The United States government recently announced the start of the 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Rather than complete the traditional U.S. green card application process, entrants can submit an application and hope to be a lucky winner in the DV lottery.
“The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with 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,” the U.S. Department of State explained in a press release. “No single country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.”
For DV-2014, natives of Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom and Vietnam may not apply, due to their high number of immigrants. However, restrictions against Guatemalan natives have been lifted and they are once again invited to apply.
Individuals can apply to the green card lottery, and if chosen, should note that only certain family members will be eligible to come along. The only way to obtain a family-based green card is to be sponsored by a family member who is already a United States citizen.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program will accept online applications from October 2, 2012, through November 3, 2012. DV-2014 entrants may begin checking the status of their applications online on May 1, 2013. Those chosen will receive information on how to proceed with applying for immigrant visas and confirming visa interview appointments.
The Diversity Visa program is congressionally-mandated and administered annually by the Department of State under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990.
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