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Is passport required for DV?

The Diversity Visa (DV) program, also known as the green card lottery, is a U.S. government program that offers up to 50,000 immigrant visas each year to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Applicants are selected through a random lottery drawing. If selected, you must meet eligibility requirements and go through the U.S. consular immigrant visa application process in order to qualify for a green card.

Do you need a passport for the diversity visa lottery?

Yes, having a valid passport is a requirement for the diversity visa lottery application. According to the U.S. Department of State, each applicant must provide a scanned copy of a valid passport as part of their online application. Your passport must be valid for travel to the United States and have an expiration date at least 6 months beyond the end date of the diversity visa program year for which you are applying. For example, if you are applying for DV-2023, your passport should not expire before June 30, 2024. Without a valid passport, your diversity visa application will be disqualified.

Why is a passport required for the green card lottery?

There are a few key reasons why a valid passport is an essential requirement when applying for the diversity visa lottery:

  • Proof of identity and citizenship – Your passport provides proof of your identity, citizenship, age, and other biographic details that are required information for the diversity visa application.
  • Travel document – If you are selected through the lottery, you will need a valid passport from your country of citizenship to travel to the United States for your visa interview and to enter the U.S. as an immigrant.
  • Security screening – U.S. immigration needs your passport information to run background checks and security screenings as part of the visa application process.
  • Photographic identity document – The passport provides an identifying photograph that is used on your diversity visa and immigration documents.

In short, your passport is a crucial identification and travel document required at various stages of the DV lottery and green card process. Without it, you will be ineligible to apply or immigrate to the U.S. through the diversity visa program.

What type of passport is required?

For the diversity visa lottery, you must have a passport issued by the government of the country in which you claim citizenship and eligibility. The following types of passports meet the requirements:

  • Regular passport – An ordinary passport booklet issued to citizens for occasional travel, such as vacations and business trips.
  • Official passport – Issued to government employees, military personnel, and diplomats assigned overseas.
  • Diplomatic passport – Issued to diplomats and consular officers for official government travel and diplomatic immunity.

In some countries, different classes of passports are issued according to profession or purpose of travel. As long as it is issued by your government, any official passport is valid for the DV lottery entry. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of the program year.

Are other travel documents acceptable?

No, the diversity visa lottery only accepts a passport issued by your government as proof of identity and citizenship. The following types of travel documents cannot be used:

  • Driver’s license
  • National ID card
  • Birth certificate
  • Voter registration card
  • Military ID
  • Temporary/emergency passport
  • Expired passport
  • Passport of another country

If you do not have a valid passport or are unable to get one from your country of citizenship, you will not meet the requirements for entering the green card lottery.

What if my passport expires soon?

Your passport must be valid through at least 6 months after the end of the upcoming fiscal year’s diversity visa program. For example, if you are applying for DV-2023, your passport should have an expiration date after June 30, 2024. This provides sufficient validity for the entire duration of the green card lottery and visa process which takes 12-18 months. If your passport expires sooner, you must renew it before submitting your online lottery entry form and photos. Make sure to scan and upload the biographical page of your new valid passport.

Can I enter without my passport number?

No, the U.S. government requires your valid passport number to complete the diversity visa application. Failing to provide accurate passport details will lead to disqualification. When registering your entry online, you will need to input your valid passport number, issue date, expiration date, and scan the biographical data page. If you have not obtained a passport yet, you must do so before applying to the green card lottery. There are no exceptions to the passport requirement.

What if my passport was lost or stolen?

If your passport was lost, stolen or damaged, you should apply for a replacement passport through your government’s passport authority before entering the diversity visa lottery. You must scan and submit your new valid passport information and documentation. An expired or previously held passport number cannot be used. You must have a valid passport in hand to complete the entry requirements.

Can I enter with two passports?

If you have dual citizenship and hold two passports from different countries, you can only enter the green card lottery using the passport of the country that qualifies you for eligibility in the DV program. For example, if you have Canadian and Greek citizenship, but were born in Greece, you should enter using your Greek passport. Make sure your birth country qualifies for the diversity visa before applying. Do not submit information from multiple passports in your lottery entry.

What are the passport requirements after selection?

If you are selected in the random drawing, you and any eligible family members will need to obtain valid passports to complete your visa applications at the U.S. consulate. The passport requirements at the interview stage are:

  • Must be a passport issued by your country of citizenship.
  • Must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended date of U.S. entry as an immigrant.
  • Passport number must match the one used in your original diversity visa lottery submission.
  • Must not be damaged or altered in any way.

Your new immigrant visa will be affixed into your passport when issued. You will also need your passport to travel to the U.S. to complete processing for your green card after arrival. Ensure your passport is valid and will not need renewal before your visa interview appointment to avoid delays.

Can I enter the DV lottery without a passport?

Unfortunately, there is no way to enter or qualify for the diversity visa program without a valid passport. U.S. immigration law specifically mandates passport requirements for the green card lottery under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Attempting to enter the lottery without a passport will lead to immediate disqualification and rejection of your registration. Any applications submitted without scanned passport photos are considered incomplete.


In summary, having a valid passport is an absolute requirement to enter the diversity visa lottery and throughout the green card application process. You must provide your valid passport number, issue and expiration dates, and scanned passport photos when submitting your online DV entry form. Failure to meet the passport requirements will make you ineligible for selection. If chosen, you will also need a valid passport to complete visa processing and travel to the U.S. as a new immigrant. Make sure to renew your passport early if it will expire within 6 months after the end of the upcoming fiscal year’s visa program.

Question Answer
Do you need a passport for the diversity visa lottery? Yes, a valid passport is required to apply for the diversity visa lottery.
Why is a passport required? A passport proves your identity, citizenship, provides a travel document, is needed for security checks, and contains a photo ID.
What types of passports are accepted? Regular, diplomatic, and official government-issued passports are accepted.
Can I use other documents instead of a passport? No, only a passport from your country of citizenship is accepted.
What if my passport expires soon? You must renew your passport if it expires within 6 months after the end of the fiscal year.
Can I enter without my passport number? No, you must provide your valid passport number to complete the application.
What if my passport is lost or stolen? Get a replacement passport issued before submitting your lottery entry.
Can I use two passports if I have dual citizenship? No, only use the passport from the eligible birth country.
What are the passport rules after selection? Must be valid for 6 months after U.S. entry, match initial application, undamaged.
Can I enter without a passport? No, a passport is legally required to enter the green card lottery.

Additional Questions and Answers

Here are some additional commonly asked questions about passport requirements for the diversity visa program:

Do lottery winners need a new passport for the visa interview?

You do not necessarily need a new passport, but your existing one must meet all validity requirements. It must be undamaged, match your original application, and have at least 6 months validity beyond your U.S. entry date. Renew early if needed.

Can my family members apply without passports?

No, derivative spouses and children must also provide valid passports to be issued diversity visas and immigrate to the U.S.

What if my country doesn’t issue passports?

In rare cases where a country does not issue passports, a government-issued travel document may be accepted instead. Check with the U.S. consulate.

How do I renew my passport to meet requirements?

Contact your government’s passport office to apply for renewal well in advance if your passport will expire too soon. Renewal can take weeks or months.

What are the passport photo requirements?

Submitted photos must be 2×2 inches, full frontal face, in color, recent, undamaged. Glasses allowed. Check all photo rules.

Can someone else submit passport details on my behalf?

No, only you as the applicant can submit your valid passport information with your online entry. No third parties.

Do I need a passport first before applying for the lottery?

Yes, you must obtain a valid passport before submitting the online application and scanned passport photo page.

What if my country doesn’t issue passports to some citizens?

Unfortunately, you must have a valid passport to qualify and apply for the diversity visa program.

Passport Requirements Summary

  • Valid, undamaged passport required to apply for diversity visa lottery
  • Must be issued by country of citizenship
  • Must have at least 6 months validity beyond end of fiscal year
  • Passport number and scans must be provided in online application
  • Cannot use other documents like national ID cards or birth certificates
  • Renew passport early if expiration is too soon
  • Derivatives need passports too
  • Passport also required for visa processing and U.S. entry later
  • No exceptions made for passport requirements

Obtain a Valid Passport to Apply

In conclusion, properly understanding and meeting all passport requirements is crucial for diversity visa lottery eligibility and success. You must have a valid passport well in advance of the application period. Before submitting your online entry, check that your passport meets the validity period rules and will not expire too soon. Scan and upload the biographical data page of your passport as required. Failure to follow the passport requirements will invalidate your registration. If selected, continue to maintain a valid passport up to and after your visa interview appointment. Having proper passports for yourself and all family members is mandatory for immigration to the United States through the diversity visa program.