Green Cards

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.

Diversity Visa Lottery Overview And Requirements

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 is customarily open from noon on a date in early to noon on a date in early November. All entries must be submitted online during the open registration period via the Electronic DV Entry Form DS-5501. No late registrations will be accepted, and duplicate registrations will automatically disqualify the applicant.

After submitting an electronic application, Diversity Visa 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 used to be optional, but since the registration period in the fall of 2009 for DV2011, Diversity Visa Lottery winners are no longer notified by 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 DV lottery winners must 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 the fiscal year in which you must complete processing of your case: If you registered during 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 (immigrant visa issued and entered the US, or adjustment of status granted) by the end of September 2014, or that application is now void.

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, nor are they required to provide an Affidavit of Support. However, they must meet the basic requirements for participation in the lottery, including completion of at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, or at least two years of full time 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 void and your are disqualified, but you can enter the DV lottery once every year as long as your native country remains eligible. If nationals of your own country of birth are ineligible in a given year, but you are married, and nationals of your spouse’s country of birth are eligible for the the DV Lottery, then you can both register for that year’s lottery: this is known as “cross-chargeability.”

Act Promptly!

If you registered you have a winning DV Lottery entry, 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 of the relevant fiscal year. If this applies to you, please 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!

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