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Diversity Visa Lottery

 

Every year, the Department of State opens a limited online registration period for the Diversity Visa Lottery. As its name suggests, the Diversity Visa Lottery is about diversifying the pool of immigrants, so it is only open to nationals of countries that have sent a total of fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the past 5 years.

What does that mean?

As its name suggests, the Diversity Visa Lottery is about diversifying the pool of immigrants. It is only open to nationals of countries that have sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the past 5 years. 
 
The DV Lottery registration is typically one month in the late autumn. All entries must be submitted online during an open registration period via the electronic DV Entry Form                                      at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov.

After submitting an electronic application, DV applicants can use the information provided on their confirmation page from that DV registration period to check the status of an entry online, to find out whether their number was selected in the lottery.  That process was optional in earlier years, but DV Lottery winners are no longer notified by regular mail, so checking online with the State Department is now a mandatory part of the process. Following the initial registration period in the fall, entry status check updates begin to be posted in the May. Please be mindful that lottery winners are required to check their case status online, as there has been an increasing incidence of fraudulent spam claiming to notify individuals of winning the Diversity Visa Lottery.

PAST PARTICIPANTS, PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Paper notification has been phased out, and will not happen for DV 2013 or DV2014 registrants, who will only be able to verify whether or not they get a winning number via Entry Status Check online with the Department of State. Winners will not be notified by mail.

Please note that the program year indicated during the registration period dictates when you must complete your case: If you registered during the period in the fall of 2008 for "DV 2010", and you got a winning lottery number that became currently available, and then you filed for adjustment of status or applied for an immigrant visa, your case must have been completed by the end of September 2010, or that application is now void. "DV 2011" applicants who registered in October of 2009 and found out that they had a winning number in the summer of 2010 must file in time to complete their cases before the end of September 2011.

Do I need a sponsor?

Diversity Visa ("DV") applicants do not need a sponsor, such as an employer or immediate family member in the United States. However, they must meet the basic requirements for participation in the lottery, including completion of at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, and must have at least two years of work experience within the last five years, in an occupation that requires at least two years of training, education beyond high school, or experience. If you enter the DV Lottery more than once in the same year, all of your entries for that year will be disqualified, but you can enter the lottery once every year as long as your native country remains eligible.

Karin Wolman is admitted to the bar in the State of New York.
Her practice is limited to U.S. Immigration & Nationality law.

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