2016 Diversity Visa Lottery Program Details Announced

Mechelle Zarou
Mechelle Zarou

The State Department has released the Diversity Visa Program details for fiscal year 2016. Registration will open at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 and will close at noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Monday, November 3, 2014. Eligible applicants must submit applications electronically—paper submissions will not be accepted.

The program is congressionally mandated and is administered annually by the State Department to provide immigrant visas to be made available to nationals of countries with low rates of immigration. This class of immigrants is known as “diversity immigrants” and no visas will be awarded to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in a fiscal year. A maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas will be awarded each fiscal year, with 5,000 made available for use under the Nicaraguan and Central America Relief Act (“NACARA”).

The Diversity Visa Program has few, but very strict, eligibility requirements for foreign nationals from countries with low immigration. Applicants are randomly drawn via a computer-generated selection process, and winners will not be notified other than through the designated website, the “DV Entrant Status Check” page, available at dvlottery.state.gov. Applicants are cautioned to make note of their unique confirmation number and maintain it in a safe place, since the confirmation number will be required to access the webpage, in order to determine whether an applicant has been selected.

Natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply: BANGLADESH, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, NIGERIA, PAKISTAN, PERU, PHILIPPINES, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and VIETNAM.

Applicants that are selected will be provided information regarding applying for the immigrant visa and are encouraged to apply as quickly as possible. For assistance in navigating the immigrant visa application process once selected in the DV Lottery, please contact Mechelle Zarou at mzarou@slk-law.com.

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