The Department of State will begin accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery (DV 2020). The Fiscal Year will start on October 1, 2019 and end on September 30, 2020. Each year the U.S. Congress authorizes the issuance of 50,000 immigrant visas for countries which are considered to be under-represented in the United States. This program provides a relatively uncomplicated and inexpensive method for immigration to the United States.

Entries must be received between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, October 3, 2018, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-4), Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Only those applications submitted electronically at Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery website during this time frame will be accepted.

Further information and application procedures are available at the following official Department of State internet addresses:

  1. Instructions here.
  2. FAQs: Starting on page 8 of the instructions above.
  3. Video instructions on completing the online form.

Note that it is the place of birth, not citizenship or nationality that determines eligibility. Note also that certain national groupings are subdivided into eligible and non-eligible countries. For example, individuals born in Hong Kong S.A.R. are eligible although mainland Chinese-born individuals are not; and Northern Ireland-born individuals are eligible although individuals born in other parts of the U.K. are not. The eligible countries are listed beginning at page 16 of the instructions.

It is important to follow the instructions precisely, to ensure that an application is not rejected on a technicality. It is also important to make sure that you are on the official State Department web site. Every year, several fraudulent web sites appear, looking very much like the official web site, purporting to offer entry into the Diversity Visa Lottery. The links I have provided above are all official U.S. Department of State links.