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Diversity Visa (Green Card Lottery)


Photos & Registration | Eligibility & Requirements | Procedures for Submitting

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a United States congressionally-mandated lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. It is also known as the Green Card Lottery. The lottery is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649) amended INA 203 to provide for a new class of immigrants known as "diversity immigrants" (DV immigrants). The Act makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

  • Online registration for the DV 2018 Program begins on noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 4, 2016 and ends at and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Monday, November 7, 2016.
  • Applicants may access the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV)
  • Paper entries will not be accepted. 
Entries will NOT be accepted through the U.S. Postal Service.
  • No entries will be accepted after noon, EST, on November 7.

Photos & Registration

Some of our Libraries can take a digital photo of you and provide laptops for online registration. This service is only available during limited hours, as listed below.


  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • October 14, 21, 28

Edenwald Library
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
October 28, November 4


Mid-Manhattan Library (4th-Floor PC Lab)
  • 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • October 15, 22, 29
  • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • October 4, 12, 17, 24, 26, 31
  • November 2, 7

Staten Island

  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, October 28 (Adult Learning Center)
    *No photography service provided
  • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, November 1 (Tech Connect Lab )
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM , November 2 (Tech Connect Lab )

Eligibility and Requirements

For DV-2018, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000
natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

Changes in eligibility this year: Ecuador is eligible for DV-2018.

Eligibility Requirement #1: Individuals born in countries whose natives qualify may be eligible to enter. 
EligibilityRequirement #2: Each DV applicant must meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program.

Please see the full instructions for detailed information. If a person cannot meet either of these requirements, they are not eligible to submit an entry to the DV program.

Procedures for Submitting an Entry to DV-2018

The Department of State will only accept completed Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Forms (E-DV Entry Form or DS-5501), submitted electronically during the registration period between noon, Eastern Daylight Time Tuesday, October 4, 2016 and noon, Eastern Daylight Time and Monday, November 7, 2016. There is no cost to register for the DV Program.

All entries by an individual will be disqualified if more than ONE entry for that individual is received, regardless of who submitted the entry. A person may prepare and submit their own entry, or have someone submit the entry for them. Individuals with more than one entry will be disqualified.

After you submit a complete entry, you will see a confirmation screen containing your name and a unique confirmation number. Print this confirmation screen for your records. It is extremely important that you retain your confirmation page and confirmation number. Without this information, you will not be able to access the online system that will inform you of the status of your entry. Think carefully if someone else offers to keep this information for you. You also should retain access to the email account listed in the E-DV. Starting May 2, 2017, you will be able to check the status of your entry by clicking on Entrant Status Check, and entering your unique confirmation number and personal information. For more detailed information about the DV 2018 process, refer to the Department of State website.

How do I begin the application process?

It is highly recommended you make sure your digital photo(s) meet all the requirements (see questions below) before you attempt to fill out the application. Photographs submitted must be a recent photograph, taken within the last 6 months. Once you have done all the necessary preparation, you can start your application.

How do I know my digital photo(s) meet the requirements?

Like passport photos, there are strict requirements for the composition, format and size of the photos you upload as part of the application. See the website for tips and examples of proper composition. If your digital photos meet the composition requirements, you can use this "photo check" to make sure they also meet the format (JPEG) and size requirements.

My digital photo(s) do not meet the requirements. Can I fix it at the library?

Yes. If you only need to change the format or size, or remove (“crop”) extra space around the sides, and if you feel comfortable following the instructions below, you can make an appointment and do this on a library computer. If you require more assistance with your digital photos, it is highly recommended you visit the library at the locations and times listed below, where more help can be provided.