Tag Archives: diversity visa lottery

Green Card Lottery Begins October 2013 (DV-2015)

In the midst of US Congress dysfunction and a US Government shutdown, the Diversity Visa Lottery 2015 (DV-2015) or as it’s unofficially known, the Green Card Lottery began yesterday. In short the Green Card Lottery is an annual lottery run by the US State Department as designated by US Immigration law that is FREE to enter with the end result being Permanent Residency for 55,000 lucky winners around the world.

The lottery entry period begins on October 1, 2013 and concludes on November 2, 2013 so be sure you enter during this period as no exceptions are made and the last couple of days because of load there may be computer glitches. At the end of completing your online form, you will be given a confirmation number which you should record as that is how you can check if you won online around April/May 2014 when they announce the results. You will be officially notified by mail if you win.

It is called DV-2015 because the winners would get a Green Card commencing at the beginning of the US Immigration fiscal year 2015 which begins on October 1, 2014. Now while the lottery is FREE to enter (so don’t fall for all the various scams that try and charge you to enter as it is fully run on the US Government website) and it is only 10 basic personal questions to answer online along with uploading a passport size style photo, there are some important criteria to note which could disqualify your entry and/or make you ineligible to enter at all.

  1. You can only enter once for yourself (although you can enter once and your spouse could enter once and if either of you won, the other could be eligible as a spouse of a winner)
  2. Participants born in the following countries are NOT eligible to enter this year’s lottery. (the reason why they are ineligible is because the US Goverment has determined there were already enough people who became Permanent Residents of the US from these nations through other avenues as this lottery is intended to be about greater diversity for the US)
    • In Central & South America whose natives are not eligible for this year’s diversity program:
      Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica and Peru.
    • In North America, natives of Canada and Mexico are not eligible this year
    • In Europe, native from these countries are not eligible for this year’s DV program: Great Britain
      (United Kingdom). Great Britain (United Kingdom) includes the following dependent areas: Anguilla,
      Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena,
      and Turks and Caicos Islands. Note that for purposes of the diversity program only, Northern Ireland is
      treated separately; Northern Ireland does qualify and is listed among the qualifying areas. Macau S.A.R. does qualify and is listed above.
    • In Asia these countries are not eligible for this year’s diversity program: Bangladesh, China (mainland-born), India, Pakistan, South Korea, Philippines, and Vietnam. Hong Kong S.A.R. (Asia region), Macau S.A.R. (Europe region), and Taiwan (Asia region) do qualify and are listed here
    • In Africa, natives of Nigeria are not eligible for this year
  3. There are a couple of exceptions to the above if you were born in a non-eligible country this year. This includes;
    • Was your spouse born in a country whose natives are eligible? If yes, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth provided that both you and your spouse are named on the selected entry, are issued diversity visas, and enter the United States simultaneously
    • Were you born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but in which neither of your parent was born or legally resident at the time of your birth? If yes, you may claim nativity in one of our parents’ countries of birth if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the DV-2015 program
  4. The primary entrant must have completed a high school level education (i.e. 12 years of schooling) OR have two years of work experience in the past 5 years where at least 2 years of experience or training was required to perform the job
    • If you are qualifying under the work requirement go to O*Net Online, you need to have a job that classified as Job Zone 4 or 5 with a rating of 7.0 or higher.1. Under “Find Occupations” select “Job Family” from the pull down;
      2. Browse by “Job Family”, make your selection, and click “GO”;
      3. Click on the link for your specific occupation.
      4. Select the tab “Job Zone” to find the designated Job Zone number and Specific Vocational Preparation
      (SVP) rating range
  5. For the online form itself the following information is required;
    • 1. Name – last/family name, first name, middle name – exactly as on your passport
    • Birth date – day, month, year.
    • Gender – male or female.
    • City where you were born.
    • Country where you were born – Use the name of the country currently used for the place where you were born
    • Country of eligibility for the DV Program – Your country of eligibility will normally be the same as your country of birth. Your country of eligibility is not related to where you live. If you were  born in a country that is not eligible then check the above comments about country eligibility to see if another method may apply
    • Entrant photograph(s) – Recent photographs of yourself, your spouse and all your children listed. You do not need to include a photograph for a spouse or child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, but you will not be penalized if you do. Group photographs will not be accepted; you must submit a photograph for each individual. Your entry may be disqualified or visa refused if the photographs are not recent, have been manipulated in any way, or do not meet the specifications required
    • Mailing Address – this is where your winner notification and instructions will be sent so ensure it is correct
    • Country where you live today
    • Phone number (optional)
    • E-mail address
    • Highest level of education you have achieved, as of today: (1) Primary school only, (2) Some high school, no diploma, (3) High school diploma, (4) Vocational school, (5) Some university courses, (6) University degree, (7) Some graduate-level courses, (8) Master’s degree, (9) Some doctoral – level courses, and (10) Doctorate
    • Current marital status – Unmarried, married, divorced, widowed, or legally separated. Enter the name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, country of birth of your spouse, and a photograph of your spouse meeting the same technical specifications as your photo
    • Number of children – List the Name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, and country of birth for all living unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of whether or not they are living with you or intend to accompany or follow to join you should you immigrate to the United States. Submit individual photographs of each of your children using the same technical specifications as your own photo. Be sure to include; all living natural children, all living children legally adopted by you and, all living step-children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 on the date of your electronic entry, even if you are no longer legally married to the child’s parent, and even if the child does not currently reside with you and/or will not immigrate with you. (Married children and children over the age of 21 are not eligible for the DV. However, the Child Status Protection Act protects children from “aging out” in certain circumstances. If your DV entry is made before your unmarried child turns 21, and the child turns 21 before visa issuance, he/she may be treated as though he/she were under 21 for visa-processing purposes)

The official Green Card Lottery complete instructions are as per this US State Department link and may be worth reading if you are unsure of anything and to help ensure you don’t do things that would compromise your online entry.

Another tip I would give all readers is to do the application in Internet Explorer or Firefox as browsers as it tends to work best without errors. Also remember to save a copy of your confirmation page which you will give you a confirmation number to check your results later.

To get an idea of how many people from each country applied in past years you can look at official country statistics from the US Government here for the DV-2013 Green Card Lottery which ran in 2011 with winners announced in 2012.

Because of current proposed US Immigration reform 2013, which has already passed the US Senate, and has general acceptance on both sides, this may be the LAST EVER GREEN CARD LOTTERY. Although if no immigration reform is passed the Green Card Lottery will remain in future years.

Good Luck,

Green Card Lottery – What To Do After Winning

The Green Card Lottery or what is officially know as the Diversity Visa Lottery is one of top 3 read topics here as the demand each year to enter this around the world around October is staggering. Some of these articles we have talked about before include;

Each year millions of people enter to win the elusive Green Card to live and work in the US of which only 55,000 actually win. It is free and relative simple to enter but the chances of winning are very small but the prize of being able to live and work in the US is so tempting for many and possibly their only plausible route here.

However one topic we haven’t addressed directly other than through the endless comments is what happens after you win the lottery. It is a very murky process and just because you checked online or received a letter saying you won doesn’t actually guarantee anything. So some important points to note;

  1. Just because you have been notified officially you have won does not guarantee you a Green Card
  2. Beware Scam Notifications of winning and check at the official USCIS site and await your official notification by mail
  3. The US Department of State announces well over the 55,000 Winners because due to various forms of ineligibility like country, criminal history, education background, ability to support themselves, medical reasons, family connections, security risks and people who just never bother to continue the process a good portion of people who actually win never get a Green Card
  4. You will receive an official notification in the mailing address you put on your entry form and only then can you follow the instructions given. These usually arrive between April and June
  5. If you are allocated a higher winning number you may not get to complete any steps because the US determines the 55,000 green cards are already used up
  6. The entire process including the US Government portion of them running criminal background checks via the FBI on you must be completed by September 30 of that year
  7. If you are selected as a winner you can be issued your legal entry into the US after October 1 of that year and you will be mailed your actual Green Card(s) a few weeks later to your US address
  8. If you are within the US on another legal visa status and have complied with all conditions of that status you can do an Adjustment of Status within the US and have an interview and criminal check in the country
  9. If you are outside the US, a part of the process will be a US Consulate interview with all family members on the application present in your home country

If you are applying through a US Consulate in your home country, is for you have to complete and return two forms to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC);

  • DSP-122, Supplemental Registration for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
  • DS-230 (Part 1 & 2), Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration,

Once the KCC receives your Immigrant Visa Application Forms, the criminal background and security checks of you (and your family) which is largely done by the FBI.  If that part is passed then a Visa appointment is setup at the US Consulate and also instructions on the relevant medical examinations that need to be conducted. Ultimately the appointment is not made until after the Department of State in the Visa Bulletin that a visa is available to you based on your case number. Prior to the interview the KCC will send any additional materials to your US Consulate case officer that they think is relevant and may need to be investigated further in your case.

If you are living in the US then you can’t do the Adjustment of Status process until the Visa Bulletin indicates a visa number is available based on your case number. Then you will file along with the appropriate fees the;

  • I-485 (Adjustment of Status)
  • I-765 (Employment Authorization) *optional
  • I-131 (Advance Parole – Travel) *optional

It is at this point the security check portion is initiated and requests for Biometrics is requested.

In either case the form I-134 may need to file as affidavit of support from a US Citizen or legal resident if you are deemed to not have sufficient funds and/or the means to support yourself in the US. Ultimately as mentioned all this has to completed by September 30 and can result in missing out even if is the US Government who is completely at fault for the delay.