What Is the Diversity Visa Lottery Program? Massachusetts Immigration Lawyer Explains
Under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, 50,000 visas are available each year to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Visas are distributed to people from countries with historically lower rates of immigration through a lottery. All lottery entries are grouped into six geographic regions, and a computer randomly selects entries from among all the entries received for each geographic region.
While applying for the DV program is relatively simple, the eligibility requirements are strict. A Massachusetts immigration attorney can help you through the application process.
Countries Excluded for 2013
For 2013, natives of the following countries may not apply to the DV program because the countries sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous five years:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (Mainland-Born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
The same countries tend to appear on the list year after year. If you are from a country not named on the list, you may enter the lottery.
One Entry per Person per Year
You may submit only one entry per person per year. If you submit more than one application, you will be disqualified. A husband and a wife may each submit one entry if each meets the eligibility requirements. If either is selected, the other may apply as a derivative dependent.
You must submit your entry on the official U.S. government website at www.dvlottery.state.gov before the posted deadline. You may check your status online. The government does not send paper letters to the selected applicants.
If you are selected, you then have the opportunity to apply for a DV. Then, if you are qualified, you will be issued a DV. Only the first 50,000 selected applicants to qualify will be issued visas.
Education or Work Requirements
To apply to the DV program, you must meet either the education or work experience requirement. You must have either of the following:
- A high school education or its equivalent (successful completion of a 12-year course of 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.
Proof of Financial Support
Applicants who obtain a DV are not provided any type of financial aid. If you are selected to apply for a DV, before being issued a visa you must provide evidence that you will not become a public charge.
On your application, you must list your spouse and all unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of whether they are living with you or intend to accompany you if you immigrate to the United States. You do not need to list children who are already U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Your application must include:
- Full name – enter your name exactly as listed on your passport.
- Date of birth.
- City where you were born.
- Country where you were born.
- Country of eligibility or chargeability for the DV program.
- Mailing address.
- Country where you live today.
- Phone number.
- E-mail address.
- Your highest level of education.
- Marital status.
- Number of children – include the name, date, and place of birth of all your children. If you fail to list all children who are eligible, you will be disqualified.
- Spouse information – name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, country of birth, and photograph. If you fail list your eligible spouse you will be disqualified. You must list your spouse even if you plan to be divorced before you apply for a visa.
- Children information – name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, country of birth, and photograph.
You must submit a separate photograph of yourself and each of your family members who are applying with you. Group or family photographs are not accepted.
If you have questions about the diversity visa lottery or any other immigration issue, call the immigration lawyers at Ionson Law for answers. To schedule a consultation with a Massachusetts immigration lawyer, call us at 781-674-2562.