DV lottery

How idPhotoDIY works
Create your passport / visa photos online for printing and online submission


How it works

1. Take a picture

Use a white wall as background, take several photos with a camera or smartphone

2. Crop the photo

Crop your photo to the correct ID or passport size photo. Over 50 templates available!

3. Download and print

Download your photo and print it at any photo store or online. Single digital photo is also available.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a U.S. government lottery program to obtain a U.S. Permanent Resident Card. A random drawing determines the winners from among the 10–12 million people who enter the lottery every year, which is also known as the green card lottery.

The United States is a country of immigrants. The number of people coming to the United States is much higher from certain countries than from others. US immigration laws regulate immigration from particular regions of the world in order to maintain diversity in the population.

Applicants from countries with low immigration numbers in the past five years may apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, which provides 55,000 immigrant visas annually.

Entry is only possible through the Department of State website, which is free of charge. Fees are only required for lottery winners.

When can I apply for DV Lottery?When DV Lottery is open?

DV lottery opens every year for about a month. It is usually possible to apply between early October and early November. Only during this period will the entry form be available for submission. There will be no acceptance of entries through the U.S. Postal Service.

What are the requirements of DV lottery application?

In order to qualify for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, the principal applicant must

  •  born in an eligible country
  • have a high school educations (A 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education completed successfully) or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience.

Without the required education or qualifying work experience, one is not eligible for a diversity visa. Only the principal applicant must meet the requirement. The spouse and children do not need to meet this requirement. If you do not meet the educational or work experience requirements, you might not be eligible for a diversity visa.

How DV lottery winners are selected? Is DV Lottery first come first serve? Is the DV lottery really random?

Diversity Visa lottery winners are selected randomly by a computer program with certain numbers of visas allocated to each region of the world.  There is no country that receives more than 7% of the available Diversity Visas.

What documents do I need for DV Lottery?

  • For registration in the DV Lottery, applicants must submit the following information:
    • Last name, first name(s)
    • Date, place and country of birth
    • Photo (of principal applicant and any dependents)
    • Address
    • Educational attainment at the highest level
    • Passport information (number, country of issue, and expiry date of the passport)
    • Situation in marriage
    • if applicable, information on children and spouse
  • Before interview, you need to prepare the following documents

    • Courier registration

    • Visa application

    • Passports

    • Birth certificate

    • Adoption certificate

    • Marriage/divorce certificate

    • Police certificate
    • Court and prison records

    • Military records

    • Visa photo

    • Evidence of financial support

    • Proof of relationship

    • Results of medical examination

    • English translation of civil documents

    • Evidence of required education or work experience

    • Other documents reflecting name change

    • Visa fee


What are the next step after winning DV Lottery?

1.Fill out the online DS-260 application immediately to schedule an interview appointment with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

2. Confirm Your Qualifications

3. Submit Your Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application

4. Submit Supporting Documents(if required)

Which country is eligible for DV Lottery?

Every year is different, you may check on US government website.

How many times can I apply for DV Lottery?

Each person is only allowed to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery once per year! Anyone who submits more than one form will be disqualifed.

Can I marry after winning DV Lottery?

A US consulate interview takes place at least half a year after you win the lottery. Green Card eligibility will automatically be extended to the new family member if you marry or have a child during this time.

How long is a DV visa valid?

It is usually valid for up to six months from the date of issuance, unless your medical examination expires sooner.

Can I apply DV Lottery without education?

In order to qualify, you need a high school diploma or at least two years' experience in a position that requires two years of training.

Your DV application will not be considered if you do not meet the educational and experience requirements.

What is the age limit for DV Lottery?

While a minimum age is not required to apply, the requirement of a high school education or work experience for each principal applicant at the time of application effectively excludes most persons under the age of 18.   

There are no restrictions upwards.

How do I know if my visa is approved?

The only way is to use your confirmation number to access the Entrant Status Check available on the E-DV website at dvprogram.state.gov.

Can I apply for DV lottery without passport?

No, you must have a passport.

How can I apply for U.S. lottery?

Entries for the DV program must be submitted electronically at dvprogram.state.gov in the entry period.

How can I increase my chances of winning DV Lottery?

All eligible family members should register for the lottery in order to increase your family's chances of success. 

Click here to make passport / visa photos

Other passport pictures guides

How to take passport photo in 5 steps?

Step 1: Use a digital camera or a smartphone to take a photo

Find someone to take the photo for you and selfie photo is not acceptable for passport photo application. If you have a tripod, use it. A tripod will make it easier to keep the camera steady and level. The distance of the person to the camera should be around 1 meter.

Step 2: Find a venue with good lighting

When taking photo, you should face the light, such as a nice bright window or the door. This can provide even lighting to avoid shadows on the face and background. The face must be evenly lit. There should be no shadows and glares on the face.

Note: No need to worry about the background as our online passport photo generator will automatically remove or change the background for you.

unacceptable passport photo

Step 3: Wear properly for your passport photo

Do not wear uniforms. Wear regular street clothes in your photo.

Do not wear eyeglasses. If you wear glasses, sunglasses, or tinted glasses, take them off for your passport photo.

Your face must still be fully visible.  Don’t let your hair drape over your face and obscure your eyes. If you have very long bangs that cover your eyebrows, you should pin them back with bobby pins. It’s best if your ears show, as well, but that won’t cause your photo to be rejected.

No hats are allowed in passport photos unless it is religious headgear such as a headscarf or yarmulke that you wear every day.

acceptable passport photo

Step 4: Pose for a passport

Look straight towards the camera with face straight on. Head should not be tilted or rotated.

Both ears showing or both edges of the face visible if hair covers the ears.

Shoulders should be visible, and there should be enough space around the head for cropping the photo.

Position the camera in the same height as the head.

unacceptable passport photo

unacceptable passport photo

Step 5: Have a neutral facial expression

You can smile in your passport photos, but the government prefers that you have a neutral facial expression.

Smiling or having your mouth open is usually not acceptable, especially under the new international passport rules.

acceptable passport photo

Unacceptable passport photo


Good and bad passport photo examples

Example of passport photos

Printed passport photos

Online Passport Photo Generator

Is this document useful?

This document is rated 4.8 / 5 - 16 Votes