ImmigrationTalk: U.S. Visa Lottery Open from Oct 2nd – Nov 3rd
By Attorney Gail S. Seeram
The U.S. Department of State will be accepting applications for the 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery programme from October 2, 2012 to November 3, 2012. Each year, the Diversity Visa Lottery programme makes 55,000 permanent resident visas available to people from eligible countries who meet the strict requirements.
Of the 55,000 immigrant visas, 5,000 are allocated for use under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), thereby making only 50,000 permanent resident visas available on an annual basis.
The Department of State chooses the winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery programme randomly through a computer-generated lottery drawing. Anyone selected under the Diversity Visa Lottery programme will be notified directly by the U.S. Department of State through the mail.
Applicants can check the status of their application to see if they are a winner by visiting www.dvlottery.state.gov. If the winner is granted permanent residency, s/he will be authorized to live and work in the United States along with their spouse and children under age 21. There are four basic entry requirements for the Diversity Visa Lottery programme.
Native of Eligible Country: Applicants must be a native of an eligible country. Natives from the following countries are not eligible to apply because they sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States during the past five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, South Korea, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
If you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible but your spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth—provided that both you and your spouse are on the selected entry, are issued visas, and enter the United States simultaneously.
Second, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but neither of your parents was born there or resided there at the time of your birth, you may claim nativity in one of your parents’ countries of birth if it is a country whose natives qualify.
Education or Work Experience: Applicants must have either a high school education or its equivalent (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.
Photograph: Recent photographs of the applicant and his family (spouse and unmarried children under age 21) must be submitted with their application. Note, a group or family photo will not be accepted. Separate digital passport style photos of each family member must be submitted with the Diversity Visa Lottery application.
Since the application is submitted on-line, the digital photos are also required to be submitted on-line. Thereby, the photos can be produced by taking a new digital image or using a digital scanner to scan the photos. If a new digital image is submitted, it must be in JPEG format, have a maximum file size of 240 KB, have a resolution of 600 pixels high by 600 pixels wide, and have color depth of 24-bit color.
If a scan photo is submitted, it must be scanned at a resolution of 300 dpi, it must be in JPEG format, have a maximum file size of 240 KB, have a resolution of 600 by 600 pixels, and have a color depth of 24-bit color.
Note, this is the most cumbersome part of the process because if your photo does not meet these specific requirements, your application will not be accepted on-line.
Application: The Diversity Visa Lottery application is accessible only at www.dvlottery.state.gov and must be submitted on-line. Note, when your application and photo have been accepted on-line, a confirmation screen will appear and this should be printed for your records.
Remember to keep a copy of your confirmation page from the online registration entry submission because you can conduct a status check on your visa lottery entry by visiting www.dvlottery.state.gov and select Entrant Status Check. Status information will be available starting May 1, 2013 through at least June 30, 2014.
If you require assistance in submitting your visa lottery application, contact our office by email at Gail@GailLaw.com or visit our website at www.GailLaw.com. Questions? Call 407-292-7730 or toll-free at 1-877-GAIL-LAW.