Green Card Lottery
2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2019)
Each fiscal year, the U.S. government makes available 50,000 immigrant visas for persons from countries (based on COUNTRY OF BIRTH) with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Persons from countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the last five-year period are ineligible for the Diversity Visa (“DV”) program, more commonly known as the green card lottery. A computer-generated random lottery selects winners for diversity visas. These visas are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration. Within each region, no one country may receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.
Persons who are selected in the DV Program are invited to APPLY for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also apply for immigrant visas or adjustment of status. The selectee must prove that he/she was born in one of the participating countries and is otherwise eligible for U.S. permanent residence.
For DV-2019, persons born in the following countries are NOT eligible to apply:
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.
Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.
If you were born in one of the ineligible countries, but your spouse was born in an eligible country, you may claim your spouse’s country of birth provided that both of your names are on the selected entry and both of you are issued visas and enter the U.S. simultaneously. If you were born in an ineligible country, but both of your parents were not born there or resided there at the time of your birth, you may claim the country of birth of one of your parents if it is an eligible country.
In addition to being born in an eligible country, applicants must meet either the education requirement OR the work experience requirement.
How to Meet the Educational Requirement
Applicants must have the equivalent of a high school diploma in the United States. In the U.S., it takes 12 years to get a high school diploma. Equivalents include:
England, Wales, and Northern Ireland: the General Certificate of Education of O-levels, the General Certificate of Education, the General Certificate of Secondary Education (all 5 grade C or better), or, BTEC National Certificate or BTEC National Diploma.
France: the Baccalaureate
Germany: the Abitur
Irish Republic: Pass Leaving Certificate
Scotland: Scottish Certificate of Education, Higher Grade SCOTVEC National Certificate
Sweden: the Gymnasiet
How to Meet the Work Experience Requirement
Applicants must have worked at least two of the last five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net OnLine database (http://online.onetcenter.org). This database groups jobs into five Job Zones. To qualify for a diversity visa based on work experience, the occupation must be designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) range of 7.0 or higher.
Applicants who are selected will be required to either apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate or, if they are in the U.S. in valid nonimmigrant status, apply for adjustment of status within the United States. Immigrant visas under DV-2019 must be issued by September 30, 2019. Individuals who apply for adjustment of status must be granted permanent residence by that date. All family members intending to immigrate to the U.S. based on selection in the DV-2019 lottery must have their immigrant visas by that date.
Persons may only submit one entry during the one-month registration period, which runs from 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. The application must be submitted online and must include a digital photograph of each family member. Remember, the registration DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 7, 2017 at noon Eastern Standard Time.
Selectees will NOT be notified by mail. All Diversity Visa entrants will be required to go to the Entry Status Check on the E-DV website, which is www.dvlottery.state.gov, to find out if they have been selected. Selectees will be notified of their selection through the Entry Status Check. No other means of notification of selection will be provided. The earliest date on which selectees will be notified is May 1, 2018. Selectees will be directed to a confirmation page which will provide further instructions. Please be aware that more than 50,000 entries will be selected in the DV-2019 lottery. However, only 50,000 diversity visas are available.
How We Can Help You:
At Ferman Law, PLLC we can submit your entry and digital photograph online for you and any eligible family members. If your entry is selected in the DV lottery, we can prepare the immigrant visa applications or applications for adjustment of status for you and your dependent family members and submit them as soon as your cut-off number becomes available. We would also then prepare you for the immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or the adjustment of status interview at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.