by Brandon Gillin, Immigration Lawyer at Genesis Law Firm
On October 1, 2013, the 2015 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the Diversity Visa (“DV”) lottery, opened for applications. DV lottery applicants have until Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time to apply. The Seattle immigration lawyers at Genesis Law Firm are experienced in handling DV lottery applications.
The DV lottery is a program administered by the U.S. Department of State to enable “diversity immigrants” to apply for Lawful Permanent Residence (a green card) to the United States. For 2015, there are 50,000 diversity visas available. There is no filing fee to enter the DV lottery.
Only citizens of certain countries may apply for a green card under the DV lottery. Citizens of China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines are among the countries whose citizens cannot apply. This is because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years. Other ineligible countries are Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
There are two basic requirements to apply for the DV lottery.
First, you must have been born in one of the eligible countries. If you were born in an ineligible country but your spouse was born in an eligible country, you may claim your spouse’s birth country and apply. Also, if your parents were born in an eligible country and resided there at the time of your birth you may claim your parents’ birth country if it is an eligible one.
Second, you must have either completed high school (or equivalent education) or have at least two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. This requirement means that individuals who are under 18 years old will ordinarily be ineligible to apply.
If you are unsure whether you meet these requirements, meet with one of Genesis Law Firm’s Seattle immigration lawyers to help you determine your eligibility.
Once you have applied, you will be able to check the status of your application online at www.dvlottery.state.gov.