DV (Diversity) Green Card Lottery -
Each year, the U.S. State Department holds a Green Card lottery which is made
available to applicants born in countries which annually send fewer immigrants
to the United States. In the past, 55,000 visas have been awarded each year.
However, with 5,000 visas currently reserved for Central American applicants in
the NCARA program, the remaining 50,000 U.S. immigrant visas will be made
available between October 1, 2000 and September 30, 2001 for issue to "winners"
to apply to enter and live permanently in the United States.
According to the rules for the next Green Card lottery DV-2001, which were
published in August, 1999, applicants may be currently living in the U.S. or a
country other than their country of nativity. The requirements are the same as
for the last registration. Only one entry form for each applicant is permitted.
Submission of more than one entry will result in disqualification.
The mail in period extends from noon Eastern
Time on Monday, October 4,1999 to Noon Eastern Time on Monday, November 3, 1999.
There is no advantage to mailing early or from any particular location.
Entries are to be mailed to a specific postal address which is determined by
the applicant's country of nativity. Regular or Air Mail delivery is required
while entries submitted by express or priority mail, fax, hand, messenger or any
means requiring receipts or special handling will not be processed.
Visas are apportioned among six geographic regions
with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration.
However, no country may receive more than seven percent of the Diversity visas
issued in any one year. The INS determines the regional limits for each year
according to a formula in the INA and, as a result, persons from regions which
receive fewer visas in other categories are provided the major part of the
diversity visas. Nevertheless, every application received during the mail-in
period will have an equal chance of being selected with its region.
No visas go to countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in
the past five years. Accordingly, natives of the following countries are not
eligible to enter DV-2001: Canada, China (mainland and Taiwan), Colombia,
Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Philippines,
Poland, South Korea, United Kingdom and its dependent territories (Northern
Ireland natives may enter), Vietnam.
A person born in an ineligible country may enter if:
his or her spouse was born in an
eligible country, or
neither of his or
her parents was born or resided there at the time of birth, and he or she claims
nativity in one parent's country of birth
The State Department advises that there is no
specific format to enter. A plain sheet of paper is to be used with specific
required answers typed or clearly printed. A spouse and unmarried children under
age 21 must be listed. Only a recent photograph and signature of the principal
applicant are required. There are also instructions which must be followed
concerning the envelope.
There is no minimum age requirement
but an applicant must have either a high school education or its equivalent,
defined in the U.S. as a successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary
and secondary education, or two years of work experience within the past five
years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to
There is no initial fee but successful entrants will pay a
fee for immigrant visas and a separate visa lottery surcharge.
The selection of "winners" is made at random by computer
from among all qualified entries and, according to the State Department, no
outside service can legitimately improve an applicant's chances of being chosen
or guarantee that an entry will win. The State Department also says that
service that claims it can improve an applicant's odds is promising something
that it cannot lawfully deliver.
Processing of "winners"
Successful entrants will be notified by
mail between April and July, 2000. They will be sent instructions on how to
apply for an immigrant visa. Being selected as a winner does not automatically
guarantee being issued a visa. Since the number of entries selected will exceed
the number of immigrant visas available, prompt action is suggested. Non-winners
will not be notified.
Further information is available by calling
(202) 331-7199 or through other State Department sources.
Complete information on the lottery is
available in USA Immigration & Orientation which also includes a wealth of information on the many rule changes
made in 1998 and early 1999. Anyone not selected in the lottery may qualify for
one of the approximately 30 other temporary or permanent immigration options.
Each classification is explained in full detail - who may qualify, what steps
are involved and what documentation is required by each of the agencies