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 the Diversity Visa Lottery 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 registration period for DV 2017 is open from noon on October 1, 2015 to noon on November 3, 2015. All entries must be submitted online during an open registration period via the Electronic DV Entry Form DS-5501.
After submitting an electronic application, DV applicants must use the information provided on their confirmation page from the DV registration period to check the status of an entry online, to find out whether their number was selected in the lottery. The online case status check process was optional in earlier years, including for those who registered between October 2, 2009 and November 30, 2009, for DV 2011, but since then, 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, with no hard copy alternative. Please be mindful that lottery winners are now required to check their own case status online through the Department of State website, due to increased incidence of fraudulent spam claiming to notify individuals of winning the Diversity Visa Lottery.
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 2012 for “DV 2014”, and you got a winning lottery number that became 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 2014, or that application is now void. The current open registration is for “DV 2017” applicants who register initially during October of 2015 and will find out if they have a winning number in the summer of 2016. These winning registrants must file for an immigrant visa in time to complete their cases before the end of September 2017.
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.
If you registered in the fall of 2014 for DV2016 and you have a winning entry with a low number, then you must complete and submit your Form DS-260 timely, and proceed as soon as your number becomes current, so that immigrant visa processing or adjustment of status can be completed before September 30, 2016. If this applies to you, use the Contact form to schedule an appointment so that we may assist you.
Contact Karin Wolman – she would be happy to walk you through the Diversity Visa Lottery process!