The United States Department of State has issued its instructions for this year’s Diversity Visa (“DV”) lottery program. The DV lottery program offers an opportunity for aliens of certain nationalities to acquire U.S. permanent residence by making permanent residence visas available to persons who meet the eligibility requirements. Applicants for DVs are chosen by a computer-generated random lottery drawing.
A total of 55,000 diversity visas are available in the diversity immigration lottery. However, the Nicaraguan and Central America Relief Act (“NACARA”) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that beginning as early as DV-1999, and for as long as necessary, 5000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program. The actual reduction of the limit to 50,000 began in DV-2000 and remains in effect.
Entries for the DV-2012 DV Lottery must be submitted electronically between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 5, 2010, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5) Wednesday, November 3, 2010. Applicants may access the electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV) at http://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 Web site delays. No entries will be accepted after noon, EST, on November 3, 2010.
The list of eligible countries may change each year. For the DV-2012 lottery, the following countries are considered “high admission” countries and are therefore not eligible:
CHINA (Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible);
UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories; and
Persons born in any of the above countries are not eligible. However, persons born in other countries who subsequently obtained citizenship in one of the above countries are still eligible. For DV-2012, no countries have been added or removed from the previous year’s list of eligible countries.
For DV-2012, entrant notification will be through the Entry Status Check at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov. Those selected will be provided further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the U.S. Persons not selected will NOT receive any notification. Spouses and dependent children (unmarried children under age 21) of successful applicants may also apply for visas to accompany or follow to join the principal applicant.