What is the Green Card Lottery?

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the green card lottery, is a United States government lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. The Immigration Act of 1990 established the current and permanent Diversity Visa (DV) program.

The lottery is administered by the Department of State and conducted under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It makes available 50000 (55000) immigrant visas annually and aims to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants from countries with low numbers of immigrants in the previous five years. As of 2017, around 20 million people apply for the lottery each year.