The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as diversity lottery, is a program that offers a limited number of immigrant visas (50,000) every year to immigrants from countries that have historically proven to have a low immigration rate to the United States. It was established with the Immigration Act in 1990 and was first set into practice in 1995. The Diversity Visas (“DVs”) are distributed among six geographic regions and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year. However, some countries that have a high number of people immigrating to the United States are excluded from the program.

The applicants have to be natives from one of the eligible countries and have to fulfill the educational requirement of either a two year work experience or an education similar to the American high school. If selected the applicant and their spouse and children under the age of 21 would be eligible to immigrate to the U.S. Keep in mind that a husband and wife from eligible DV countries can each apply separately, effectively gaining two entries into the lottery for their family.

The period during which one can enter the next Diversity Program for the year 2016 lasts from October 1, 2014 until November 3, 2014. There is no cost to register for the DV program. The applicants are first randomly selected by a computer system, and if they are eligible, they will be invited to an interview at an U.S. Embassy or Consular which will decide whether or not they can receive a visa to become Lawful Permanent Residents who are permitted to work and live permanently in the United States.

Time is running out to enter the DV, and individuals from eligible countries are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

For more information see:
http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/diversity-visa/entry/submit-an-entry.html

By: Ashik Jahan, Esq. & Hanna Schneider