Hold on there Tiger!!!!
Let’s talk a little about chances of winning and timing if you do “win” – this post addressing those entering now or wanting to understand the timing a bit better.
First of all, this is a lottery. Not everyone “wins” (which really is getting selected for further processing), the chances vary by region. For example in Oceania region a single qualified entry has about a 5% chance of winning – 1 in 20. However in Africa, that same chance is something less than 2% – 1 in 50, but certain countries have an enormous number of entries and in those countries the chances can be much lower – about 1 in 200 or worse (I’ll explain that better in another post). So – just because you entered, don’t pin your hopes on being one of the lucky ones. In reality some people will enter every year and still never get picked. A couple can increase their chances by each of them entering individually, and if they are married by the time of processing they can get a Green Card for their spouse and their children.
Next, let’s talk about timing. Let’s say you just entered the current lottery (currently called “DV2016”). The results won’t be available until the following May (May 2015 for DV2016). Then you will need to wait your turn for processing which is by case number order. The earliest cases to be processing will be in October – around 1 year after the entry into the lottery. However, the majority of cases will be processed spread out of the full year of processing (so between October 1 and September 30). So – it could be nearly 2 years after the DV entry that a winner will receive their visa – and someone should make plans to travel ONLY when they have the visa in their hand. So – be warned – this process is going to take a long time!!!!