• DV 2010 Diversity Visa Lottery
  • October 15, 2008 | Author: James D. Prappas
  • Law Firm: Jackson Walker L.L.P. - Houston Office
  • The DV-2010 Lottery online entry began on Thursday, October 2, 2008, and ends at noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Monday, December 1, 2008.

    On September 30, 2008, the Visa Office of the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued its public notice concerning the lawful permanent residence (LPR or green card) lottery. The Immigration and Nationality Act makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

    The annual DV program makes permanent residence visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. Applicants for Diversity Visas are chosen by a computer-generated random lottery drawing. The visas, however, 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 citizens of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years. Within each region, no one country may receive more than 7% of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

    For the DV-2010 program, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because they sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous five years: Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, 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. For DV-2010, Russia has returned to the list of eligible countries. Kosovo has also been added to the list of eligible countries. No countries have been removed.

    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, EST, on December 1, 2008.

    Requirements For Entry

    The DOS website has a detailed explanation for the DV lottery procedures and application process at the link above.

    Highlights of the requirements include the following:

    • Applicant must be a native of one of the countries listed as specified in the DOS "List Of Countries By Region Whose Natives Qualify."
    • The applicant "must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or, within the past five years, have two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years training or experience."

    The procedures for submitting an entry to DV-2010 include the following:

    • All entries by an applicant will be disqualified if more than one entry for the applicant is received, regardless of who submitted the entry. Applicants may prepare and submit their own entries or have someone submit the entry for them.
    • The DOS will only accept completed Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Forms submitted electronically at www.dvlottery.state.gov.
    • Requires digital photograph meeting specific criteria to be uploaded.
    • The DOS will send DV lottery entrants an electronic confirmation notice upon receipt of a completed EDV Entry Form.
    • Paper entries will not be accepted.
    • The entry will be disqualified if all required photos are not submitted.

    There is only one way to enter the DV-2010 lottery. Applicants must submit an Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (EDV Entry Form), which is accessible only at www.dvlottery.state.gov.

    Selection Of Applicants

    Applicants will be selected at random by computer from among all qualified entries. In DV-2010, for the first time, those who submit entries may check the status of entries online and determine whether their entries are selected or not selected. Successful entrants will continue to receive notification letters by mail.

    Questions concerning DV Registration

    The DOS website (listed above) answers many of the frequently asked questions. One point of interest is the meaning of the term native. According to the DOS, this term ordinarily means someone born in a particular country, regardless of the person's current country of residence or nationality. There are circumstances, however, where "native" can also mean someone who is charged to a country other than the one he or she was born under the Immigration Act.

    DV-2010 Application Fees

    There is no fee charged to enter the annual DV program. However, if selected, normal application fees apply for processing of the permanent residence or immigrant visa paperwork. Registration for the lottery is completed electronically/online and requires a digital photograph meeting specific criteria to be uploaded. Each individual is allowed only one entry. If selected a winner, the applicant's spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also qualify to apply for residence as derivative applicants. Although the registration process is relatively simple, the strict deadlines for the adjustment application (or, if applying abroad, consular processing) make it critical to ensure all paperwork filed by a lottery winner is done expeditiously and correctly.

    Conclusion

    The DV-2010 lottery may offer a lawful permanent residence option to qualified applicants which may otherwise not be considered.

    Applicants are advised to carefully read and follow all instructions.