November 2, 2017

What is the Diversity Visa Lottery?

The odds of selection are extremely low – in 2015, nearly 14.5 million applications were received for the 50,000 available green cards. Notably, the United States issues approximately 1 million green cards each year – of which the DV Lottery program makes up just a small fraction.

If selected, the applicant and his/her spouse and minor children undergo fingerprint, name, and photo checks (which include facial recognition and other technologies) against multiple international databases to ensure that they are not on terrorist, organized crime, gang, or other watch lists. In addition, DV Lottery winners attend an in-person interview with the Department of State prior to issuance of the immigrant visa. Past criminal convictions, security concerns, health-related issues and prior U.S. immigration violations are grounds to deny issuance of a green card.

Because the foundation of the U.S. immigration system is built on family and employer-sponsorship, the DV Lottery program is the only means for some individuals to relocate to the United States. Entries for the Fiscal Year 2019 Lottery are being accepted until November 22, 2017 here.

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