Legal Updates & Alerts

Diversity Lottery 2017 Open October 1 to November 3!

October 5, 2015
The U.S. Department of State has announced registration dates for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery 2017 (DV-2017). Online registration for the Diversity Lottery will be accepted beginning October 1, 2015 at noon EDT (GMT -4) until November 3, 2015, at noon EST (GMT -5).

The Diversity Lottery allows nationals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States to apply through a lottery process for a diversity immigrant visa (to ultimately become a permanent resident of the United States). Those selected in the lottery process must meet certain eligibility requirements.

For FY2017, 50,000 diversity visas will be made available. Natives of the following countries are NOT eligible to apply for the 2017 Diversity Lottery: 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. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan ARE eligible.

All entries must be submitted through the Department of State's online system; paper submissions are not accepted. Only one entry may be submitted per person. Spouses may submit separate entries (note that if one spouse is selected, the other is entitled to derivative status regardless of country of birth). There is no cost to register for the Diversity Lottery.

Beginning May 3, 2016, applicants will be able to check the status of their entry and determine if they have been selected through the lottery process (details are provided to applicants at the time of registration). Selection in the lottery does not mean that an individual will become a permanent resident. An individual must meet all qualifications for permanent residence, and a visa number must ultimately be available to the applicant. Those selected in the DV-2017 program may submit applications for permanent residence when a visa number for the individual becomes available beginning October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017.

Individuals pursuing other employment-based or family-based permanent residence processes in the United States may also register for the DV-2017 program.
Instructions and the full announcement from the Department of State are available at:

The entry system can be accessed at

This client update is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this update, or for more information about this topic, please contact any of the attorneys with whom you normally consult.