2018 Diversity Visa Lottery Now Open!

October 17, 2016

This is a reminder that the entry period for the 2018 Diversity Visa Lottery began on  October 4, 2016 at  noon EST. Entries must be submitted electronically through the DV Lottery website by Monday, November 7, 2016  at noon EST.

For 2018 there will be 50,000 diversity visas available through the lottery. To read more about the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, including eligibility requirements, please click here.

The Department of State has announced that natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated 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.

This year, Ecuador is newly eligible for the Diversity Visa Lottery.

The registration process is free on the Department of State’s website.    You do not need a lawyer or other consultant to complete the registration form.  If you are selected in the lottery, we do recommend at least consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer to find out how and if you may be able to adjust status (if you are in the United States) or apply for an immigrant visa at the US Consulate in your home country.

Even if you were not born in an eligible country, you may still be able to qualify if your spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible.   Please note that both you and your spouse must be named on the selected entry, both found eligible and issued diversity visas, and must enter the United States simultaneously.   You may also be eligible if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible but in which neither of your parents were born or legally resident at the time of your birth.   In this case, you could claim the country of birth of one of your parents if it is a country whose natives are eligible.   Please review the Department of State’s FAQs for further information or contact our office to speak with one of the attorneys.

An additional requirement is that each DV applicant must have earned at least:  a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education; OR two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.

Starting on May 2, 2017, applicants will be able to check the status of their entries by returning to the DV Lottery website and clicking on Entrant Status Check.

See more information here.

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