Monday, February 25, 2008

Diversity Visa

Diversity Visa Lottery

Every year, thousands of people from all over the world are given an opportunity to become US residents, in a deliberate program to promote immigration. This program reinforces the fact that the United States is a nation of immigrants and that despites security challenges in the last few years, remains open to welcome visitors and residents from foreign lands.

The Diversity Visa Program is a congressionally mandated program that makes available 50,000 to 55,000 permanent resident visas annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

1. Eligibility


The visas, however, are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the period of the past five years. Within each region, no one country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

For DV-2009, natives of the following countries were not eligible to apply because they sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the period of the previous five years: BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PHILIPPINES, PERU, POLAND, RUSSIA, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories.

The list of ineligible countries may change from year to year. For latest information, prospective applicants should check the State Department website at . Information about the program for each particular year is normally available at the State Department website in the second half of the year, the next program will be the DV-2010 and information should be available in late 2008.

Educational Requirement

The law and regulations require that every entrant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or, within the past five years, have two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years training or experience. A "high school education or equivalent" is defined as successful completion of a twelve-year course of elementary and secondary education in the United States or successful completion in another country of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a high school education in the United States. Documentary proof of education or work experience must be presented to the consular officer at the time of the visa interview.

2. How to apply

The Department of State will only accept completed Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) Entry Forms submitted electronically at during the registration period.

Digital Photograph

The applicant, spouse and children photographs must be submitted in digital format. You can have a new digital photo taken or scan a paper photograph to convert it to digital format. Detailed specifications will be provided at the Diversity Visa website. The following is a summary of the photograph requirements:

Image File Format:

The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.

Image File Size:

The maximum image file size will be sixty-two thousand five hundred (62,500) bytes.

Image Resolution

320 pixels high by 240 pixels wide.

Image Color Depth:

24-bit color Note: Colored photographs are preferred, but black and white or grayscale photographs, if used, must be scanned in 24-bit color mode. Monochrome images (2-bit color depth), 8-bit color or 8-bit grayscale will not be accepted

After completing the online forms for the main applicant, spouse and or unmarried children under 21 year old, the digital photos must be uploaded and attached for the entry to be considered complete. Individuals who attempt to make multiple entries will be disqualified. A successfully registered entry will result in the display of a confirmation screen containing your name, date of birth, country of chargeability, and a date/time stamp. You may print this confirmation screen for your records.

3. Selection and notification

The Diversity Visa lottery selection is done at the Kentucky Consular Center. All entries received from each region will be individually numbered. After the end of the registration period, a computer will randomly select entries from among all the entries received for each geographic region. Within each region, the first entry randomly selected will be the first case registered; the second entry selected the second registration, etc. All entries received during the registration period will have an equal chance of being selected within each region. When an entry has been selected, the entrant will be sent a notification letter by the Kentucky Consular Center, which will provide visa application instructions.

Please note that those selected in the random drawing are notified by postal mail NOT email. Those individuals NOT selected will NOT receive any notification.

4. Beware of scams

After the individuals have been selected at random from among all qualified entries through the State Department E-DV lottery computer program, they will NOT be notified by email. Those selected will be notified only by letter through the mail usually between May and July of the year following the year on which the entry was made. The letter will be sent to the addresses listed on their E-DV entry. Only the randomly selected individuals will be notified. Persons not selected will NOT receive any notification. U.S. embassies and consulates will NOT be able to provide a list of those selected to continue the visa process.

At legal alien, we provide information about the Diversity Visa program, but we are an independent organization, we are NOT affiliated to the US Government. Some websites may try to mislead customers and members of the public into thinking they are official websites and may contact you by email to lure you to their offers. These websites may attempt to require you to pay for services such as forms and information about immigration procedures, which are otherwise free on the Department of State Visa Services website, or overseas through the Embassy Consular Section websites. Additionally, these other websites may require you to pay for services you will not receive, often including diversity immigration application and visa fees in an effort to outright steal your money. Once you send money in one of these scams, you will never see it again. Also, you should be wary of sending any personal information that might be used for identity fraud/theft to these websites. Any website with a .com; .org; .net; .us etc will not be an official website.

No fee is charged for the electronic lottery entry in the annual DV program.

Please note that the U.S. Government employs no outside consultants or private services to operate the DV program. Any intermediaries or others who offer assistance to prepare DV entries do so without the authority or consent of the U.S. Government. Use of any outside intermediary or assistance to prepare a DV entry is entirely at the entrant's discretion. A qualified entry submitted electronically directly by an applicant has an equal chance of being selected by the computer at the Kentucky Consular Center, as does an entry submitted electronically through a paid intermediary who completes the entry for the applicant. Every entry received during the lottery registration period will have an equal random chance of being selected within its region. However, receipt of more than one entry per person will disqualify the person from registration, regardless of the source of the entry.