As of October 3, 2017 the U.S. government began accepting Diversity Visa Lottery (Green Card Lottery) applications for 2019, which is the year successful applicants will be able to enter the US on the Green Card issued to them. An applicant that has won a Legal Permanent Resident Card in the lottery, submitted the relevant immigration forms, and has successfully sat for a Green Card interview at their closest U.S. Embassy will be permitted to enter the US in January 2019. The government will no longer accept applications for the lottery awarding Green Cards for entry in 2018.
The 2017 Diversity Visa Lottery Program is officially known as DV-2019, and through this program 55,000 Legal Permanent Resident Cards (known as Green Cards because of the color of the paper stock) are available to foreign nationals from “underrepresented countries” in the US immigration system. A country is determined to be underrepresented if that country has a low immigration rate to the US – i.e. there are fewer citizens from that country awarded Green Cards through family-based petitions and employment-based petitions relative to other countries in the world. Certain countries whose citizens immigrate to the US in higher numbers are excluded from participating in the Diversity Lottery. For DV-2019, natives from the following countries are blocked from submitting applications for consideration in the lottery:
|Dominican Republic||El Salvador||Haiti||India||Jamaica|
|South Korea||United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland)||Vietnam|
Natives from these listed countries may be able to participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery if they possess dual-citizenship from a qualifying country of their parents’ birth or through that of a spouse. Natives born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt and may enter the lottery by using Egypt as their country of birth.
There are two requirements for eligibility for the Diversity Visa Lottery. Firstly, the applicant must be born in a qualifying country. Secondly, the applicant must satisfy one of the following two requirements: (i) having completed a US High School education or a foreign equivalent (a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a 12-year course of study in the US school system), or; (ii) having worked in a certain listed occupation for at least two years in the most recent five-year period. A list of the qualifying occupations can be found here.
Applicants who win the lottery can extend that benefit to their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 years old.
The applicant must not submit proof that these requirements are satisfied when registering to enter the lottery. If selected, the applicant will be contacted by a consular officer and invited to formally apply for the Legal Permanent Residence Card and supply such evidence at that time. A quick on-line test to determine whether or not you qualify to enter the DV-2019 Green Card Lottery is available here.
To find out more about the new rules or other investor visas, contact Scott Legal, P.C.
Ian E. Scott, Esq. is the Founder of Scott Legal, P.C. He can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Natives born in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are eligible.
 The U.K. includes Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcarin, St. Helena, and Turks and Caicos Islands.