2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery to Open in October

The U.S. Department of State has released instructions for its annual Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program. Applications for the Fiscal Year 2018 Diversity Lottery will be accepted electronically from Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 12:00pm EST to Monday, November 7, 2016 at 12:00pm EST. Applicants will learn the results of the lottery in 2017.

Every year, approximately 50,000 immigrant visas are available to applicants from countries with low immigration rates. The State Department randomly selects a pool of applicants from which a maximum of 50,000 diversity visas are then issued. Being selected in the lottery does not guarantee the issuance of a visa. Applicants who are selected must meet the admissibility requirements for an immigrant visa set forth by the State Department.

Recipients of a diversity visa are granted a green card, which means they are authorized to live and work permanently in the United States and are on track to become a U.S. citizen. They are allowed to sponsor their spouse and any minor unmarried children for a green card as well.

As noted, the purpose of the lottery is to encourage immigration from countries with low admission rates to the U.S. Thus, foreign nationals from countries that have sent 50,000 or more immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years are NOT eligible to apply. This restriction includes the following countries:

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

Ecuador is eligible for the lottery this year. Also eligible are persons born in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Full instructions for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program may be found on the State Department’s website. Attorneys at Chokshi Filippone Law, LLC are here to assist you on your lottery application. Call us to set up a consultation today.


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