Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Period Ends November 7

The registration period for the mandated 2018 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery began on October 4, 2016 and ends on November, 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm EST. Online registration is available.

The DV lottery allows nationals from eligible countries to apply for a green card outside of the standard visa process. People who are already sponsored for an immigrant visa by a family member or employer are also eligible to participate in the lottery. Every year, 50,000 green card lottery slots are available with winners chosen through a random drawing.

Qualifications for the DV Lottery

The DV lottery requires that an applicant have a high school education or equivalent as well as two years of qualifying work experience in the last five years. Only the principal applicant needs to meet this requirement, not a spouse or children. You can confirm your qualifications through the U.S. State Department [https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/diversity-visa/if-you-are-selected/confirm-your-qualifications.html].

Eligibility by Country

Only nationals of certain countries are eligible for the DV lottery, but most countries are eligible in 2018. For the 2018 DV lottery, natives of the following countries are NOT eligible for the program this year:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China (mainland-born)
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom and dependent territories (not Northern Ireland)
  • Vietnam

Different countries are selected each year based on which nations sent the fewest immigrants to the U.S. in the last 5 years based on their population.

If you are a native of an ineligible country, you may still become eligible to apply for the DV Lottery if your spouse was born in an eligible country or if neither of your parents was born in your native country or made a home there when you were born, in which case you may be able to claim one of your parents’ birth countries as your own.

If you are interested in applying for the DV Lottery, it’s important to do so as soon as possible. If you are notified that you have won the lottery, follow up immediately because the government always declares more winners than available green cards and the supply may run out if you do not follow up. If you win the lottery, it’s important to hire an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney to help you as the USCIS may get backed up for months without action.

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