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Home > Immigration and Visa Information > US Immigration > DV (Diversity) Green Card Lottery - DV-2001




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DV (Diversity) Green Card Lottery - DV-2001

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.

Mailing Requirements
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

Entry Format
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.

Age/Education/Work Experience
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 perform.

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
any 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 concerned.


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