Annual Diversity Immigrant Visa Program Entries Rise

Over 900,000 entries for the Annual Diversity Immigrant Visa Program have already been submitted for 2011. This was just during the initial week – a 63% increase over last year.

The U.S. Department of State initiated the registration period for DV-2011 on October 2, 2009. The Diversity Visa Program – this year referred to as DV-2011 –is congressionally mandated visa category which selects individuals through a random drawing and makes available 55,000 immigrant visas every year, drawn from all entries and issued to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements and who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Successful applicants receive notification of their selection via mail between May and July 2010, and will be permitted to begin the Immigrant Visa application process in October of 2010. DV-2011 immigrant visa must be issued by September 30, 2011.

During the first week of eligible submissions, the Department of State received more than 900,000 entries for the Annual Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. In DV-2011, the Department of State anticipates more than 13,000,000 entries by November 30, 2009, the day when registration for DV-2011 closes.

There is no fee to enter DV-2011. Successful entrants will be required to pay applicable application fees and costs including those for medical examinations, for themselves and for immediate relatives who also qualify. Entries must be submitted online. All successful entrants will be notified by mail, but entrants who retain their online confirmation page will be able to check their entry status via the Internet.

Nationals from countries which have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over a five-year-period are not eligible. Thus, individuals whose birthplace is Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam are not allowed to enter. Additionally, the law requires that every immigrant must possess (at minimum) a high school education or equivalent work experience.

Issuance of immigrant visas (green cards) is part of this so-called “green card lottery” or “dvlottery,” due to the fact that the winners are selected through a random drawing.

Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. Mr. Rabinowitz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney visit