Everything you need to know about the Diversity Immigrant Lottery Program (DV-2021)

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In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the United States Diversity Visa Lottery program (DV-2021).

Why immigrate to the United States?

American culture has had an undeniable influence throughout the world. We know a lot about the United Stants thanks to the media; mainly through movies, television series, radio and, nowadays, the Internet. To date, the United States is the seventh-largest economy in the world and continues to be known as a country in which any honest person who works consistently can have a stable job and thus cover both their needs and those of their family.

For these reasons, many people want to go to work in the United States. However, doing it legally – and the importance of doing it this way can’t be exaggerated! – has its challenges. It is not impossible, but it is laborious, so the advice of an American Immigration Lawyer is highly recommended, since such professionals are trained to take immigrants through the immigration process by the hand, guiding them on the specific path that is most convenient in their particular case to be able to legally enter and stay in the United States as lawful permanent residents. 

Among the most popular ways to become a lawful permanent resident and, subsequently, a citizen of the United States are the following: (lawfully) marry a U.S: citizen or resident, apply for an EB-5 Investor Visa (which as of November 2019 will involve an investment of $ 900,000) and get a religious visa, but did you know that there is a US visa whose processing is free, done online, does not require of lawyers and allows anyone who meets certain basic requirements to obtain a Green Card? We are talking about the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

What is the Diversity Visa Program?

The Diversity Visa is a process in which millions of people take part each year but only 55,000 of them are chosen as “immigrants for diversification”. Winners receive a Green Card, a document with which they can reside and work legally in the United States. Additionally, 5,000 extra visas are distributed to citizens of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba and several countries of the former Soviet Union (USSR) by virtue of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act or NACARA.

Who can take part in the Diversity Visa Lottery?

All those people who: 

1.- Have a Bachelor’s Degree or at least two years of work experience in any of the occupations established on O * Net Online; and 

2.- Reside in one of the countries for which the program is open. The list varies depending on those countries that sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States the year before the lottery takes place.

What are the countries for which the latest diversity visa lottery program in the United States (DV-2021) is open?

In this PDF file, you can find a list of all countries whose citizens may take part in the program. However, below is a list of those countries for which the diversity lottery is not currently open:

Alphabetical list of countries for which the United States Diversity Lottery is currently closed (DV-2021)

As a general rule, citizens of the following countries can’t take part in the program: Anguilla, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, China (born on the mainland), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Georgia South, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Pitcairn Island, Saint Helena South Korea, The British Virgin Islands, The Falkland Islands, The South Sandwich Islands, The Turks and Caicos Islands, Vietnam

By way of exception, citizens of the designated countries may apply for the diversity visa lottery program (DV-2021) in the event that either their spouse or both of their parents were born in one of the countries to those that said program is open.

What should I do to take part in the United States Diversity Visa Lottery Program (DV-2021)?

Once you have verified that you meet the requirements to participate in the program you must submit your application on the official page of the Department of State in the corresponding period, which for this particular process will be between October 2 and November 5, 2019. In this application you must include the following information:

  •         Full name, as it appears in the passport.        
  • Full address.
  •         Date of birth.
  •         Marital status. The name of the husband or wife must also be included here and also whether the said spouse is a permanent resident or a citizen of the United States.
  •         City of birth.
  •         Email.
  •         Country of eligibility for the DV-21 lottery.
  •         Photographs of the applicant and their immediate family members.
  •         Telephone number (optional, can be left blank).
  •         The name of the country where he currently resides.
  •         The highest level of education completed for the day in the who submits the application.
  •         Gender: male or female.
  •         Country of birth.

It is capital to emphasize that the applications must not have errors under penalty of being rejected.

In addition, you should know the following:

            The contest is open both to people living abroad and to those living in the United States. However, the latter must meet the requirements to be able to make an adjustment of immigration status. Hence, illegal immigrants, among others, can’t take part in the process.

Each individual can only apply once during each process. Submitting more than one application may result in the participant being excluded from the lottery. However, married participants can include their spouses in their respective applications, so that if only one of them is elected, the other can also apply for a Green Card.

If you are married, it is MANDATORY to include your spouse in the application even in the event of a de facto separation, but those who are divorced or legally separated should not do the above.

Likewise, it is essential to include the name of all your children (natural, adopted and stepchildren included) who are single and under 21 at the time of filing application, even if they don’t live with you or intend to immigrate to the United States). Only unmarried children under 21 years of age who already live in the United States and are citizens or lawful permanent residents can -but not necessarily- be omitted.

In addition, you may include your children who are under 21 years of age at the time of submitting the application but will be of such age once they win the lottery. However, if they get married in that period they won’t be able to immigrate with you.

Likewise, the spouses of gay and lesbian participants may be included in the application, provided that such marriage is legitimate at the place where it was celebrated.

On the other hand, it’s very important that the pictures in your application meet a series of requirements.

Finally, you will know that you finished filling out your application once your name appears on the screen next to a confirmation number. It is very important that you keep such a number since you will need it later.

When are the results of the United States Diversity Visa Lottery Program (DV-2021) published and how do I know if I won?

Once you fill out your application you will have to check the results on the website between May and September 2020 to know if you won the lottery in which you registered during the fall of 2019. It is important that you be attentive in this regard and that if you win you emigrate as soon as possible, given that there are usually more winners than available green cards, so if you take a long time to emigrate you could run out of one!

Now, although the lottery is free to enter, if you win ot you must make a payment of $330 (this amount may vary), at the Embassy or Consulate of the United States. Once the visa is approved you will have 6 months to immigrate to the United States and the Green Card will be stamped in your passport. Once this happens, you’ll be able to live and work legally in the United States and apply to get this country’s citizenship.