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The Lottery Visa

Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 55,000 immigrant visas available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Of such visas, 5,000 are allocated for use under NACARA beginning with DV ’99. The State Department (DOS) holds the lottery every year, and randomly selects approximately 110,000 applicants from all qualified entries. The DOS selects the approximately 110,000 applications since many will not complete the visa process. However once 55,000 are issued or the fiscal year ends, the DV program is closed. If you receive a visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program you will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.

The Department of State announces the opening of the registration period for the DV-2011 Diversity Visa lottery. Entries for the DV-2011 Diversity Visa lottery must be submitted electronically between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Friday, October 2, 2009, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Monday, November 30, 2009. Applicants may access the electronic Diversity Visa entry form (E-DV) at www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period. Paper entries will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter.

Heavy demand may result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after noon EST on November 30, 2009.
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649) amended INA 203 and provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants.” Section 203(c) of the INA provides a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) each fiscal year to be made available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for DVs. The visas 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 United States over the period of the past five years.
Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.

For DV-2011, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years:

BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PERU, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and VIETNAM. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.
No countries have been added or removed from the list of eligible countries. The list of eligible countries remains the same as for DV-2010.

The Department of State implemented the electronic registration system beginning with DV-2005 in order to make the DV process more efficient and secure.
The Department utilizes special technology and other means to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit
multiple entries.

For detailed information about entry requirements, along with frequently asked questions about the DV lottery, please see the instructions for the DV-2011 DV, lottery available at www.dvlottery.state.gov.

The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for diversity visas.

Entering the Diversity Visa Lottery

You cannot enter the Diversity Visa Lottery through the USCIS website or by filing any application with USCIS. The program is managed by the U.S. Department of State.

You may enter for the visa lottery online; it is simple process, there is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. There is no application fee. However, if you need professional help, for a minimal fee, we can prepare and file your entry for you.
The 2011 Lottery online entry begins at Noon Eastern Daylight Time, on October 2, 2009, and ends at Noon Eastern Standard Time on November 30, 2009.

Requirement for Entry

To enter the DV lottery, you must be a native of one of the listed countries. See List Of Countries By Region Whose Natives Qualify. Qualifying Occupations.

To enter the lottery, you must meet either the education or work experience requirement of the DV program.

Education or Work Experience: You must have either a high school education or its equivalent, defined as 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. The U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net Online Database will be used to determine qualifying work experience. If you cannot meet either of these requirements, you should NOT submit an entry to the DV program. What Occupations will Qualify for the Diversity Visa Program (eDV)?

The Department of Labor (DOL) O*Net Online Database groups job experience into five “job zones.” While many occupations are listed on the DOL Website, only certain specified occupations qualify for the Diversity Visa Program. To qualify for a Diversity Visa on the basis of your work experience, you must, within the past five years, have two years of experience in an occupation that is designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) range of 7.0 or higher.

Information Required for Electronic Entry

There is only one way to enter the DV-2011 lottery. You must submit the DS 5501, the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form), which is accessible only at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Failure to complete the form in its entirety will disqualify the entry. Those who submit the E-DV entry will be asked to include the following information on the E-DV Entry Form.

  1. FULL NAME
  2. DATE OF BIRTH
  3. GENDER
  4. CITY WHERE YOU WERE BORN
  5. COUNTRY WHERE YOU WERE BORN
  6. COUNTRY OF ELIGIBILITY OR CHARGEABILITY FOR THE DV PROGRAM
  7. ENTRY PHOTOGRAPH(S)
  8. MAILING ADDRESS
  9. COUNTRY WHERE YOU LIVE TODAY
  10. PHONE NUMBER (optional)
  11. E-MAIL ADDRESS (optional)
  12. WHAT IS THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF EDUCATION YOU HAVE ACHIEVED, AS OF TODAY?
    1. Primary school only
    2. High school, no degree
    3. High school degree
    4. Vocational school
    5. Some university courses
    6. University degree
    7. Some graduate level courses
    8. Master degree
    9. Some doctorate level courses, and
    10. octorate degree
  13. MARITAL STATUS
  14. NUMBER OF CHILDREN
  15. SPOUSE INFORMATION
  16. CHILDREN INFORMATION

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