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Green Card Lottery Begins Today!

Oct 2, 2009

Diversity Visa Lottery (“Green Card Lottery”) Entries for the diversity visa lottery or "green card lottery" may be made this year (DV-2011) between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)(GMT-4), Friday, October 2, 2009, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST)(GMT-5), Monday, November 30, 2009. Applicants may access the electronic Diversity Visa entry form (E0DV) at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Paper entries will not be accepted.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, more commonly known as the DV Lottery or Green Card Lottery, is a congressionally mandated program based on Section 203 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The annual program provides a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (DV) each fiscal year to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

The annual program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for the lottery. The visas are distributed among six regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the past five years. Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.

For DV-2011, 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:

Brazil, Canada, China (mainland born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, 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.


Application to the DV Lottery Program is done electronically. It is a fairly simple application but has stringent eligibility criteria. Applicants must be natives of a country that qualifies for the program, or the spouse of a person from a country whose natives qualify to the DV Lottery. Applicants who were born in a country excluded in the program may still be eligible, if neither the applicant’s parents was born nor resided in said country at the time of applicant’s birth. In such a case, the applicant may claim nativity in one of his/her parent’s country of birth, if such country is one that is part of the DV Lottery program. Applicants must also meet either the education or work experience requirement. They must at least have finished High School or have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience.


A computer-generated random lottery drawing chooses selectees for diversity visas.

Individuals whose applications were selected will be notified by mail between May and July 2010. The notification letters will provide further information about immigration to the United States. Winners are not notified by e-mail. Those who are NOT selected will NOT receive any notification.

For more information on the DV Lottery and to access the application, please visit the Diversity Visa Program at the U.S. Department of State website.
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