The US Department of State (DOS) has announced new dates for individuals to file applications for the next Diversity Lottery. The original filing period started October 3, 2017, but due to technical issues DOS stopped accepting applications on October 10, 2017. The new filing period began October 18, 2017, and will end on Wednesday, November 22, 2017.
The Diversity Lottery is a program in which 55,000 permanent resident visas are distributed at random to natives of certain countries. The application must include proof of at least a high school diploma or its equivalent or two years of work experience in the past five years. Natives of the following countries are NOT eligible for the program: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (main-land born only), Columbia, 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.
If a person was born in one of the exempt countries listed above, they may still be eligible in one of two ways. First, if their spouse was born in an eligible country the spouse’s country can be used for nativity. Second, a person may be eligible if they were born in an ineligible country but neither parent was born in that country or they were not legally residing in that country at the time of birth.
If you think you are eligible for the Diversity Lottery don’t forget to apply fully by November 22, 2017. Please note that a Diversity Lottery application may create a problem for the non-immigrant intent rule for some non-immigrant visas and status. For that reason, consultation with a Board Certified immigration attorney may be a good idea.