• 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery Opens Tomorrow
  • October 2, 2012
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The registration period for the FY 2014 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery will open Tuesday, October 2 at noon EDT. Foreign nationals will have until Saturday, November 3 at noon EDT to submit their online registration forms and accompanying photographs. Applicants must carefully follow the State Department’s official lottery instructions to avoid having their registrations disqualified.

    Each fiscal year, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) makes 50,000 immigrant visas available through the DV lottery. Foreign nationals selected in this year’s lottery will be eligible to submit a green card application during the 2014 fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2013.

    Who Is Eligible to Enter the FY 2014 Lottery?

    The DV lottery is open to natives of countries that have historically low rates of immigration to the United States. Entrants must also have a high school education (or equivalent) or at least two years of qualifying work experience.

    Individuals from countries with high rates of U.S. immigration are not eligible to register.
    For the FY 2014 lottery, natives of the following countries are ineligible: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

    People born in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan can participate. Unlike last year, natives of Guatemala can also register for the FY 2014 lottery.

    People who cannot register because of their country of birth may be able to qualify through a spouse who was born in an eligible country or, in certain circumstances, through a parent’s country of birth.

    Registering for the Lottery

    To register, a foreign national must submit an online form and a digital photo through the official DV lottery website. Only one entry is permitted per person. If there are multiple registrations on behalf of one person, all of them are disqualified.

    Applicants must carefully follow the State Department’s official lottery instructions. Lottery entries and digital photos that do not precisely conform to the instructions will be disqualified.

    How Are Lottery Winners Chosen and Notified?

    The State Department chooses lottery winners by random computer selection. Results will be available starting May 1, 2013 on the official DV lottery entry status website.

    Foreign nationals can find out whether they were selected only by visiting the official website and entering their registration number. The State Department does not notify entrants by letter, e-mail, fax or telephone. The official website is the only legitimate source of information about lottery results.

    Guarding Against Lottery Fraud

    Unfortunately, DV lottery fraud is very common. However, foreign nationals can and should take a few precautions to protect themselves.

    • Watch out for deceptive lottery websites. The only authorized DV lottery website is located on the State Department website. The State Department does not use or authorize any outside individual or company to accept lottery applications or operate the lottery. But websites posing as official government sites or claiming to have State Department authorization abound. They should be avoided.
    • The State Department does not charge a fee for lottery registrations. A website, individual or company claiming there is a government fee to enter the lottery is fraudulent.
    • If lottery assistance is needed, seek competent advice. Though applicants may use a lawyer or other representative to prepare a lottery registration, they should be wary of commercial websites that claim to register applicants outside of the registration period or purport to be authorized by the State Department to accept registrations for a fee.
    • Beware of lottery e-mails, letters or faxes that claim to be from the State Department. The State Department does not send e-mails, letters or faxes about the DV lottery. The official website is the only legitimate source of information about lottery results and the only place to submit a lottery registration.
    • Be skeptical of any communication claiming a foreign national has won the DV lottery when he or she did not register, or registered in a previous year.
    • Avoid sending money or personal information to questionable individuals or companies.
    • Learn more about DV lottery fraud by visiting the websites of the State Department and the Federal Trade Commission.