Diversity Visa Lottery

Important Notice – Process Changes for Immigrant, Diversity Visa and K visa applicants in South Africa
Effective 01 March 2017, the US Embassy will implement mandatory processes for all immigrant visa (IV), diversity visa (DV) and K visa applicants.  The changes require these applicants to register and/or schedule their visa adjudication appointments online, using this website PRIOR to their visa interviews. Applicants who fail to register will not be allowed to attend their interview.

For information regarding immigrant visa processing, please visit https://za.usembassy.gov/visas/family-immigration/

For information regarding K visa processing, please visit https://za.usembassy.gov/visas/immigrant-visas/fiancee/

This link supplies further information:  https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/interview/prepare.html

A consular officer interviews you on the day of your appointment and that officer determines your eligibility for the visa. You will either be issued the visa or given an explanation of why you are ineligible for the visa. Often, overcoming an ineligibility involves bringing in more documents. However, some more serious ineligibilities require a waiver from USCIS, which takes additional time and documentation. If a person is found ineligible to receive a visa under one of the ineligibilities, a waiver may have to be submitted. The process can be a lengthy one. The fingerprints of the beneficiary are taken. Then the prescribed waiver application form, together with the accompanying documents, including the FBI fingerprint check results are sent to the local DHS office in Johannesburg. The process can take between 3-6 months.

In all immigrant visa cases, only a U.S. certified attorney may act on behalf of the client. The attorney should execute the Form G-28 (Notice of Entry of Appearance), a copy of which should be attached to the petition. The attorney may assist in completing the necessary forms. However, on the final day of interview, only the applicant is interviewed. The attorney may accompany but may not participate in the interviewing process.

Types of Immigrant Visas

Immediate Relatives (no numerical limit):
IR-1 Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
IR-2 Minor Child of a U.S. Citizen
IR-3 Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
IR-4 Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. Citizen
IR-5 Parent of a U.S. Citizen

Note:  Immediate relatives each require their own petition. Derivative applicants (spouses, minor children) are NOT allowed to travel with the beneficiary of an IR petition.

The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program 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).

The Act makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The annual DV program makes permanent residence visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. Applicants for Diversity Visas are chosen by a computer-generated random lottery drawing. There is no fee charged for entering the lottery. Please be aware of companies or organizations claiming to improve an applicant’s chances of winning. The selection is random and in no way can it be influenced or skewed to enhance an applicant’s chances for selection.

Official Information is ONLY available on the State Department website. Specific details on how to enter the Diversity Lottery are available in October of each year, and the Lottery is run each November/December. Electronic entry forms can ONLY be accessed via the State Department web site. For your entry to be accepted the instructions must be followed exactly.

PLEASE NOTE: There have been instances of fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. Government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to “complete” lottery entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form.

Conditions of entry are subject to change each year, therefore Consular Posts are unable to provide detailed information, or accept applications.

To be eligible to enter, the applicant must have completed a minimum of twelve years education including FOUR years of high school, which must be the equivalent of a U.S. High School diploma (e.g. completion of 6th Form/year 12 in South Africa ) or qualify under Grade 7 employment standards as set by the U.S. Department of Labor.