Diversity Lottery / Green Card Lottery
The Diversity Visa Lottery (also known as the “Green Card Lottery” or “DV Lottery”) is a United States immigration lottery program administered annually by the Department of State. The lottery gives 50,000 people the opportunity to receive a Permanent Resident Visa (“green card”) to the U.S. These visas are geared towards individuals native to countries with a traditionally low rate of immigration to the U.S.A., a new class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” (DV immigrants).
The program is conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The requirements for the Diversity Lottery are established by U.S. immigration law. The program is a three-step process consisting of an application, the lottery selection, and a visa application (if selected). If you are interested in applying for the DV Lottery, you will need to look closely at the requirements for this type of visa, as not all individuals are eligible.
There are a few of possible reasons why someone may or may not qualify for a visa, such as their education level, work experience, or country of origin. For instance, individuals from territories that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the last five years are not eligible for the lottery. However, you may still be eligible depending on the country in which your spouse or parents were born.
Green Card Lottery Process
This unique immigration program is a fantastic opportunity for people looking to become a permanent resident of the U.S. However, the process can be daunting. The application period is typically only a month long (usually from early October to November) and is administered nearly 2 years before successful applicants receive their visas (meaning the DV-2015 lottery applications were processed in 2013, and those selected will get their visas during the 2015 fiscal year).
Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you pursue your application correctly. Completing the process improperly can lead to a denied application and thus, a delay in your ability to receive a visa. There is little room for mistakes in this program.
An immigration attorney can help you prepare all the necessary materials and guide you through the process from the online form to the interview. In addition, if you are not selected for a Diversity Visa, a qualified immigration lawyer can discuss your other options with you. It’s possible that you are eligible for other programs that can help you become a resident of the United States.
If you or a family member are interested in finding out more about entering the Diversity Lottery, Salmon-Haas can help. Give our offices a call today for a free consultation.