Each year, the Department of State allows 50,000 immigrant visas to become available through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, a lottery program catered to foreign nationals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. One can apply for a Diversity Visa electronically during an annual registration period. The 2016 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2016) registration period opened Oct. 1, 2014, and closes on Nov. 3, 2014. Beginning in May 2015, winners will be randomly selected through a computer-generated program. There is no cost to register for the lottery.
The 50,000 available Diversity Visas are distributed among six geographic regions. The visas are not allotted equally, however. First, a greater number of visas will be assigned to regions with lower rates of immigration. Second, no single country may receive more than 7 percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year. Lastly, no visas will go to foreign nationals of countries which have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the previous five years. For DV-2016, these countries include Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
It is important to remember that selection alone does not guarantee you will receive a visa. In order to receive a Diversity Visa, selectees must still meet all eligibility requirements under U.S. law. There is also a complicated process that follows selection: One must reconfirm their qualifications for the visa, engage in a secondary visa application process, compile significant supporting documents, and then prepare for and attend a visa interview.
Many things can go wrong during this process. Even errors in your original application can detrimentally affect your ability to receive a visa. For example, if you had a spouse or children prior to submitting your original entry, but you did not include them on your original entry form, then your case will be disqualified at the time of your visa interview and neither you nor any of your family members will receive visas.
With such a complex visa process, you can bolster your chance at success by engaging the help of our team. Berardi Immigration Law is experienced in advising and assisting clients with the Diversity Visa process in addition to preparing clients for their visa interviews. If you are interested in applying for a Diversity Visa, call or email us today to schedule a consultation, or visit www.berardiimmigrationlaw.com.