Diversity Visa Lottery Program Registration Now Open
The Department of State (DOS) has announced that it will accept applications to enter the 2017 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, between 12:00 noon on October 1, 2015 and 12:00 noon on November 3, 2015 (Eastern Standard Time).
Instructions for applying are available at http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/diversity-visa/instructions.html.. The web site also has a video with step-by-step guidance.
Under the Diversity Visa Program, DOS may issue up to 55,000 immigrant visas annually for "diversity immigrants" from countries with historically low numbers of immigrants. In order to apply for the visas, applicants first must enter a lottery run by DOS, and then be selected as lottery winners. DOS selects winners randomly. Winning the lottery is an essential step toward obtaining the visa, but applicants still must apply for, and be granted, the visa.
Individuals born in the following countries are ineligible to apply for the lottery this year: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. The two exceptions to the birth country limitation are:
Note: the Diversity Visa Program requires applicants to have a high school education or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience within the past five years, as defined by U.S. law.
Applicants for the lottery should not wait until the last week of the registration period to enter because there may be website delays and technical difficulties due to the large volume of applications.
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