The U.S. State Department (DOS) has announced that it will begin accepting applications under the FY 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program – also known as the “Diversity Visa Lottery” or “DV Lottery” – from individuals seeking U.S. permanent residence (i.e. green card). DOS will accept applications for green cards under this program beginning Tuesday, October 4, 2016, through Monday, November 7, 2016.
The DV lottery allows eligible people born in countries with historically low immigration levels to apply for one of 50,000 green cards that are made available through the program each year and awarded via a randomized computer drawing.
Persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply for DV visas in FY 2018: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.
Even if a person was not born in an eligible country, they might still qualify if their spouse was born in an eligible country or if they were born in country in which neither of their parents was born or legally resident. In such cases, the applicant may claim the spouse or a parent’s country of birth for purposes of DV lottery eligibility.
In addition, each applicant must meet the educational/work experience requirements. An eligible applicant must have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (i.e. 12 combined years of elementary and secondary education), or two years of experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience. DOS will use the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET database to determine whether a particular applicant’s work experience qualifies.
Applications for the DV lottery must be completed and submitted through the DOS website and will only be accepted during the registration period. Late entries and paper entries will not be accepted. In addition, there is a limit of one entry per person, and DOS uses sophisticated data mining technology to detect multiple entries. Individuals who submit multiple applications will have all of their entries disqualified.
Once an entry has been submitted, applicants can begin checking the status of their application on May 2, 2017.
If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a green card through the DV lottery program, please contact us.
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