The Diversity Visa Lottery, Just the Facts: Boundless Immigration
Question: I have heard that there is some type of lottery system for being able to immigrate to the U.S. Can you elaborate?
Answer: Yes, it is known as the diversity lottery system. The Department of State will determine by a complex formula based on number of persons from each foreign state who were provided LPR status during the most recent 5-year period for which data is available. . The number of diversity visas available is 55,000 each year, reduced by up to 5,000 by the number of grants of special cancellation under NACARA §203(d).
Question: What do I need to qualify for the DV Lottery?
Answer: First, you must be a native of a designated low admission state.
Question: Do I need a minimum education to apply?
Answer: A high school diploma or its equivalent is required. Note that a GED is not the equivalent. To meet the U.S. high-school equivalency, “a foreign course of study must provide the alien with the minimum academic records required for admission to study in U.S. universities or colleges as determined in the most recent edition of the publication entitled ‘Foreign Credentials Required for Consideration of Admission to Universities and Colleges in the United States.
Question: Do I need to have work experience to apply?
Answer: Within 5 years of applying, at least 2 years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least 2 years’ training or experience.
Question: Is my family eligible to immigrate to the United States with me?
Answer: Spouse and children, including those acquired subsequent to the DV entry are eligible as long as the marriage took place prior to the principal’s admission to the U.S. under the DV program.
Question: What if my spouse if from a different country?
Answer: An applicant spouse may be charged to the nonapplicant spouse’s country of birth to qualify for DV as long as the parties were married prior to submitting the lottery entry. Thus, for example, if you are from Guatemala and your wife is from the Philippines, she would qualify to come with you as long as you were married prior to submitting the DV Application. In other words, For spouses in cases involving cross-chargeability, the nonapplicant spouse’s country of birth may be charged to the applicant spouse to allow the applicant spouse to qualify for DV as long as the parties were married prior to submitting the entry in the lottery and their visas were issued and they applied for admission simultaneously.
Question: What is the procedure for filing the Diversity Lottery Visa and can I submit more than one application to increase my chances of winning?
Answer: Fist, it is the Secretary of State will designate the time and place for filing. An applicant may only file one petition. If more than one petition is submitted all petitions submitted by the applicant for that period are void. DV lottery applications are submitted through an electronic filing system located at http://dvlottery.state.gov. An electronic confirmation notice will be sent upon receipt of a completed application.
Question: How do I submit the photo and what is the cost?
Answer: Must submit a separate, recent digital photo of the applicant and each derivative that meets the following specifications: (1) JPEG format; (2) color or grayscale (monochrome images will not be accepted); (3) resolution of 600 pixels wide by 600 pixels high, color depth of either 24-bit color, 8-bit color or 8-bit grayscale, and if scanned the print must be 2×2 inches square and must be scanned at a resolution of 150 dots per inch; (4) maximum image size of 240 KB; (5) directly facing the camera with no tilt up, down or to the side and the face should cover about 50% of the area of the photo; (6) background for photo should be neutral and light-colored; (7) no sunglasses or other paraphernalia in picture is acceptable, nor is out-of-focus picture; and (8) hats and head coverings not acceptable except if for religious beliefs and only then if no portion of the person’s face is obscured; tribal or other headgear that is not religious is not acceptable nor are military, airline or other personnel wearing hats. Signatures are not required on applications. Applicants will be selected randomly and persons who are not selected will not be notified. No fee is charged to enter.
Question: What do I do after I have won the visa lottery?
Answer: If selected as lottery winner, must obtain the visa within the fiscal year applied. “Under no circumstances may a consular officer issue a visa after the end of the fiscal year. Thus, you need to move very quickly.