Diversity Visa Program (DV-2020) – Could Be the Last One!

The U.S. Department of State has announced the DV-2020 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (aka “Green Card Lottery” and “DV Lottery”).   This may be the DV Lottery’s last year.  This Administration wants to end the program and there has been legislation introduced to eliminate it in the future.

The program, created by the Immigration and Nationality Act, establishes an annual limitation of 50,000 immigrant visas for diversity immigrants.  It provides an opportunity for people from countries with historically low rates of immigration.

All applications for the DV-2020 lottery must be received between noon on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 and noon on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Countries that are ineligible to participate in the DV-2020 Lottery are:  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.

Applicants must meet simple, but strict, eligibility requirements to qualify for a diversity visa:

#1:  Have been born in a qualifying country, have a spouse born in a qualifying country, or in some cases qualify through the parents’ country of birth.

#2:  Meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program by having either:

  • At least a high school education or its equivalent, or
  • Two years of work experience within the past 5 years in an occupation that requires at least 2 years of training or experience to perform.

For detailed information on the instructions, requirements and entry procedures for the DV-2020 Lottery, visit the U.S. Department of State website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/diversity-visa-program-entry.html.

Applicants are selected through a randomized computer drawing.  DV numbers are distributed among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than 7% of the available DVs in any one year.

There is no fee to submit the application.  Only one entry per person is allowed during each registration period.  Be aware of fraudulent websites posing as a government agency, requesting an application fee, or promising a visa in exchange for a fee.

While DV applicants may receive an email from the U.S. government reminding them to check their status online through DV Entrant Status Check, they will not receive a notification letter or email informing them that they are a successful DV entrant.  Applicants can only find out if they were selected to continue with DV processing by checking their status online through the DV Entrant Status Check at https://dvlottery.state.gov/.

Good luck to all applicants!

About the Author: Robin L.H. Vermette

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