The Diversity Immigrant Visa program (the DV Program) is a program to diversify the immigrant population within the United States by mostly selecting applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The DV Program is administered annually and the 2016 DV Program opens October 1, 2014, the start of the U.S. government’s 2014-2015 fiscal year. Accordingly, the DV Program will begin allowing submissions online at https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/.
The 2016 DV Program provides for a maximum of 50,000 diversity visas. For the 2016 DV Program, individuals from the following countries are not eligible to apply: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Individuals from these countries are ineligible because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the U.S. in the previous five years.
Individuals born in one of the countries listed above may still apply if their spouse was born in an eligible country or if their parents were not born in or a resident of an ineligible individual’s country at the time of his or her birth. Additionally, if a husband and wife are both eligible, each may submit their own entry provided they meet the other requirements of the DV Program. The other major requirement of the DV Program is each applicant must have a high school education or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform the job.
Applications for the 2016 DV Program can be submitted from October 1, 2014, through November 3, 2014. Starting May 5, 2015, applicants will be able to login online and check whether their entry has been selected. The online system will be the only means by which applicants will be notified of selection for the 2016 DV Program. Applicants who are selected will be able to apply for permanent residence in U.S. government’s 2016fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2015, and ends September 30, 2016.