by Maria Schneider

After the tragic terrorist attack in New York, President Trump recommended eliminating the Diversity Visa Lottery program (DV Lottery). Many of our blog readers have likely not heard of the DV Lottery. Here are some key points about the DV Lottery:

  • The DV Lottery was established by an Act of Congress in 1990. Fifty Thousand green cards are allocated to the DV Lottery and are reserved for countries with a historically low rate of immigration to the US. The DV Lottery countries are identified each year by the US Department of State.
  • DV Lottery applicants must register on-line for the lottery. There is no fee to register or apply for the DV Lottery.
  • In addition to being a native of one of the named countries, DV Lottery applicants must meet certain educational or skilled work requirements.
  • In 2015, which is the last year for which we have statistics, close to 14.5 million people around the world applied for the 50,000 DV Lotter green cards.
  • Those who are selected will be notified through the Entrant Status Check, E-DV Website. DV Lottery winners are never notified by hard copy mail or email. There is widespread fraud around the DV Lottery program, so applicants must ensure that their notification of lottery winning is in fact from the US Department of State.
  • DV Lottery winners must still meet all eligibility requirements before obtaining a green card. The requirements include the same security screening undergone by family-based and employment-based green card applicants before obtaining a green card.
  • In addition to the standard screening, all DV Lottery winners must appear for an in-person interview with an Immigration of Embassy Officer.
  • If processing of the DV Lottery winner’s application cannot be completed before the end of the US government’s fiscal year, due to background checks, resource limitations, or other issues, the DV Lottery winner's application will be denied, and the opportunity to obtain the green card will be lost.

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