The congressionally mandated Diversity Visa Program makes available up to 55,000 diversity visas (DVs) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
People who wish to participate in the Diversity Visa Program must submit entries electronically during the registration period using the electronic DV entry form (E-DV). The registration period normally runs from early October to early November. Actual dates are announced by the U.S. Department of State each year. Paper entries are not accepted. There is no fee to enter the Diversity Visa lottery; if a website requests you pay a fee in order to enter the program the website is not the official website and is likely a scam. (Please note that while there is no fee to enter the lottery, winning applicants will need to pay the visa application fee when they interview. This fee will be paid at the U.S. Embassy on the day of the interview. Do not pay application fees to any other person.)
For more information, visit the Diversity Visa Program website, and review the Diversity Visa Program Entry Instructions. These instructions must be followed exactly; failure to include all required family members in the initial entry will result in the automatic refusal of the case at the time of the interview.