At noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 5, 2019, registration for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the “Green Card Lottery” or “Diversity Visa Lottery,” will close. This program, established by the U.S. government to encourage immigration from countries that traditionally have low U.S. immigration rates, provides 50,000 immigrant visas for individuals from certain countries that meet specified requirements. The requirements include the following:
1. Birth in a qualifying country;
2. Possess a high school education or its equivalent OR two years of employment within the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience.
To apply, an individual must submit an application at https://www.dvlottery.state.gov by noon (EST) on November 5, 2019. The Department of State will then randomly select individuals from the qualified entries and begin notifying chosen applicants on May 5, 2020 through their electronic account. Please note there is no fee for submitting a lottery application. Therefore, be wary of any phone calls, emails, or letters stating that you must submit a fee to be included in the lottery, as these are likely scams.
If chosen, the individual must then apply for permanent resident status (e.g. “green card”), and the government will review the application just as it does any other individual applying for this same status. Therefore, applicants will not be eligible if they have any issues that would prevent them from immigrating into the U.S., such as certain criminal convictions, past deportation orders, or a bar to re-entering the U.S.