2010 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration begins Oct 2, 2008

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has announced that it will accept 2010 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery applications from 12:00 noon Eastern Daylight Time on October 2, 2008 to 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time on December 1, 2008. The only way to apply is through the DOS online system, which will be available at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/, once the lottery registration begins. The DV Lottery Program is limited to persons from countries that are not well represented through other forms of immigration. Detailed instructions for the prior year’s lottery are available on the DOS WebSite. These instructions are for FY2009; not 2010. Therefore, they should be viewed only as a guideline at this time. The FY2010 instructions should be followed, once published.

Ineligible Countries under the DV Lottery Program

Individuals from countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the past five years are not eligible to apply under the DV Program. The countries ineligible in the FY2009 DV lottery were: Brazil, Canada, mainland China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (including its dependent territories, except for Northern Ireland), and Vietnam. Persons from these countries were NOT eligible to apply under last year’s DV Program. As mentioned, detailed guidance on the list of countries not eligible under the 2010 DV Program will be forthcoming.

Exception for Certain Nationals of Ineligible Countries

An individual from one of the otherwise ineligible countries still might be eligible if s/he has a spouse who was born in a qualifying country. In such cases, the individual could apply with his/her spouse. Alternatively, if one was born in an ineligible countries, but his or her parents were not born in that country and did not reside there at the time of the birth, the individual may be eligible to apply, based upon the country of birth of one of his/her parents. More details can be found in the instructions, referenced above.

Educational / Work Experience Required

There are minimum educational requirements for lottery applicants. In order to be eligible, one must have either a high school education or its equivalent, or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience. The instructions contain further information as to how eligibility can be determined under the education and experience requirements.

Fraud Warning : Use Official Registration Form ONLY

The DOS announcement carries a fraud warning. Every year, there is a prevalence of scams and schemes, seeking to take advantage of unsuspecting applicants surrounding the DV Lottery Program. To avoid becoming a victim, MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers are reminded that all applications must be submitted only through the DOS official government website. Additionally, only those who apply and are otherwise eligible can be selected. There is no fee for applying. If selected, the only fees that need to be paid are government filing fees for the Adjustment of Status forms or for the immigrant visa issuance at a consulate abroad. The scams usually take the form of false websites or other services claiming to enhance the chances of success, or false notifications of selection. The false notifications for selection typically include vague information about the claimed winner, ask for money, and use non-governmental eMail and web addresses.

Increase Chance of Success by Filing Early

Potential applicants should review the instructions carefully and comply with them in all respects. Do not submit more than one application, as this will lead to rejection. Avoid waiting until the last minute, as the capacity of the online system could become overtaxed near the registration deadline. The photograph instructions should be followed closely. Ensure all information provided is accurate.

Selection of “Winners” for Green Card

Once the entries are received, the “winners” are determined by random computer selection. Those selected are contacted by U.S. mail – not by eMail or any other method. The DOS does not send notifications to persons who are NOT selected. Selection is just the first step. Those selected must pursue adjustment of status to permanent residence or consular processing for an immigrant visa abroad. In order to obtain permanent residence through the green card lottery, one must otherwise be eligible for adjustment of status or consular processing. Individuals who have committed certain immigration violations, and/or who have criminal histories, may not be eligible to obtain permanent residence. Questions on these and other matters regarding the DV Lottery should be discussed with an experienced, qualified immigration attorney.

No Need to Choose between Lottery and Other Green Card Options

Individuals eligible for the DV Lottery, who are interested in immigrating permanently, do not need to make a choice between this option and any others that may be available to them. There is no reason one cannot pursue the DV lottery, as well as another family- and/or employment-based green card option. The lottery is purely a matter of luck. No one should rely upon it and other available options should be pursued simultaneously. Alternatively, no one should forgo the lottery option simply because s/he has a family- and/or employment-based green card in process. The initial entry to the lottery is free of filing fees and, if one is selected, the process is often faster than most other green card options.


Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.