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Diversity Visa - Confirm Your Qualifications

The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program requires the principal DV applicant to have a high school education, or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience as defined under provisions of U.S. law.

If you do not have either the required education or qualifying work experience, you are not qualified to be issued a diversity visa. (Only you, as the principal applicant, must meet this requirement. Your spouse and children do not have to meet this requirement.) You should not continue with your DV application if you do not meet the qualifying education or work experience requirements explained below. You will not be issued a visa, and any fees you pay will not be refunded.

High School Education: A high school education means successful completion of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to completion of a 12-year course in the United States.

Work Experience: If you are qualifying with work experience, you must have two years of experience in the last five years, in an occupation which, by U.S. Department of Labor definitions, requires at least two years of training or experience that is designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating of 7.0 or higher. 

The U.S. Department of Labor provides information on job duties, knowledge and skills, education and training, and other occupational characteristics on their website http://www.onetonline.org/. The O*Net online database groups work experience into five "job zones." While many occupations are listed, only certain specified occupations qualify for the Diversity Visa Program.

How To Find the Qualifying Occupations on the Department of Labor Website: Qualifying DV Occupations are shown on the Department of Labor O*Net Online Database. Follow these steps, when you are in O*Net Online to find out if your occupation qualifies:

  • Under "Find Occupations" select "Job Family" from the pull down;
  • Then Browse by “Job Family”. (For example, select Architecture and Engineering) and click "GO";
  • Then click on the link for your specific occupation. (As an example, select Aerospace Engineers. At the bottom of this Summary Report for Aerospace Engineers, under the Job Zone section, you will find the designated Job Zone 4, SVP Range, 7.0 to < 8.0. This means using this example, Aerospace Engineering is a qualifying occupation.)

Again, you should not continue with your DV application if you do not meet the qualifying education or work experience requirements explained above.  You will not be issued a visa, and any fees you pay will not be refunded.

For more information, see the DV-2018 Instructions, Frequently Asked Questions #5-7, and the DV-2019 Instructions, Frequently Asked Questions #5-7.