The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the U.S. Department of State and conducted under the terms of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Section 203(c) of the (INA) provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States.
For Fiscal Year 2021, 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) will be available.
For DV-2021, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
Russia still remains in the list of participating countries.
How to participate in DV lottery?
Applicants submit their Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form or DS-5501), online at https://travel.state.gov. There is no cost to submit an entry form. Hardcopiesarenotaccepted.
The Department of State implemented the electronic registration system beginning with DV-2005 in order to make the Diversity Visa process more efficient and secure. Special technology and other means are used to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit multiple entries.
How are winners determined?
Candidates are determined by the State Department through random computer-generated selection. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions in a way that no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.
Where can I find accurate information regarding DV Entry Forms and process requirements?
There are many websites with information about the annual lottery, but we advise you to refer only to official sources. You can access the information regarding the requirements for participation in the DV Lottery, as well as answers for frequently asked questions on the official website of the Consul of the State Department where instructions for the Green Card Lottery – 2021 are presented (see link below):
Can I increase the chances of winning the lottery?
You cannot help to be selected: the “winners” are determined by a special program randomly, but you can increase the chance of winning by filing applications by all family members at the same time.
Can I apply for the lottery while in the United States?
Yes you can. It is possible to adjust status in the USA under this category even for people with pending status or, who awaiting a decision on their case (for example, while waiting for an Asylum interview). An experienced lawyer will consider all possible options in your specific situation and suggest solutions.
What happens if I was selected and not in the USA?
Being selected at the Green Card Lottery does not mean that you will get the residency in the US. In order to obtain the actual Green Card, you will have to go through quite long, complex and costly process.
Here are main steps to getting Green Card after being selected at the Lottery:
- submission of DS-260 Form;
- collection of documents;
- medical examination;
- visa interview.
The interview takes place at the US Embassy or Consulate in your home country. You will be issued an Immigrant Visa if the interview results in your favor. You will get the actual Green Card only after entering the USA.
Do I need a lawyer to submit the DV Entry Form or after I will be selected?
DV-lottery is a great chance for many people to adjust their status to permanent residency in the USA. Please note, that it is critical to follow the requirements for DV-lottery entry in order to successfully submit your application. Our professionals can provide you with careful assistance in submitting your DV-lottery application and increase your chances to participate.
If you were lucky to win, then retaining a qualified immigration lawyer will help you to move forward and guarantee the consistent process, which will lead you to the desired result.