USA: Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

October 1, 2015

The USA congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and provides a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) each fiscal year to be made available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

Candidates under the Program, termed “Diversity Immigrants”, must meet meet simple, but strict, eligibility requirements, such as  being high school educated or equivalent and hold a clear criminal record. Selectees are chosen through a randomised computer drawing.  The visas are then distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas allocated to regions with lower rates of immigration, whilst none are issued to nationals of countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the past five years.  Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.

Natives of the following countries were not eligible to apply for DV-2016, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the US in the previous five years:

Bangladesh Jamaica
Brazil  Mexico
Canada Nigeria 
China (mainland) Pakistan
Colombia Peru 
Dominican Republic Philippines
Ecuador South Korea
El Salvador  UK (except Northern Ireland)
Haiti Vietnam












For DV-2017, the application period is expected to open in October 2015 and last until early November 2015.  The results of the lottery should then become available on the US Department of State website starting in May 2016. 

For further information on the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2016) please contact us.