2011 Diversity Visa Lottery Program Registration Begins
The new visa quota numbers for October 2009 have arrived and for many categories, especially employment based third preference (EB3), the priority dates have moved very little, creating waits of well over 7 years for those already on the list who first began their employment based immigrant visa process in 2001.
The new visa quota numbers for October 2009 have arrived and for many categories, especially employment based third preference (EB3), the priority dates have moved very little, creating waits of well over 7 years for those already on the list who first began their employment based immigrant visa process in 2001. It is, therefore, particularly disturbing that rather than adding extra immigrant visa numbers to these categories, categories in which the Department of Labor has already certified that there are not willing, able and sufficient workers to fill these jobs, that the Department of State, on September 29, 2009, announced the opening of the of the registration period for the DV-2011 Diversity Visa lottery. This visa lottery allocates 55,000 immigrant visas to individuals unrelated to needed skills or family ties and is, in essence, a slap in the face to many who have been waiting patiently ( or perhaps not so patiently).
Since we take what we can get these days in the immigration forum, the Department of States’ instructions are as follows:
Entries for the DV-2011 Diversity Visa lottery must be submitted electronically between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Friday, October 2, 2009, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Monday, November 30, 2009. Applicants may access the electronic Diversity Visa entry form (E-DV) at www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period. Paper entries will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after noon EST on November 30, 2009.
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants.” Section 203(c) of the INA provides a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) each fiscal year to be made available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for DVs. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the past five years.
Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year. For DV-2011, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years:
BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), 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. Persons
born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible. No countries have been added or removed from the list of eligible countries. The list of eligible countries remains the same as for DV-2010.
The Department of State implemented the electronic registration system beginning with DV-2005 in order to make the DV process more efficient and secure.
The Department utilizes special technology and other means to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit
multiple entries. For detailed information about entry requirements, along with frequently asked questions about the DV lottery, please see the instructions for the DV-2011 DVlottery available at www.dvlottery.state.gov .
A few points to note and remember: First, very few Latin American countries are eligible because of the large amount of immigration from this part of the world. Second, beware of fraud: using an attorney or other individual to assist in the preparation of this application will not, repeat, will not, increase the chances of winning, other than to ensure that the application is correctly completed (this is a lottery, after all). Finally, one application per individual so do not submit more than one per person ( the computer will cancel all of the applications if this is done).