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Green Card Lottery

dossealIMPORTANT UPDATE!  ** THE SUBMISSION PERIOD NOW OPEN **

The entry registration period for the 2017 Diversity Visa program (DV-2018) is now OPEN.

The entry submission period for DV-2018 is from 12:00PM EDT (GMT -4) on October 4, 2016 to 12:00PM EST (GMT -5) on November 7, 2016 on the State Department’s page:

https://www.dvlottery.state.gov

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For DV-2018, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years:

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

Changes in eligibility this year: natives of ECUADOR can participate.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ELIGIBILITY: If you have another citizenship/nationality that would qualify, OR if you were born in a country other than your primary citizenship, OR if your spouse is of a qualifying nationality, you MAY still be able to apply for the Lottery, based on so-called “chargeability”.  In addition, you must meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program.  Check with a qualified immigration attorney for details.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH REQUIREMENTS: As part of your participation and entry into the lottery, you will be required to submit and upload a digital passport-style photograph. You can either (1) take a new digital photograph, or (2) scan a photographic print with a digital scanner, as long as it meets the compositional and technical specifications. Once the registration period opens, you can test your photo(s) through the photo validation link on the U.S. State Department’s E-DV website, which provides additional technical advice on photo composition and examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos.

CONSUMER ADVISORY: While there is no official “filing fee” to participate in the Lottery,  many third-party services and law firms offer their assistance in registering an applicant for the Lottery for a nominal fee.  Unless you process your Lottery entry yourself, you should use ONLY the services of a qualified law firm or lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law, to handle this entry on your behalf.  Ask for a copy of the confirmation page, as proof of successful registration.   You may also contact me if you need assistance in participating in the Lottery.

Winners of DV-2016 are notified in Spring of 2015 by email with further instructions.  Depending on the Winner’s location of residence and certain other considerations, the Winner will have the choice of (1) either applying for a Greencard via a process called “Adjustment of Status” if already residing in the United States, OR  (2) choose to apply for consular processing of an “Immigrant Visa” to enter the United States, if residing abroad.   For either of these processes, government filing fees, and in many cases, legal fees will apply. Check with a qualified immigration attorney for details.

FRAUD WARNING: Please be aware of fraudulent “Winner Notifications” which appear very authentic, and ask for fee-payments through WESTERN UNION for further processing.   The notification will look something like this:

 

(fraudulent winner notification)

DO NOT act on an email like this!  DO NOT make any kind of payment!

In order to determine the status of one’s actual lottery entry, the U.S. State Department has provided an online check: http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ESC/

Please also see the USCIS’ online warning about this fraudulent scam:  http://blog.uscis.gov/2011/03/e-mail-scam-avoid-green-card-lottery.html