On the 1st of October, 2013, at 12 noon, the Department of State will begin accepting Diversity Visa Lottery registrations. The registration period will remain open until the 2nd of November, 2013, at 12 noon.
What is the Diversity Visa Lottery?
The 'Diversity Visa Lottery', better known as the 'green card lottery' is a programme administered by the US Department of State. Each year, 55,000 'green cards' are awarded in this manner. Read our earlier blog post for further information about the DV lottery programme.
Which nationals cannot enter the Diversity Visa Lottery?
For the DV-2015 programme about to open for registration, UK nationals are unfortunately still ineligible to apply, with a notable exception being Northern Ireland. In addition, Nigeria has now been added to the list of countries whose citizens are ineligible to register. The reason why the citizens of certain countries cannot participate in the DV-2015 programme is because more than 50,000 nationals of those countries immigrated to the United States in the 5 years prior, which generally constitutes a statutory bar to registration.
Citizens of the following countries are ineligible to participate in DV-2015 (unless certain limited exceptions apply): 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.
Is there a fee for entering?
No, there is no fee to enter the DV-2015 programme. Unfortunately, fraud in this particular area of US immigration law abounds and there are some unscrupulous companies that promise increased odds of success or even offer 'guarantees' of winning. Sadly, as with most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Applicants should only submit an application through the official Department of State website.
How do I enter?
Between 1 October 2013 at noon and until 2 November 2013 at noon, you may enter the Diversity Visa Lottery on the Department of State's official DV-2015 webpage. Prior to this time, you may wish to read the instructions to ensure you meet all the requirements for entering the 'green card lottery', available at http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html.
Do my odds of winning increase if I apply as soon as registration opens?
Although a person's odds of winning are unrelated to the time when he or she registers with the diversity visa lottery, it may be that procrastinators find that many other individuals have left registration until the last moment and may experience difficulties in submitting their application in the days and hours prior to the deadline. If this is an important application, it's best to do it ahead of time and tick it off your 'to do' list!
The American Immigration Law Office would like to wish potential DV-2015 applicants the best of luck with their registrations and hopes to assist you in your journey to the USA in the near future!