Each year, the U.S. Department of State makes a certain amount of immigrant visas available through the Diversity Immigrant Visa program (the DV Program). In 2018, the DV Program will hold a lottery of 50,000 Diversity Visas. Applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States may apply for the DV Program lottery.
Individuals from the following countries may not participate in the DV Program for 2018: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Individuals from these countries are ineligible for the 2018 DV Program because more than 50,000 people from each country immigrated to the U.S. in the previous five years.
Applicants may submit entries for the DV-2018 Program between October 6, 2016 and November 7, 2016. Applicants can check the status of their lottery entry beginning May 2, 2017. Importantly, the U.S Department of State will not send a notification to applicants selected for the DV Program, so applicants must routinely check the status of their entry beginning in May of 2017.
The DV Program is not a “green card” lottery, but a lottery of the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residence. In a typical lottery, the winners of the lottery may immediately collect their prizes. In the DV Program, however, winners of the lottery do not immediately receive a “green card”, but must apply for lawful permanent residence after being selected in the DV Program lottery. Additionally, DV Program lottery winners must meet certain educational and professional requirements, and must be admissible to the United States.
To learn if you are eligible to participate in the 2018 Diversity Visa Lottery, or if you have any immigration-related questions, contact us to see how we can keep you moving forward.