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What are the documents required for DV Lottery?

The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, also known as the green card lottery, is a program run by the U.S. Department of State that offers up to 50,000 immigrant visas each year to people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States. Applicants for the DV lottery must meet certain eligibility requirements and submit the required documents to be considered for the program.

Eligibility for the DV Lottery

To enter the DV lottery, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a native of a qualifying country – Countries that have sent over 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past 5 years do not qualify.
  • Have a high school education or equivalent or 2 years of work experience in the last 5 years in an occupation that requires at least 2 years of training.
  • Be admissible to the United States – You must not have criminal or health-related grounds for inadmissibility.

In addition, the following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Only one entry per person is allowed during each registration period.
  • If you are selected, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 can also apply for a green card.
  • Permanent residents and people who obtained green cards through the DV lottery in the past 5 years cannot apply.

DV Lottery Registration

Registration for the DV lottery is free and done electronically each year during a designated registration period. The lottery is usually open for entries for 30-60 days between October and November for the lottery held the following year. The entry form asks for the following information:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • City/town of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Country of eligibility or chargeability
  • Recent photograph meeting specifications
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Highest level of education completed
  • Spouse information, if married

It is crucial to provide the information accurately to avoid disqualification. You will receive a confirmation number after submitting the registration which you must retain to check the lottery results.

Documents Required for DV Lottery

If you are selected in the lottery, you must submit the following documents to the State Department’s Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) to proceed with your visa application:

1. Birth Certificate

You must submit a scan or photocopy of your birth certificate showing both your parents’ names. If your birth certificate is missing or unavailable, you may submit your family register, religious record, or early school record instead.

2. Marriage Certificate

If you are married, you must submit your original civil marriage certificate. Customary or religious marriage documents will not be accepted. If your marriage ended, you must also provide proof of termination such as a divorce decree or death certificate.

3. Police Certificates

You must obtain a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 6 months or more since turning 16. This includes your home country. The police certificate shows any criminal records and must be issued within 6 months before submission to the KCC.

4. Court and Prison Records

If you have any convictions or imprisonments, you must obtain certified copies of all court and prison records detailing the circumstances of each incident. Translations will be required for documents not in English.

5. Military Records

If you served in any country’s military, you must submit certified copies of your military record with discharge papers. Again, translations are required if not in English.

6. Passport

You must have a valid, unexpired passport to apply for a DV visa. Submit a copy of the biographical page of your passport showing your photograph, biographical information, and expiration date.

7. Photographs

You must submit updated photos of yourself, your spouse, and all children immigrating with you. The photos must be identical, 2 x 2 inches, and taken within 6 months before submission.

8. Education Documents

To prove your education level, you must submit scanned copies of your degrees, diplomas, and transcripts showing the highest level of education you completed. Translations are required if not in English.

9. Work Experience Records

If qualifying based on work experience, submit letter(s) from your employer(s) detailing your occupation and time of employment. Self-employed applicants should submit tax receipts or other proofs of self-employment.

Document Details Required
Birth Certificate Name, date and place of birth, parents’ names
Marriage Certificate Spouses’ names, date and place of marriage
Police Certificates Records of any arrests or convictions from all countries lived in for 6+ months after age 16
Court and Prison Records Certified records relating to any convictions or incarcerations
Military Records Service records and discharge papers
Passport Bio page with expiry date
Photographs Recent 2×2 inch identical photos of applicant and family
Education Documents Degrees, diplomas, transcripts showing highest level of education
Work Experience Records Letters from employers detailing work history and occupation

All documents not in English must be accompanied by certified English translations. Failure to submit any required document in time will lead to disqualification, so it is important to get organized early.

Completing the DS-260 Immigrant Visa Application

After submitting all required documents to the KCC, you must complete the online DS-260 immigrant visa application for yourself and dependents immigrating with you. This comprehensive application collects biographical and background information and confirms your eligibility for a green card. It is important to double check that all information provided is accurate.

The DS-260 specifically asks for:

  • Your full name, gender, date and place of birth
  • Information on all passports current and expired
  • Address history for past 5 years
  • Family information, including all current and past spouses and children
  • Work, education, and travel history
  • Information on any prior visa applications
  • Details on any immigration violations or deportations
  • Whether you have any specialized skills, such as in science or athletics
  • Confirmation that you are not affiliated with terrorist organizations or involved in human trafficking
  • 10-year address history in the United States, if applicable
  • Parent and in-laws’ biographical information

It is recommended to thoroughly review each question and provide as much relevant detail as possible. Missed information can delay your visa application. Choosing N/A or None if a question does not apply to you is better than leaving it blank.

Submitting Financial Evidence

To prove you will not become a public charge in the U.S., you must submit evidence you will be able to financially support yourself and your dependents. This usually includes:

  • Employment verification letter stating your occupation and salary
  • Personal bank statements showing regular deposits and balances
  • Tax statements or receipts showing income sources
  • Deeds to any property owned
  • Sponsorship affidavits from relatives pledging financial support

Workers tend to submit employment letters and tax records as evidence. For those who are self-employed or rely on savings, bank statements are key. Property owners should include deeds and rental agreements. Having a mix of documents proving various income sources is best.

Poverty Income Guidelines

Your financial documents must show you meet or exceed the U.S. poverty income guidelines based on your household size. Refer the table below for the minimum income requirements:

Household Size Minimum Annual Income Required
1 person $13,590
2 people $18,310
3 people $23,030
4 people $27,750
5 people $32,470
6 people $37,190
7 people $41,910
8 people $46,630

Having assets equal to 5 times the difference between your household income and the poverty guideline can help overcome income deficits. With strong financial evidence, you stand a good chance of convincing consular officers you will not burden the U.S. government.

Completing Medical Examination

As part of your visa application, you and your derivatives must complete a medical exam by an authorized physician to screen for health-related grounds of inadmissibility. The exam typically includes:

  • Medical history review
  • Physical examination
  • Chest X-ray and tuberculosis skin test
  • Blood draw to test for syphilis

Additional tests may be required if initial results warrant further examination. Female applicants may also be tested for pregnancy. In most cases, the entire exam can be completed in one day. The physician will either clear you as having passed the exam or recommend treatments you will need to obtain before approval.

Vaccination Requirements

During the medical exam, you will also be screened for the following required vaccinations:

Vaccine Requirements
MMR 2 doses required for those born in 1957 or after
Polio At least 3 doses if under 18
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis 3 dose primary series and booster within past 10 years
Hepatitis A 2 doses required for those 12 months and older
Hepatitis B 3 doses required for those under 19
Meningitis 1 dose required for children age 2-18
Rotavirus 2-3 dose series required for under 8 months old
Influenza 1 dose required annually

You must obtain any missing vaccinations before your medical results can be approved. Waivers may be available in some cases, but the visa process cannot continue until you meet health requirements.

Interview at U.S. Consulate

The final step is attending an in-person visa interview at the designated U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You will be scheduled for an interview after submitting all required documents and completing the DS-260 application. The consular officer will:

  • Confirm your identity
  • Review your documentation and eligibility for the visa
  • Ask you questions about your background and plans in the U.S.
  • Determine if you can demonstrate intent to immigrate legally to the U.S.

Some tips for having a smooth interview include:

  • Dress professionally as you would for an important business meeting
  • Do not bring family members or children with you
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment
  • Be honest in answering all questions from the consular officer
  • Stay calm and do not argue if you are denied – ask what options you have

During the interview, the consular officer will either issue you an immigrant visa on the spot, request additional evidence if needed, or deny your application if you are found ineligible. If approved, you will receive a sealed envelope containing your medical examination report and visa documentation.

Entering the United States

After receiving your green card visa packet, you will be given instructions on paying the required USCIS immigrant fee. You must enter the U.S. within 6 months of your medical exam or visa issuance date, whichever is earlier. When passing through U.S. customs, you will need to provide:

  • Your passport
  • Sealed immigrant visa packet
  • Evidence of paying the USCIS immigrant fee

You will be fingerprinted and photographed at the port of entry before being formally admitted as a lawful permanent resident. You must then obtain a permanent resident card within 60 days by filing Form I-551 at your local USCIS office.


The green card visa process involves submitting extensive documentation and completing various steps. While complex, it offers the opportunity to permanently immigrate to the United States through the Diversity Visa Program. If selected, staying organized, diligent, and honest throughout the lengthy process gives you the best chance of success.