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 immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For Fiscal Year 2017, 50,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) will be available. There is no cost to register for the DV program.
Applicants who are selected in the program (“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-2017, 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
- Requirement #1: 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 youmight be able to qualify.
Was your spouse born in a country whose natives are eligible? If yes, you can claim yourspouse’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 claimthe country of birth
Requirement #2: Each DV applicant must meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program by having either:
at least a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education; OR
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’sO*Net Online database will be used to determine qualifying work experience.
- Entries for the DV-2017 program must be submitted electronically at www.dvlottery.state.gov between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4),Thursday, October 1st, 2015 , and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Tuesday, November 3 , 2015.
- Do not wait until the last week of the registration period to enter, as heavy demand may result in website delays. No late entries or paper entries will be accepted.
- The law allows only one entry by or for each person during each registration period.
- The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries.
- Individuals with more than one entry will be disqualified
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