Ask the U.S. Consul October 2016

Visa photo

Question: I heard about a ‘Green Card’ lottery. Can people from Trinidad and Tobago enter and when does it take place?

Answer: Thank you for your question. The Diversity Visa Program, often called the ‘green card lottery,’ is an annual diversity immigration program. It makes available, by random selection, upwards of 50,000 immigrant visas to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Currently, Trinidad and Tobago is one of those countries.

Registration for the 2018 Diversity Visa Program will begin at noon on October 4, 2016 and will end at noon on November 7, 2016. There is no fee to submit an entry.

Eligibility to apply for this Program is determined by a person’s place of birth, not citizenship.  For details on eligibility and how to officially enter the Diversity Visa Lottery, visit

Once you have successfully submitted your online application by the deadline, make sure to save your confirmation number. It cannot be replaced or recovered, and without it, you will be unable to determine if you are a Diversity Visa winner. Be wary of third-party services that can represent an unnecessary additional expense and, if third parties are used, you should obtain and keep your own unique confirmation number.

The only way to determine if you have been selected as a Diversity Visa winner is to log into the website ( between May 3, 2017 and June 30, 2017. Enter your name, date of birth and confirmation number to review the result.

Please remember that only one entry per person is allowed.  People submitting multiple applications will be disqualified. Also, you will never receive correspondence from the U.S. government regarding your Diversity Visa, other than a reminder to check online to see if you have been selected as a winner.

Remember there is no fee to enter the DV Lottery. You do not need an agent or an attorney to complete your entry or application. DV lottery winners pay fees only at the U.S. Embassy on the day of the visa interview.  Even if you have won the lottery, do not pay fees to anyone but the U.S. Embassy.