Many visa programs have a majority of applicants that are from one country. In order to bring more diversity to the immigrant population that enters the United States every year, the Diversity Visa program gives approximately 50,000 visas to countries that send less than 50,000 immigrants in the last 5 years.
Applicants must fill out the application within the designated year-long application period online at: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/. There is no application fee. The applicants must then wait until the government does its selection.
The United States randomly chooses who to allow to immigrate out of the thousands of applicants who apply every year. An applicant can check if they were selected with the Entrant Status Check on the DV Lottery website.
The lucky applicants who were selected must then complete DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application (online); and attend an in-person interview with a consular interview. They will then be admitted into the United States with a green card.