Employers of foreign nationals should take note that registration for the Fiscal Year 2014 Diversity Visa ("DV") Lottery opened at noon (EDT) on October 2, 2012, and will remain open until noon (EDT) on November 3, 2012. The DV Program is an alternate path for foreign nationals who meet the Program's eligibility requirements to obtain permanent residence in the United States. Each fiscal year, the U.S. Department of State makes 50,000 immigrant visas ("green cards") available to a class of immigrants known as "diversity immigrants" through a computer-generated lottery selection.
Who Is Eligible to Enter the FY 2014 Lottery?
Persons from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States may register for the DV Lottery. Employees born in one of the following countries are not eligible: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
Employees born in any country not listed above, as well as in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, are eligible to register. In addition, employees who were born in one of the ineligible countries listed above may still be able to register, provided that, if married, the employee's spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, and in some circumstances, through a parent's country of birth.
In addition to being eligible to enter based on country of birth, an employee must meet either the education or work experience requirement as listed on the official DV Lottery website.
How Does an Employee Register for the Lottery?
An employee (not the employer) must submit an online E-DV entry form and a digital photo through the Department of State's official lottery website at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ during the registration period. The employee should register early and make sure his/her photo meets the required specifications as shown on the website. Lottery applicants are permitted to submit only one entry per person. All entries by an individual will be disqualified if more than one entry is submitted. Once an employee successfully registers electronically, a confirmation screen will appear on his/her computer containing his/her name and confirmation number. The employee must print this screen for his/her records and save the confirmation number.
How Does an Employee Learn if He/She Has Been Selected as a Lottery Winner?
An employee may check the status of his/her entry starting May 1, 2013, on the official DV Lottery website indicated above by clicking on Entrant Status Check and entering his/her unique confirmation number and personal information. This is the only method of notification of a winning entry selection; the Department of State will not send letters or e-mails or make calls to the selected lottery winners.
Protect Yourself from Lottery Fraud
There is no cost or charge by the Department of State for employees to register for the DV Lottery. The U.S. government does not employ any outside consultants or private services to operate the Program. The only authorized website where employees can officially register to participate in the DV Program is www.dvlottery.state.gov. Accordingly, employers and employees should be very wary of any other deceptive lottery websites claiming to have State Department authorization, or any e-mails or letters that claim to be from the State Department. As stated above, the State Department does not send letters or e-mails and the official lottery website is the only legitimate place to submit a registration or to learn about lottery results.