The US State Department recently launched the annual green card lottery program referred to as the DV-2020. The program was established 30 years ago with the aim of increasing diversity in the United States. Applicants are made up of people without families or the unemployed but have at least two years of experience in specific occupations or a high school diploma. President Trump called for a ban of the program after a man of Asian descent who gained entry to the country through the green card lottery program killed eight citizens in New York. He asked the Congress to replace the program with a merit-based program that is now called the DV-2020 Lottery. The visas are distributed through the Diversity Immigrant program and the recipients chosen randomly. The online registration commenced on 2nd October and ends on 6th November 2018 and is open to individuals around the world who meet specific requirements. Applicants can verify if they meet those requirements through officialusagreencardlottery.org/. Successful applicants will enter the country in January 2020 after submitting their immigration forms and winning a permanent resident card. The foreigners are also required to attend and pass a green card interview at the closest embassy before acquiring the forms.
Applicants must be foreigners or nationals who have not been born in the US and from countries that have a low rate of immigration. This is because no individual country will get over 7 per cent representation. As such, people born in countries that have high US immigration are automatically excluded from the program. The US Immigration Department has outlined countries that have been excluded from participation, and they include Brazil, Bangladesh, China (the mainland only), Colombia, Canada, Mexico, Nigeria, Haiti, Dominican Republic, India, Jamaica, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam and the UK (apart from Northern Ireland). Citizens from all the other countries can participate in the online registration of the USA green card if they meet the second eligibility criteria.
Keep in mind that eligibility is based on the applicant’s place of birth, not on his current residence or citizenship. However, applicants from the non-qualifying countries can join in in the USA Diversity Visa Lottery based on their parents’ or spouse’s country of birth. The eligibility criterion also requires applicants to have completed a twelve-year course comprising elementary and secondary education in their country, which is comparable to completing a 12-year education in the US. As such, applicants who have completed a high school course only are not eligible for the program. Alternatively, the applicant must be an employee in one of the occupations outlined by the immigration department. If he is unemployed, he should have worked for two years within the last five years.
Applicants are only required to prove that they satisfy the requirements after they have been selected in the lottery program and have made a formal application for the diversity visa using the three immigration forms they will receive.
The application process will be conducted online. A decade ago, the process was conducted manually using signed paper applications and passport photos. The US Government transformed it into an online process in 2003, creating a fast, convenient and secure registration process for all applicants. Here are few steps to guide you:
• Verify your eligibility
• Make an administrative fee for the service
• A registration number and password will be sent to your account, which you will use to log in and complete the application process
• Upload your photos and those of the other person you are applying with (spouse). The photos are reduced to the size required by the diversity visa lottery program
• Keep on checking your entrance status online
Usually, entries to the DV lottery are accepted during autumn, i.e., in early May, a year after applying for the program. Applicants should not delay in checking their status. Being a lottery, you need to act fast because the winning entries are usually more than the actual visas issued. Also, winners are issued with DV visas before October, so you don’t want to miss the opportunity.
You need the confirmation number issued when you submitted the lottery entry to use the Entrant Status Check. In case of a loss, you can retrieve it from the Entrant Status site using the registered email address. The confirmation number comprises a 16-digit number, starting with the year of application, year of birth and last name. Those selected in the lottery also receive information on how to apply for an immigrant visa if they are foreigners. At this point, you are required to provide proof of work or the educational requirement stated.