Immigration Alert: FY2019 Diversity Visa Lottery Now Open

The U.S. Department of State will accept applications online for the FY2019 diversity lottery between 12 noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4) on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, and 12 noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5) on Wednesday, November 22, 2017.The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, permits up to 50,000 immigrant visas for nationals form certain designated countries which are determined to be “under subscribed” for the preceding year. In order to enter the diversity visa lottery, an individual must be a national of an eligible country, must meet minimum education/work requirements and must be immediately admissible to the US. Individuals who have been out of status in the US for more than 6 months and those who have previously been denied a visa due to fraud, criminal conviction or other misconduct may be ineligible even if selected for the program.

For the 2019 diversity lottery, nationals of the following countries are NOT eligible to apply: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible. There were no changes in eligibility this year.

In addition,the applicant have either a high school education or its equivalent, or at least two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years training or experience to perform.

The electronic applications are submitted via the U.S. Department of State’s Diversity Visa Lottery website and must include the following: full name, date of birth, gender, city of birth, country of birth, country of eligibility for the program, photograph(s), mailing address, current country of residence, phone number (optional), email address, educational level, marital status, number of children, and information about spouse and children. A digital photograph of all included family members must be attached. Applicants may only submit one lottery entry although spouses may submit their own. Individuals who attempt to submit more than one application will be disqualified from participating in the lottery. A diversity application must be accompanied by digital photographs of the applicant, the applicant’s spouse (if applicable), and the applicant’s dependent children (if applicable) taken in accordance with specific requirements set forth in detail on the U.S. Department of State’s website

Beginning May 15, 2018 (through at least September 30, 2019), applicants can check the status of their application using their confirmation number through the Entry Status Check section of the E-DV website. Lottery winners will not receive correspondence in the mail to confirm the selection of their application; the status of the application can only be checked through the E-DV website.

Instructions regarding how to apply for the 2019 Diversity Visa Lottery may be obtained from the U.S. Department of State’s PDF instructions and U.S. Department of State’s website.