Ask the U.S. Consul – October 2017

I heard that there is a ‘green card’ lottery. Can people living in Trinidad and Tobago enter and when does it take place?

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, 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 2019 Diversity Visa Program will begin at noon on October 3, 2017 and will end at noon on November 7, 2017. 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 enter the Diversity Visa Lottery, visit

Please review the requirements before submitting an entry, since there are work and educational criteria that must be satisfied for the Diversity Visa to be issued.

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 by logging into the website ( from May 1, 2018 using your name, date of birth, and confirmation number.

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.