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The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued instructions for entry into the fiscal year (FY) 2021 diversity visa (DV) lottery, more commonly known as the “green card” lottery. The FY21 diversity lottery will grant 55,000 immigrant visas to qualified applicants. Registration for FY21 begins at noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on October 2, 2019, and will conclude on November 5, 2019, at noon Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Who is eligible?

Only individuals from countries with low rate immigration to the United States.

This year following countries of origin are excluded: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

Education and Work Experience.

Applicants must have at least a high school education or two years of work experience within the past five years in a qualifying occupation. Qualifying occupations are, per the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), those that require at least two years of training or experience

New Passport Requirement.

This a new requirement. The applicant must have a valid passport at the time of entering the lottery

Instruction to apply for the DV Lottery.

DV lottery registration is only possible through a designated online portal. Applications must be complete and contain accurate information regarding marital status and names of family members. It is important to include any spouse and all living, unmarried children under 21 years of age. Similarly, the instructions set out specific requirements for the submission of photographs of the applicant and all listed family members (spouse and children). Failure to provide all the information and photographs requested will result in disqualification.

Confirmation Number Requirement and Checking of the Results

After submission of the application, a unique confirmation number would be issued for each applicant. It is important to retain this information in order to check back to find out whether one was selected in the lottery. Using the confirmation number discussed above, an applicant can see the outcome of the case on beginning May 5, 2020, and ending September 30, 2021

Selection Does Not Guarantee of Green Card

The DOS will issue a maximum of 55,000 DVs in FY21. Unused immigrant visas, if any, will not carry over to the next fiscal year. Since some of those selected in the lottery ultimately will not wish to complete the permanent residence process, or will not be eligible to do so, the DOS selects far more than 55,000 lottery applications to better ensure that all of the available DVs are used. This means that “winning” the DV lottery does not guarantee that one actually will receive a green card under the DV program

For more details on the Diversity Visa Program 2021, see here.

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