Almost 10 million people from around the globe qualified last year to enter the 2023 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, popularly known as the visa lottery, which makes available up to 55,000 permanent resident visas, known as green cards, each year.
Newly released statistics from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs show that approximately 119,262 foreign nationals — entrants and their spouses and children — were selected and notified that they are eligible to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa.
DV-2023 winners were selected through a randomized computer drawing apportioned among six geographic regions from countries with low rate of immigration to the United States.
“Since the selection is blind to the number of family members who might immigrate with the selectee, and it is likely that some of the selectees will not complete their cases or will be found ineligible for a visa, this larger figure should ensure that all DV-2023 numbers can be used during fiscal year 2023,” authorities noted in the Visa Bulletin for August 2022.
Being chosen as a selectee does not guarantee that a foreigner who has been registered and notified as a winner actually gets a visa. But it is the first step to legally immigrate to the United States with permanent resident status without a U.S. visa sponsor.
Participants of the 2023 visa lottery can check if they were selected using the DV Entrant Status Check search tool at the Bureau’s website. This is the only way the lottery winners are announced.
Official notifications through the Entrant Status Check will be available through September 30, 2023, according to the 2023 visa lottery instructions.
READ MORE: Fewer people are now eligible to apply for the visa lottery thanks to this new requirement
Diversity visa lottery 2023 results
Immigrant visas allow visa lottery winners to live and work legally and permanently in the United States with lawful permanent residence.
A maximum of 7% of the program’s visas are available to persons born in any single country, authorities said.
As in previous years, the countries that most benefited from this visa program selection are Egypt, Iran and Russia, as well as Algeria and Sudan.
Here are the DV-2023 program results, measured by the top 10 countries with the highest numbers of qualified applicants selected:
▪ Egypt — 5,529
▪ Algeria — 5,526
▪ Iran — 5,506
▪ Russia — 5,505
▪ Sudan — 4,863
▪ Morocco — 4,469
▪ Congo Democratic Republic — 4,385
▪ Ukraine — 3,808
▪ Nepal — 3,808
▪ Ghana — 3,398
In the “South America” region, the three top counties were:
▪ Cuba — 1,358
▪ Peru — 1,191
▪ Ecuador — 446
READ MORE: Here’s what foreigners with tourist visas can and cannot do if they want to stay longer
DV-2023 green card winners: Next steps
If you or a relative was selected in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, the next step is to follow the instructions in the notification letter and fully complete all required steps.
The first one is to submit an application for permanent residence to the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky, using Form DS-260 and, consecutively, start to prepare for an interview in English.
“During the visa interview, the principal applicants must provide proof of a high school education or its equivalent, or show two years of work experience within the past five years,” State Department officials said in the August bulletin.
“Those selected will need to act on their immigrant visa applications quickly,” they urged, noting that all selected and eligible applicants must obtain their visa or adjust status by the end of fiscal year 2023.
The interview includes criminal and security questions to determine eligibility to immigrate to the U.S. The visa fee is $330.
2024 visa lottery registration period
Applicants not selected in the 2023 drawing still have an opportunity to qualify for the DV-2024 program.
According to the visa bulletin, the DV-2024 registration period will be widely publicized in the coming months.
“Those interested in entering the DV-2024 program should check the Department of State’s Diversity Visa website in the coming months,” officials said.
Read more: Need a U.S. green card, visa or lawyer? How to navigate immigration hurdles
Daniel Shoer Roth is a journalist covering immigration utility news who does not offer legal advice or individual assistance to visa lottery selectees. Follow him on Twitter @DanielShoerRoth.
This story was originally published July 13, 2022 2:41 PM.