The Congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered annually by the Department of State. Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for a class of “diversity immigrants,” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For fiscal year 2016, 50,000 diversity visas (DVs) will be available. There is no cost to register for the DV program.
Applicants who are selected in the lottery (“selectees”) must meet simple, but strict, eligibility requirements in order to qualify for a diversity visa. Selectees are chosen through a randomized computer drawing. Diversity visas are distributed among six geographic regions and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.
For DV-2016, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, 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.
There are no changes in eligibility this year
- Individuals born in countries whose natives qualify may be eligible to enter. If you were not born in an eligible country, there are two other ways you might be able to qualify.
- Was your spouse born in a country whose natives are eligible? If yes, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth-provided that both you and your spouse are named on the selected entry, are issued diversity visas, and enter the United States simultaneously.
- Were you born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but in which neither of your parents was born or legally resident at the time of your birth? If yes, you may claim the country of birth of one of your parents if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the DV-2016 program.
Each applicant must meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program by having either:
- a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education;
- Two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net Online database will be used to determine qualifying work experience.
Selection of Applicants
- Based on the allocations of available visas in each region and country, individuals will be randomly selected by computer from among qualified entries. All DV-2016 entrants will be required to go to the
- Entrant Status Check using the unique confirmation number saved from their DV- 2016 online entry registration to find out whether their entry has been selected in the DV program. Entrant Status Check will be available on the E-DV website at www.dvlottery.state.gov starting May 5, 2015, through at least June 30, 2016.
- If your entry is selected, you will be directed to a confirmation page that will provide further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the United States.
- Entrant Status Check will be the ONLY means by which selectees will be notified of their selection for DV-2016. The Department of State will not mail out notification letters or notify selectees by email. U.S. embassies and consulates will not provide a list of selectees. Individuals who have not been selected also will be notified ONLY through Entrant Status Check.
- You are strongly encouraged to access Entrant Status Check yourself and not to rely on someone else to check and inform you.If you are selected, in order to receive a DV to immigrate to the United States, you still must meet all eligibility requirements under U.S. law.
- These requirements may significantly increase the level of scrutiny required and time necessary for processing for natives of some countries listed in this notice including, but not limited to, countries identified as state sponsors of terrorism.
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