status Check” in the menu
  3. Enter your unique confirmation number from your original diversity visa lottery application
  4. Enter your personal information exactly as it appears on your original entry
  5. Click the “Check Status” button

If your entry was selected, the status page will show a notification indicating you may be eligible to apply for a diversity visa. It will provide further instructions on how to proceed. If your entry was not selected, the page will display a “Has not been selected” message.

When will I know if I was selected?

The Entrant Status Check tool on the E-DV website is the only way to find out if you were selected. Here is the timeline for checking your status:

  • May 1 – You can first check the status for entries submitted the previous October
  • June 30 – The initial lottery selection process is completed
  • September 30 – The end of the fiscal year. The diversity visa program for the year closes on this date.

You should check your status regularly during the registration period between May 1 and September 30. The sooner you check and find out you were selected, the more time you will have to complete the rest of the application process.

What information do I need to check my status?

To check your diversity visa lottery entry status, you will need:

  • Form DS-5501 Confirmation Number from your original diversity visa lottery entry
  • Last/Family Name, First Name, Middle Name exactly as on your original entry
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • City where you were born
  • Country where you were born
  • Country of eligibility for the diversity visa lottery
  • Digital photo from your original entry (if prompted)

It’s very important that you enter all information exactly as it was on your original entry or you may not be able to access your status. Keep copies of your original information in a safe place.

What happens if I was selected?

If the Entrant Status Check shows you were selected, some of the next steps include:

  • Submitting a DS-260 immigrant visa application
  • Waiting to be scheduled for a visa interview at a U.S. consulate
  • Providing financial and civil documents to prove eligibility
  • Attending a medical exam by an approved doctor
  • Being approved for a diversity visa at your interview

The entire process must be completed by September 30 of the year you were selected, or you will lose your diversity visa. Processing times can vary at each step, so it’s important to complete each part as soon as possible.

Can I check the status for someone else?

Yes, you can check the status of someone else’s diversity visa lottery entry, but you must have the following information:

  • The entrant’s confirmation number
  • The entrant’s personal details (name, birth date, birth city/country, etc.)
  • The entrant’s digital photo

To protect privacy, you will need access to the entrant’s original lottery entry information to check their status. Do not lose or delete this information while the lottery entry is pending.

What are some common status messages?

Here are some of the statuses you may see when checking your diversity visa entry:

  • Entry Has Not Been Selected: Your entry was not picked in the random lottery selection process for further processing.
  • Entry Selected: Your entry was selected! You must submit additional documents to continue the visa process.
  • Refused: Your visa application was denied at some point in the process after initial selection.
  • Ready: Your visa application is completed and you may be issued a diversity visa number soon.
  • Issued: Your diversity visa has been issued.
  • Expired: You did not complete the application in time so your selection has expired.

The status will update as you go through the visa process until it is either issued or expires.

What if my confirmation information is lost or incorrect?

Your entry confirmation number is extremely important for checking your status. If you lose this number, unfortunately there is no way to retrieve it through the E-DV website.

You may consider submitting a new diversity visa entry for the following year. Make sure to save your confirmation number from that entry. There is no rule against submitting multiple entries as long as you qualify.

If you made a mistake in your original entry such as an incorrect birth date or spelling error, this could also prevent you from accessing your status. Again, there is unfortunately no way to correct the information online after submitting. Take extra care when preparing your initial entry.

Can I contact the Department of State about my status?

The Department of State does not provide individual entry status updates. The Entrant Status Check website is the only way to check your status. As long as you have your confirmation number, you should be able to look up any status changes or messages there.

If the website is down or unavailable, you will need to wait until it is working again to check your status. The Department of State will work to resolve any technical issues with the site as quickly as possible.

When is the diversity visa deadline?

There are a few key deadlines for the diversity visa process:

  • October/November – Diversity visa lottery entry period for the following fiscal year
  • May 1 – Earliest date to check entry status for the current year’s lottery
  • September 30 – Final diversity visa deadline. All applicants for the current year must be issued a visa by this date or they lose eligibility.

Once the fiscal year closes on September 30, no more diversity visas can be issued for that year. Keep the final deadline in mind when checking your status and completing your visa processing steps.

Can I apply for a diversity visa again?

Yes, you can enter the diversity visa lottery again in the next year if you meet the eligibility requirements. You may enter each year as long as you remain eligible. Your odds of being selected do not improve or decrease based on previous attempts.

If you were previously selected but did not complete your visa process in time, you may still submit a new entry. There are no limits on how many times you can enter the lottery.

However, you can only have one diversity visa application pending at a time. If you are selected again while still processing a previous visa, the new selection will automatically be disqualified.

What are the diversity visa requirements?

To enter the diversity visa lottery, you must meet these requirements:

  • Be a native of an eligible country – most countries qualify, see the list at for any exclusions
  • Have a high school education or equivalent work experience
  • Have at least 2 years of work experience in select occupations in the past 5 years

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 of the primary applicant can also receive diversity visas if the principle applicant is selected. Check all requirements carefully before applying.

How are diversity visas allocated?

Diversity visa selectees are randomly chosen by a computer-generated lottery. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions with higher numbers going to regions with historically lower rates of immigration to the U.S.

Within each region, no single country may receive more than 7% of the available diversity visas in a year. This helps distribute visas fairly around the world.

Here is the regional breakdown of available diversity visas:

Region Available Visas
Africa 19,000
Asia 8,500
Europe 14,000
North America 8
Oceania 1,500
South America, Central America, Caribbean 2,500

Selectees are randomly drawn from qualified entries within each region to fill that region’s allocation of visas.

How many people apply for the diversity visa lottery?

Millions of people around the world submit entries each year for the diversity visa program. For fiscal year 2023, over 5.7 million people entered the lottery compared to only 55,000 available visas. The large number of applicants makes the odds of selection quite low.

Diversity visa entries have also increased dramatically since the program began in the 1990s. Here is a look at the number of applicants over the history of the program:

Fiscal Year Number of Applicants
1995 160,000
2000 1.5 million
2010 14.6 million
2020 6.7 million
2023 5.7 million

The popularity of the program leads to more applicants competing for the limited number of available visas each fiscal year.


Checking your status in the diversity visa lottery program is an important step if you want to live and work permanently in the United States. Be sure to use the official Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website and keep your confirmation number and personal details safe.

Check your status regularly after May 1 each year to see if you were selected. If so, you’ll only have until September 30 to complete the remaining visa process. Understanding the requirements, timeline, and selection process can help ensure you don’t miss your chance to immigrate through the diversity visa program.