Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Green Card Lottery. The U.S. Green Card Lottery, also known as the Diversity Visa Lottery, is a program that allows individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to apply for a permanent resident visa, or Green Card, to live and work in the United States.
The Green Card Lottery is held annually, and each year the U.S. Department of State makes 50,000 Green Cards available through the program. The lottery is conducted through an online application process, and individuals who are selected through the lottery can apply for a Green Card and move to the United States.
Green Card Categories
There are different categories of Green Cards for different groups of people.
1. Green Card through Family
This Green Card is given to you if you have close family in the US and you want to reunite with them. This type of Green Card is given only to immediate family, such as spouses, children, siblings, or parents of a US citizen or a US permanent resident.
2. Green Card through Employment
This is available to individuals with a job offer from a U.S. employer. The U.S. employer must first obtain a labour certification to demonstrate that no qualified U.S. workers are available. There are five employment-based categories based on the job requirements and qualifications of the employee.
3. Green Card through Refugee or Asylee Status
This is available to individuals who have been granted asylum or refugee status in the U.S. Refugees are individuals who were forced to flee their home countries due to persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Asylees are already in the United States and have applied for asylum due to fear of persecution.
4. Green Card through Diversity Visa Program
This is available through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery. This program randomly selects individuals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.
5. Green Card through Registry
You may be eligible to register for a Green Card if you have resided continuously in the U.S. since before Jan. 1, 1972.
6. Green Card as a Special Immigrant
7. Green Card for Human Trafficking and Crime Victims
The U.S. immigration system provides certain protections and pathways for victims of human trafficking and other crimes to obtain a Green Card
8. Green Card for Victims of Abuse
The U.S. immigration system provides certain protections and avenues for victims of abuse to obtain a Green Card
Green Card Lottery Eligibility Requirements
The exact requirements may also differ from year to year, so it is critical to carefully read the official guidelines. To apply for the U.S. Diversity Lottery, also known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements
- Applicant must be from a country that is eligible for the DV lottery to be eligible. Countries’ eligibility varies by year,
- Applicant must have either a high school education or its equivalent. This means that you should have completed at least 12 years of formal primary and secondary schooling.
- Alternatively, you can prove at least two years of work experience within the past five years in a qualified professional. Qualified professions are those that require at least two years of training.
- No age limit but you need to be above 16 years to be eligible to satisfy that you have completed at least 12 years of formal primary and secondary schooling.
There is a limited period during which you can register for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program during each fiscal year updated regularly on the official website. (https://dvprogram.state.gov/)
How to Apply for a Green Card in Kenya to USA
Requirement for Green Card Application
1. Passport Size Photo
To participate in the Green Card Lottery successfully, it is mandatory to provide a current photo of yourself in proper form. It must meet the following requirements:
- Full Color
- Neutral, Light Background
- No Glasses, Sunglasses, Or Non-Religious Headgear
- Not recognizably older than max. 6 months
- Photo(s) of Past Lotteries May Not Be Used Again
- Look Frontal into the Camera (Not Sideways)
- No Copies of Identity Cards or Passports
- Minimum Size of 300dpi, 5x5cm, 600×600 Pixels, Jpeg File
2. Birth certificate or National ID card
You must have a valid passport that will not expire for at least six months after your intended period of stay in the U.S. Though the passport requirement at the application stage was scrapped in 2023. Therefore you can apply without, then the passport later.
4. Application Form
You will need to complete and submit the online Diversity Visa Application form, which is available on the US Department of State’s website (https://dvprogram.state.gov/) during the application period.
Note: Applicants can include their spouse and children on their DV lottery application. if you are selected in the DV lottery and obtain a Green Card, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also submit documentation to receive a Green Card as well.
To apply for a Green Card through the Diversity Visa Program (also known as the DV Lottery or Green Card Lottery) in Kenya, you can follow these steps:
An internet connection or to go to a cyber cafe, a passport-size photo that meets the program’s photo requirements, your birth certificate or ID, and to electronically submit your entry on the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery website. It should be noted that multiple entries and submitting photos that do not meet the requirements will result in the applicant’s automatic disqualification. You can do an Entrant Status Check on the Diversity Visa Lottery website later on specified dates to find out if you qualified or not.
After you have completed the steps on the Diversity Visa Process on their website, you may then receive an email from the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) to let you know that an interview has been scheduled for you, if your application was successful. The e-mail will also give instructions on logging in to the Entrant Status Check on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website, using a DV entry confirmation number, to view the date, time and location of your interview.
At the end of your immigrant visa interview, the consular officer will inform you whether your visa application is approved or denied. If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers. However, if your visa has been approved, you will be informed how and when your passport and visa will be handed to you. At this point, you will be required to pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee of Ksh. 24,442 ($220).
It is worth noting that if you want to increase your chances of winning the lottery, both you, your spouse and eligible children should apply. This gives you a higher chance of winning or either of your family members winning because if any of them wins, then they can bring you to the USA too after following the due legal process.
Green Card Lottery Application Cost
There is no cost to enter the Diversity Visa Program. You should not have to pay to enter.
DV Lottery 2025
For DV Lottery 2025, you would need to refer to the official U.S. Department of State website or the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the registration start date. These sources will provide the official announcement and guidelines for the DV Lottery program. We recommend regularly checking the official U.S. Department of State website for the DV Lottery program updates and announcements.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about the application process, entry status, or anything else related to immigrant visas, please contact via mail
Email: [email protected]
Alternatively, you can contact the U.S. Embassy in Kenya’s immigration call centre
Phone: +254 20 764 0121/+254 20 500 0006