By Alan Perkins, Turid Owren, and Melany Savitt
Online registration for the 2022 DV Lottery (DV2022) opened Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and closes Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5).
For DV2022, up to 55,000 immigrant visas (green cards) will be available.
Background on the program
The DV Lottery allows individuals 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, also known as a "green card holder"). Those selected in the lottery process must meet certain eligibility requirements.
Full instructions from the U.S. Department of State are available here:
Who cannot apply
This year, natives of the following countries are NOT eligible to apply: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Some exceptions apply based on parents’ country of birth and residence at time of applicant’s birth.
Who can apply
Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible. For the full list of eligible countries, please see the Diversity Lottery Instructions beginning at page 17. Individuals pursuing employment-based or family-based permanent residence in the United States may also register for the DV Lottery.
Key applicant requirements: Diversity Lottery Instructions
- Born in eligible country. See list of countries whose natives qualify at page 17 of the Diversity Lottery Instructions.
- High school education or equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience. See pages 2 and 9 of the Diversity Lottery Instructions.
- Photographs must be taken no more than six months before the date of submitting the lottery entry package; wearing eyeglasses in the photograph is prohibited. Submitting the same photograph as in a prior year's entry will result in the application being disqualified. Photo specifications are at pages 3-4 and 6-7 of the Diversity Lottery Instructions.
- Passport. An unexpired passport is required to enter the program. Certain exceptions exist for stateless individuals, and certain nationals of communist-controlled countries. See pages 10-11 of the Diversity Lottery Instructions.
How to apply
Registration is free. All entries must be submitted through the Department of State's online system at: https://dvprogram.state.gov. Incomplete, late, or paper submissions will not be 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). Submitting more than one entry will result in disqualification.
The Department of State will randomly select individuals by computer. Beginning May 8, 2021, applicants will be able to check the status of their applications via the Entrant Status Check at the submission website above. Selected applicants will not be individually notified, so status must be checked online.
Selection in the lottery does not guarantee 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. More individuals are selected in the lottery than there are available visas. As such, those selected in the DV Lottery are eligible to submit applications for permanent residence if and when a visa number for the individual becomes available beginning October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022. In addition, the immigrant visa/green card must be issued by September 30, 2022.
This client alert 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 in our Immigration Practice Group, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.