The U.S. Department of State opens entries for the Diversity Lottery 2013 (DV-2013) beginning October 4, 2011 at noon EDT, and ending November 5, 2011, at noon EDT. All entries must be submitted via 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 (if one spouse is selected, the other is entitled to derivative status).
Instructions and the full announcement at the Department of State website are available by clicking here.
For FY2013, 50,000 diversity visas will be made available to individuals born in countries with low immigration rates to the United States (defined as less than 50,000 immigrants over the past five years).
Individuals who are natives of (in most cases, born in) the following countries are NOT eligible for DV-2013:
BANGLADESH, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, 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.
There are two potential exceptions that should be assessed for individuals born in countries whose natives are ineligible for the DV-2013 lottery. First, an individual born in an ineligible country may still be able to apply if he or she has a spouse born in an eligible country. Second, if an individual's parents were neither born, nor resided, in the ineligible country at the time of birth, the individual may claim to be a native of a parent's birth country.
Selection can be confirmed via an online process beginning May 1, 2012 (details provided upon registration). Selection 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 be available to the applicant. Applications for permanent residence may be submitted beginning in fiscal year 2013 (October 1, 2012). Applications may only be submitted when a visa number becomes available, as announced by the Department of State.
If an individual is pursuing other employment or family-based permanent residence in the United States, it does not preclude the individual from filing under the DV-2013 program.