10 things you need to know about the Diversity Visa Lottery (Part I)


Every year, the United States government carries out a free draw, namely the “Diversity Visa Lottery,” where thousands of residency cards, also known as green cards, are granted to winners.

10 things you must know about this lottery

How many residency cards are given annually through this lottery? 

Every year 50,000 Diversity Visas (DV) are available. The application period begins during the month of October, and it is closed in November. The winners are announced on May of the following year, and the process of issuing the residency cards begins. Finally, by September of that year the paperwork will be ready so that the winners may immigrate to the United States.

The application period starts in October and the process for the winners ends on September 30th because the Federal Government of the United States is governed following the fiscal year, which begins on October 01st and ends on September 30th. That is, it does not correspond to the calendar year which goes from January 01st to December 30th.

Who can participate in the Visa lottery?

This draw is known as the Diversity Lottery, for which reason the purpose is to promote immigration from countries with low immigration rates.

Thus, countries that have a lot of immigrants in the U.S. are excluded from this draw, such as England, China or India. This list of countries can be modified every year. Last year, the citizens from the following Latin American countries were barred from participating: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, México, Perú and Dominican Republic.

Undocumented citizens cannot apply, regardless of their citizenship. However, there are exceptions due to the nationality of their parents or spouse.

Is participation free?

Yes. Submitting the application is completely free of charge. However, if you are one of the winners of the draw, you will have to pay the fee corresponding to issuing the immigrant Visa. Furthermore, the United States will not pay in any case for relocation expenses or economic help for the new immigrant when they arrive into the country.

It is important to know that, even if you win the lottery, it is possible that the Consulate will deny the Visa for several reasons, among which there is the possibility that the person may be seen as a potential economic burden for the Government.

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