The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) is an annual visa lottery program, in which the United States makes available up to 50,000 immigrant visas every year to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. The diversity visas awarded are distributed among six geographic regions, but no country is allowed to receive higher than 7% of the DVs available. Winners are randomly selected from all entries.
As long as applicants qualify for permanent resident status, if they are selected through the Diversity Visa lottery they are eligible to pursue permanent residence in the U.S. Most winners are outside of the United States and pursue permanent residence through consular processing, though some already have nonimmigrant or another legal status in the U.S. and can pursue an adjustment of status.
To apply for the Diversity Visa, you must:
- Be born in or chargeable to a qualifying country
- Have either a high school education or its equivalent (comparable to a 12-year course in the United States) OR two years of work experience, in the last five years, in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience
Before you register for the DV Program, make sure you meet these qualifications. If you do not meet the education or work standards, you will not be eligible to be issued a Diversity Visa and any fees you paid to submit your entry will not be refunded.
How to Register
The Department of State sets a registration period for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program during each fiscal year. You must submit your entry electronically during this time period in order to be considered. If you register late or by paper, your entry will not be accepted. Entries are limited to one per person; you will be disqualified if you submit more than one.
Once you submit your entry, you will receive a confirmation number. It is very important that you keep this number, as it is the only way for you to check your entry status and take the next steps if you are selected.
If You Are Selected
If you are selected for the DV Program, you will be notified only through the Entrant Status Check on the Electronic Diversity Visa website. This means that it is up to you to check your status, using your entry confirmation number. The Department of State will not send you a notification by mail or email. Once you are selected, it is important to complete the next steps online as soon as possible in order to begin further processing. Your consular interview will be scheduled to determine if you are eligible for a visa, or if you are already in the United States you may pursue the adjustment of status process.
Remember that selection for the Diversity Visa Program is not a guarantee that you will receive a visa. You are still required to meet eligibility requirements for permanent resident status in the United States and be found admissible to the country.
How We Can Help
Youngblood & Associates can help you determine if you are eligible to apply for the Diversity Visa lottery and assist you in the process of applying according to designated deadlines and document requirements. Our team will help you through the process of adjustment of status or consular processing if you are selected by the Diversity Visa lottery.
Not sure what you need?
Call our office today at 931-274-7811 to schedule your consultation or complete a service inquiry form to get your process started today.