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Why is my DV Lottery not working?

If you are having issues with your DV lottery entry, there are a few common reasons why it may not be working properly. The DV lottery, also known as the green card lottery, allows people to apply for a chance to receive a green card and immigrate to the United States. Each year millions of people enter, but only around 50,000 applicants are selected. Here are some quick answers to common DV lottery issues:

Website Errors

The DV lottery website can sometimes have technical issues or be down for maintenance. If you are getting error messages or cannot access the site, try again later. The high volume of traffic to the site when registration first opens can also cause slow loading times or other glitches.

Mismatched Information

All of your application information for the DV lottery must match your valid passport. If any details like your name, birth date, or country of origin do not match, it can cause problems with your entry. Double check that everything corresponds accurately to avoid rejections.

Photograph Requirements

Your entry photo must meet very specific technical requirements, like size, pixel dimensions, and background color. If your photo does not follow the rules exactly, your entry may not work properly. Refer to the photo requirements and use photo editing software if needed to adjust your image.

One Entry Per Person

You are only allowed to submit one DV lottery entry per person each year. Any duplicates or multiple entries will be disqualified. Make sure you have not entered more than once under your name and information.

Education or Work Requirement

In order to qualify for the DV lottery, you must meet certain education or work experience requirements. This means having either a high school education or its equivalent, or two years of recent work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training.

Country of Eligibility

There are restrictions on which countries can participate in the DV lottery each year based on visa issuance levels. Double check the annual list of eligible countries to make sure you can apply. Native country is based on country of birth, not citizenship.

Submitted Without Confirmation Page

After submitting your complete DV lottery entry, you should receive a confirmation screen that you must print for your records. If you did not get the confirmation page, your entry was likely not recorded properly.

Entry Submission Period

There is a strict submission timeframe each year for DV lottery entries, typically only about a month long. All entries must be completed and submitted within the correct dates to be considered. Entries outside this period will not be accepted.

Incorrect Payment Method

The DV lottery entry requires a small fee, which must be paid online through a valid credit/debit card. Make sure your card is accepted and you enter the details correctly or your payment will not go through, making your entry incomplete.

Use of Prohibited Third Parties

You cannot use any third party agencies, consultants, or agents to assist you with your DV lottery entry or payment. Any entries submitted this way can be disqualified. You must complete all steps personally.

Checking Your Status

You can check your DV lottery entry status online using your unique confirmation number during the year following your submission. This will let you know if you were selected and provide further instructions if so. Do not wait to be notified by mail.


Troubleshooting common DV lottery issues can help identify what may be going wrong with your entry. Double checking that you meet all eligibility requirements, submitted accurate information, completed all steps properly, and adhered to the rules is important. Being aware of potential website, photograph, payment, and other technical issues can also help resolve problems accessing and completing your green card lottery entry successfully.

The Diversity Visa Program: A Closer Look

The Diversity Visa (DV) Program, also known as the green card lottery, is a United States congressionally-mandated lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. The Immigration Act of 1990 established the current and permanent Diversity Visa program. Here is a closer look at the origins, process, statistics, and future of the green card lottery system.

Origins of the Program

The concept behind the green card lottery stems from the Immigration Act of 1965. This abolished national origin quotas that favored select groups, shifting policy towards one focused on reuniting immigrant families and attracting skilled labor to the US. However, this led to reduced immigration from European countries. To help diversify the immigrant population, the 1990 Act established the green card lottery.

Goals of Diversification

The Diversity Visa Program aims to allow entry to applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. People born in countries that have sent over 50,000 immigrants to the US in the past five years do not qualify to enter the lottery. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions with no single country receiving more than 7% of the available DVs each year.

Eligibility and Application Process

Eligible applicants for the Diversity Visa lottery must meet strict education or work experience requirements. They must also be native to qualified countries and meet additional eligibility factors. There is no application fee but winners must pay required visa fees.

Education and Work Requirements

To enter the green card lottery, you must have either:

  • A high school education or its equivalent
  • Two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform

Other Eligibility Factors

Other requirements include:

  • Native of a qualifying country
  • Must meet all immigration eligibility requirements
  • Cannot have any grounds of visa ineligibility
  • Photograph meeting requirements
  • Completed online entry form and submission

Application Process

To enter the DV lottery, applicants must:

  1. Submit an online entry form with required information during the designated registration period
  2. Submit a digital photograph meeting requirements
  3. Complete an online confirmation page at the end

The required information includes biographical data, photograph, and eligibility information. The registration period is only about 30 days each year. Lottery winners are selected by a computer-generated random drawing.

Program Statistics and Selection

Each year millions of people apply for the Diversity Visa lottery. However, only around 55,000 visas are available. Here are some key statistics:

  • Around 14 million people registered for DV-2023
  • 55,000 diversity visas available for DV-2023
  • DV-2023 lottery received entries from over 180 eligible countries
  • Countries with most selectees: Ukraine (6,248), Egypt (5,307), Morocco (4,137)
  • DV lottery 2021: 5.6 million entries received

Selection Process

Lottery entrants are randomly selected by computer. Selected applicants and their eligible family members receive DV-1 notices in the mail with further instructions. Entrants can check online to see if they were selected using their confirmation number. Selection does not guarantee a visa, as further documentation and eligibility verification is still required.

Year Number of Entries Number of Selectees
2022 11.4 million 55,000
2021 5.6 million 55,000
2020 14.7 million 55,000

Future of the DV Program

While the Diversity Visa Program has been around for over 30 years now, its future remains uncertain. There have been various proposals to eliminate or alter the green card lottery throughout the years. But the DV program still continues for now. Here are some factors that play into its future:

Proposed Changes to the Program

There have been legislative efforts to end or modify the Diversity Visa Program over the years. Some proposals include:

  • Completely eliminating the program
  • Decreasing the number of available visas
  • Using a points-based system instead of random selection
  • Eliminating specific countries like those under TPS protection

Support and Criticism

There are arguments on both sides of the DV lottery debate. Supporters argue it helps diversify the immigrant population. Critics argue it is outdated or susceptible to fraud. The future will depend on balancing these viewpoints.

Ongoing Legal Challenges

There have been various legal cases challenging aspects of the Diversity Visa Program. In 2018, President Trump’s travel ban was upheld by the Supreme Court, preventing lottery selectees from restricted countries. The outcomes of ongoing legal battles will factor into the policy.

While the DV lottery aims to diversify immigration, its fate remains unclear. The program faces an uncertain future but continues for now. The legal challenges, proposals, and debate over the green card lottery will ultimately determine its lasting viability.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people apply for the DV lottery each year?

Around 10-15 million people apply for the green card lottery each year. For example, over 14 million people submitted entries for DV-2023. However, only around 55,000 diversity visas are available annually.

How are DV lottery winners selected?

DV lottery entrants are selected through a randomized computer drawing. The lottery is not first-come, first-served. All entries within the submission period have an equal random chance of selection if they meet eligibility rules.

How long do you have to wait to check DV lottery results?

You must wait until around May of the following year to check if you were selected in the lottery. Results are not available immediately. Status check instructions will be provided on the DV program website.

Can I pay someone to enter the lottery for me?

No, the DV lottery rules prohibit using agents, third parties or paying others to submit your lottery entry. All entrants must complete all steps personally or risk disqualification.

What are the educational requirements to enter the lottery?

You must have either a high school diploma or its equivalent, or prove two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring training for two years.

Are there any fees to enter the DV lottery?

No, there is no fee to submit the online lottery entry form, photo, and application. However, if selected you must pay all required visa fees and costs.

Can I enter the green card lottery more than once?

No, you can only submit one online DV lottery entry per person per year. Any duplicate or multiple entries will result in disqualification.


Winning the green card lottery provides a valuable opportunity for many hoping to immigrate to the United States. While millions enter each year, only around 55,000 are ultimately selected through the Diversity Visa random drawing. The lottery aims to diversify the immigrant population. However, the program faces an uncertain future given challenges to its validity. Understanding the complete ins and outs of the DV lottery process, requirements, and statistics can help make your entry as smooth as possible.