Ask the Consul…2014 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

Installment One Hundred Forty

Q: What is the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program?

The Department of State has an annual diversity visa lottery for immigration to the United States. The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available up to 55,000 diversity visas (DVs) annually to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Participants in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program are drawn by random from among all entries.

This program is also commonly called the “Green Card Lottery” and the “Visa Lottery” Program. Under this program, up to 55,000 immigrants can enter the U.S. each year from countries, including Guyana, whose nationals comprise a small proportion of immigrants to the United States.

Q: What are the requirements to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery?

Applicants must be a native of a qualifying country, which includes Guyana, and must meet either the education or work experience requirement of the DV program.

Q: How do I know if I am a native of a qualifying country?

In most cases, you are a native of the country in which you were born. For example, if you were born in Guyana, you are a native of Guyana, which is a qualifying country. However, if you were not born in Guyana or another eligible country, there are two other ways you may be able to qualify.

First, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible but your spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth – provided that both you and your spouse are on the selected entry, are issued visas, and enter the United States simultaneously.

Second, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but neither of your parents was born there or resided there at the time of your birth, you may claim nativity in one of your parents’ countries of birth if it is a country whose natives qualify for the DV-2014 program.

Note that for the 2014 diversity lottery natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years. These countries include natives of Bangla-desh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecua-dor, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

Q: What are the education or work experience requirements of the Diversity Visa Lottery?

To qualify for the Diversity Visa Lottery applicants must have either a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net OnLine database at http://www.onetonline.org will be used to determine qualifying work experience. For more information about qualifying work experience for the principal diversity visa applicant, see the diversity visa lottery link under immigrant visas at www.travel. state.gov.

If you cannot meet either of these requirements, you should NOT submit an entry to the Diversity Visa program.

Q: How do I submit an application for the Diversity Visa Lottery?

The Department of State will only accept completed Electronic-Diversity Visa entry forms submitted electronically at www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period between Tuesday, October 2, 2012, and Saturday, November 3, 2012. All entries by an individual will be disqualified if more than ONE entry for that individual is received, regardless of who submitted the entry. You may prepare and submit your own entry or have someone submit the entry for you. There are NO COSTS or FEES to register for the DV Program.

A registered entry that complies with submission instructions will result in a confirmation screen containing your name and a unique confirmation number. You must print this confirmation screen for your records using the print function of your web browser and ensure that you retain your confirmation number.

Paper entries are no longer accepted. The sole method for entry to the 2014 Diversity Visa Program is through this electronic process.

Q: Can my family also get visas if I am selected?
On your entry, you must list your spouse (husband or wife), and all living unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of whether or not they are living with you or intend to accompany or follow to join you, should you immigrate to the United States, with the exception of children who are already U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents. A spouse or child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident will not require or be issued a DV visa. Failure to comply with this instruction can result in the disqualification of your entry.

Q: How will I know if I’ve been selected?

All 2014 Diversity Visa entrants will be required to go to the electronic diversity visa (E-DV) website, www.dvlottery.state.gov, Entrant Status Check and use the unique confirmation number saved from their 2014 Diversity Visa (DV-2014) online entry registration to find out whether their entry has been selected.

Entrant Status Check will be available on the E-DV website starting May 1, 2013, and continuing through at least June 30, 2014. Selectees will be directed to a confirmation page that will provide further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the United States.

Entrant Status Check will be the ONLY means by which selectees will be notified of their selection for DV-2014. The Department of State will not be mailing out notification letters. Those selected in the random drawing are NOT notified of their selection by e-mail.

Those individuals NOT selected will be notified of their non-selection, also through Entrant Status Check. U.S. embassies and consulates will not provide a list of selectees. Selectees’ spouses and unmarried children under age 21 may also apply for visas to accompany or follow-to-join the principal applicant.

Q: When will DV-2013 visas be issued?

DV-2014 visas will be issued to eligible applicants between October 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014.

Additional Questions? Check the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery website at https://www.dvlottery.state.gov. You may contact the U.S. Embassy Georgetown via our e-mail address: visageorge@state.gov.

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“Ask the Consul” is a fortnightly column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. If you have a general question about visa policy please email it to us at AskGeorge@state.gov. We select questions every other week and publish the answers in Stabroek News and on our website at http://georgetown.usembassy.gov/ask-the-consul.html. Information about visas and travel can be viewed at http://georgetown.usembassy.gov, http://travel.state.gov, and at http://www.dhs.gov. Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice. U.S. Consular rules change frequently and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information.

Other than the questions we select, we DO NOT respond to questions sent to Ask the Consul. Please contact the visa inquiries unit (email visageorge@state.gov or call 225-7965 between 8 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday) if you have questions about a specific case.

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