What is the "DV Lottery" in Nevada?
Explained by Las Vegas Immigration Attorneys and Services


Foreigners from certain countries may enter the Diversity Lottery Program ("DV Lottery") to try to win a green card. As with any lottery, odds are against the players. But it offers an opportunity for aliens who otherwise might not be able to obtain permanent residency in Nevada.

On this page our Las Vegas NV immigration defense attorneys discuss how the DV Lottery works and how to enter. Click on a topic below to learn more: 

  1. What is the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, NV?
  2. Which countries are excluded from the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, NV?
  3. Am I eligible for the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, NV?
  4. How do I enter the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, NV?
  5. What if I am already in the U.S. when I win the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, NV?
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The diversity lottery may be the only way certain non-citizens can immigrate to the U.S.

1) What is the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, Nevada?

The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program gives permanent residency to up to 50,000 individuals from countries that produce relatively low rates of immigration to the U.S.. Winners are selected at random. The agency that administers the DV Program is the U.S. Department of State (DOS).1

2) Which countries are excluded from the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, Nevada?

With limited exception, native-born people from the following countries are currently not eligible to win a diversity visa: 

  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • mainland-born China: individuals who were born in Hong Kong S.A.R. (Asia region), Macau S.A.R. (Europe region), and Taiwan (Asia region) are eligible
  • Colombia
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    The U.S. Department of State administers the Diversity Lottery Program.
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
  • Vietnam

These countries are excluded from the DV Lottery because they have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the past five years.2

3) Am I eligible for the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, Nevada?

If you are a non-citizen, you may enter the DV Lottery if you were born in a qualifying country and meet either of the following two conditions: 

  1. You completed a high school education or its equivalent; or
  2. You have had two (2) years of job experience in the last five (5) years, which involved an job that requires a minimum of two (2) years of training or experience prior to performing the job.  
Exceptions:

If you were born in an excluded country, you may still qualify for the DV Lottery in either of the following ways:

  • Your husband or wife was born in a country where natives are qualified for the DV Lottery; or
  • Neither of your parents was born or lived in the excluded country at the time you were born, and at least one of your parent's native countries is not excluded under the DV Lottery.

Note that eligible aliens may enter the DV Lottery whether or not they are currently residing in the U.S.3 (For information on other types of visas, read our article on visas in Nevada.)

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Up to 50,000 diversity visas are given out annually through the United State's DV Lottery Program.

4) How do I enter the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Go to the DOS DV Lottery website to enter online. The site provides detailed instructions on how to apply and what information you need to provide. 

5) What if I am already in the U.S. when I win the "DV Lottery" in Las Vegas, Nevada?

If you are already living in the U.S. when you win the DV Lottery, you may apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjust your status to a permanent resident. Go the USCIS Information page on Green Card through Diversity Immigrant Visa Program to learn more.

Do You Need an Immigration Lawyer in Nevada?

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Call 702-333-3673 today for an immigration law attorney in Nevada.

If you have questions about immigration matters, contact our Las Vegas NV immigration attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). If we think we can help your case, we will fight tirelessly in an effort to achieve a positive outcome.

Legal References:

1 DOS Diversity Visa Program Instructions

2 Id.

3 Id.

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