The annual Diversity Immigrant Visa Program run by the U.S. Department of State is accepting entries until Tuesday, Nov. 3, at noon Eastern Standard Time.
“It’s a cool opportunity; it targets people that are eligible in different countries that don’t come from countries with high rates of immigration, and it gives us an opportunity to strengthen our nation through diversification,” said Peter Thomas, associate director in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.
The free program was congressionally mandated in 1990 and makes up to 55,000 diversity immigrant visas available each year to randomly selected applicants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States.
Applicants are selected through a randomized computer drawing and are distributed among six geographic regions with no single country receiving more than 7 percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.
To be eligible, applicants must be born in countries whose natives qualify and meet the education or work experience requirement of the Diversity Visa Program.
A list of countries that are and are not eligible to apply because more than 50,000 natives immigrated to the United States in the previous five years can be found at the U.S. Department of State website, usvisas.state.gov/dv/instructions.
Entries must be submitted electronically at dvlottery.state.gov. No late or paper entries will be accepted. Individuals with more than one entry within the same year will be disqualified.
Applicants can check to see if they have been selected by returning to the dvlottery.state.gov website and checking the status of their entry. Notifications will not be sent by letter or email.