Every year, the U.S. Government makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas to citizens of countries that have a low rate of immigration to the United States. The program, known as the Diversity Visa Lottery, or the Green Card Lottery, is mandated by the U.S. Congress and administered by the Department of State. Any person living in one of these under-represented countries, who is interested in emigrating to the United States by way of the DV program, should visit the program website: www.dvlottery.state.gov.
Registration for the 2013 Diversity Visa lottery begins on Tuesday, October 4th, at 1600 hours Greenwich Mean Time, and will close on Saturday, November 5th at 1600 hours GMT.
There are a few changes to the program this year, said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services David Donahue. First, South Sudan and Poland will participate in the 2013 program, meaning in this year's drawing. Conversely, because of high rates of immigration to the U.S., Bangladesh no longer qualifies and will therefore not participate this year.
All entries must be submitted electronically through the www.dvlottery.state.gov website. The entire process will be done electronically, from registration to the interview scheduling process. It is very important that entrants keep and save their confirmation, or registration number.
Entrants can only check their entry status through the www.dvlottery.state.gov website. If they are selected, the website will also be where applicants should go to find information on the date, location, and time of their visa interview, said Deputy Assistant Secretary Donahue:
"The reason behind that . . . . is to combat fraud. . . . By using only online notification process, we are placing control of the information flow in the hands of legitimate customers only. An entrant who retains his or her confirmation number retains control of the entire application process from beginning to end."
Any e-mail requesting an applicant pay a fee up front is fraudulent, because there is no fee for entering the lottery. Those who are selected may only pay their visa fees at the U.S. Embassy or consulate, while selectees already present in the United States, and who file for adjustment of status, will receive separate instructions on how to mail DV fees to a U.S. bank.
Applicants should also be aware that any omissions on the application, particularly names of dependents, may result in disqualification of the applicant.
Once again, the address is www.dvlottery.state.gov.