The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV) makes available 55,000 diversity visas (DV) annually, drawn randomly from all entries and issued to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for DVs. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the past five years. Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.
The program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State.
HOW TO REGISTER
There is no fee to enter the DV lottery. Entries for the DV-2012 Diversity Visa lottery must be submitted electronically during the 30-day registration period that commences noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 5, 2010, and closes noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, November 3, 2010.
Applicants may access the electronic Diversity Visa entry form (E-DV) at www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period. Paper entries will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after noon, EDT, on November 3, 2010.
Successfully registered entries will result in the display of a confirmation screen containing the applicant's name and confirmation number which can then be printed. The confirmation page will also provide information the entrant must use to electronically check the status of their own entry through Entry Status Check, available from May 1, 2011 on the E-DV website www.dvlottery.state.gov. Entry Status Check will be the sole means of informing successful entrants of their selection for DV-2012. Entrants will not be notified by regular mail of their successful entries. Only those entrants who keep their confirmation page information will also be able to check their entry status through Entry Status Check.
People may prepare and submit their own entries, or have someone submit the entry for them. Regardless of whether an entry is submitted by the individual directly, or assistance is provided by an attorney, friend, relative, etc., only one entry may be submitted in the name of each individual, and the person entering the lottery remains responsible for ensuring that the information is correct and complete. All entrants, including those not selected, will be able to check the status of their entry through Entry Status Check E-DV website. Entrants should not allow others to retain their confirmation page information but should hold onto it themselves so they may independently check the status of their entry.
Official notification from the U.S. Department of State will be made ONLY through Entry Status Check, available from May 1, 2011 on the E-DV website www.dvlottery.state.gov. The Kentucky Consular Center will NOT be mailing out notification letters. Entrants selected in the random drawing will NOT be notified of their selection by e-mail.
Entrants must provide an e-mail address as part of their entry. Entrants should provide a personal email address that they can access easily, rather than using someone else's address or a standard company address. The Department of State will only send an e-mail to selected applicants who have responded to the notification information on Entry Status check. This e-mail will simply alert such applicants that details of their immigrant visa appointment are available on Entry Status Check. E-mail communications will not provide selectee notification, will not direct recipients to pay fees, will not provide application instructions and will not detail visa interview dates and times. This information is ONLY available through Entry Status Check.
Those selected in the lottery may apply for U.S. Immigrant Visas (IVs). Fifty five thousand IVs are set aside for DV immigrants, however, since DV-1999 Congress has set aside 5,000 of this annual allocation to be made available for use under the NACARA program Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA).
Selectee notification information will be available on Entry Status Check from May 1, 2011, and will provide to successful entrants further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the United States.
For DV-2012, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years:
BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PERU, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and VIETNAM.
Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible. No countries have been added or removed from the previous list of eligible countries. The list of eligible countries remains the same as for DV-2011.
The law requires that every DV entrant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent, or have, within the past five years, two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years' training or experience. To learn more about qualifying occupations, see the Diversity Visa Instructions Frequently Asked Questions and the List of Occupations webpage on travel.state.gov.