Each year, the Department of State provides a visa lottery for a chance to obtain a green card to the U.S., to “diversity immigrants” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. Can I still apply if I was not born in a qualifying country? For the 2018 visa lottery, people from the following countries are ‘not eligible’ to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the U.S. in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. BUT - There are two EXCEPTIONS in which you still might be eligible to apply.
  • First, if your derivative spouse was born in an eligible country, you may claim eligibility as to that country. As your eligibility is based on your spouse, you will only be issued an immigrant visa if your spouse is also eligible for and issued an immigrant visa. Both of you must enter the United States together using your DVs.
  • Similarly, your minor dependent child can be “charged” to a parent’s country of birth. Second, you can be “charged” to the country of birth of either of your parents as long as neither of your parents was born in or a resident of your country of birth at the time of your birth.
What is the other requirement, if I am from an eligible country? Each DV applicant must meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program by having either:
  • at least a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education;
  • two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform
When is the application period and deadline? Applicants must submit entries for the DV-2018 program electronically between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 4, 2016, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Monday, November 7, 2016. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON, OR YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. How can I apply? People can apply online at: dvlottery.state.gov. Registering and being chosen is only the first step.  You must still be eligible for a green card in order to enter the U.S. or adjust your status. Call our immigration attorneys today for more information and to learn about exceptions if you are unsure whether you qualify. Free consultations: 1-888-517-9888.