The annual Diversity Lottery (i.e. green card lottery) opens this week for the 55,000 visas. The registration period this year is from noon Eastern Daylight Time on October 4, 2023 until noon Eastern Standard Time on November 7, 2023. Each year the U.S. State Department runs the program to encourage individuals from countries with historically low numbers of immigrants to the United States to apply for green cards.

Based upon higher numbers of immigrants in past years, for this year, persons born in the following countries may not participate in the Diversity Lottery: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born and Hong Kong), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Venezuela, and Vietnam. If you were born in one of the ineligible countries but have a spouse who was born in an eligible country, you both can apply and base your entry on the eligible spouse’s country of birth. Also, if your parents were born in an eligible country and were not residents in your (ineligible) country of birth when you were born, you still can apply for the Diversity Lottery.

Note that natives of the United Kingdom and its dependent territories ARE eligible to apply this year.

The process involves three steps: 1. Submit an online application during the October – November registration period at (only once the registration period opens will you see the application link), 2. Check your application status starting May 4, 2024 at the same website to see if the State Department selected your application, and 3. Watch the monthly cutoff dates (in the Visa Bulletin, at beginning in mid-September 2024 (when the State Department publishes the October Visa Bulletin) to determine when you can submit your actual application for a green card.

There are several things to keep in mind. The first step of submitting an application is free. Be sure to follow the instructions and submit your application (and later check your application’s status) through the U.S. State Department’s official DV Lottery website and not through a private service (e.g. with a .com or .org website) that would charge you a fee to do it. Next, to qualify, you must have at least a high school education (12 years total) or two years of experience within the last five years in a job that requires at least two years of training or experience. Finally, be sure to read and follow all instructions, which you can download from the website ( Good luck!