What is the Diversity Visa Lottery Program?

By way of a lottery, the State Department makes a total of 50,000 immigrant visas available to aliens who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. 

Every year, the National Visa Center holds this lottery and chooses winners randomly from all qualified applicants.  If an alien is selected from the random draw, he or she will have an opportunity to apply for permanent residence either through consular processing or adjustment of status

The purpose of the diversity visa lottery program is to diversify the U.S. immigrant population by giving visas to aliens of countries with a low rate of immigration to the U.S.