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Ask the Consul – October 2023
October 10, 2023

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Question: I am interested in the “Green Card lottery” and have noticed several websites offering assistance for a fee.  Can you offer a recommendation?

Answer: The “Green Card lottery,” officially known as the Diversity Visa program, is an annual immigration program implemented under U.S. law.  Through the program, 50,000 immigrant visas are allocated randomly to people from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States.  Individuals born in Trinidad and Tobago are eligible to enter.

A Diversity Visa allows you to enter the United States and apply for Lawful Permanent Residence status to live and work permanently in the United States. The Lawful Permanent Resident card is commonly referred to as a “Green Card.” There is no fee to submit an entry.

Registration for the 2025 Diversity Visa program opened at noon on Wednesday, October 4, and ends at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.  Entrants should apply early due to the heavy demand in the final days of the registration period.

The only way to submit an entry is via the official U.S. government website: dvprogam.state.gov . The U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain does not provide forms for mail-in applications. Review the requirements carefully before submitting an entry as there are work and educational criteria that must be satisfied to qualify for the Diversity Visa.

Eligibility to apply for this program is determined by your place of birth, not your current citizenship.  For further details on eligibility, visit dvprogram.state.gov .

Only one entry per person is allowed. If you submit additional entries, you will be disqualified. Valid passport information is also required to complete your submission.  If you are married or have children, be sure to include them on the application if they are planning to travel with you.

Once you have successfully submitted your online application by the deadline, be sure to save your confirmation number.  Should you lose your confirmation number, the Embassy will not be able to retrieve it.

Third party services are not needed and may charge an unnecessary fee.  If you use a third party, you should obtain and keep your confirmation number.  Quite often, these services are completely fraudulent.

To determine if your entry was selected, starting May 4, 2024, use your entry confirmation number on the Entrant Status Check (ESC), available at dvprogram.state.gov

Successful entrants will receive step-by-step instructions and notifications online.  DV-2025 visa applicants must appear in person for the interview to determine eligibility and provide required and supporting documentation.

The Diversity Visa program is often used by unscrupulous people for scams and visa fraud.  Do not give your credit card or banking information to anyone claiming to represent the Diversity Visa program. DV lottery winners pay fees only at the U.S. Embassy on the day of the visa interview. 

When seeking any visa-related information, we recommend you visit official sites, including the U.S. Embassy Port of Spain website: www.tt.usembassy.gov and dvprogam.state.gov .