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. 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. The DV lottery is an alternate path for foreign national employees who meet the eligibility requirements to obtain permanent residence in the United States through a fast track program without the long waits associated with employer-sponsored applications for permanent residence.
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 here as well as those born in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, are eligible. In addition, employees who were born in one of the ineligible countries 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.
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 www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period. We encourage employees to register early. In addition to eligibility based on country of birth, an employee must meet either the education or work experience requirement as listed on that website. Registration for the DV Lottery is free. 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 as well as to check the lottery results is www.dvlottery.state.gov. Employers and employees should therefore be wary of any other deceptive lottery websites claiming to have State Department authorization or any e-mails/ letters that claim to be from the State Department.
Lottery applicants are permitted to submit only one entry per person. Should an individual submit more than one entry, he/she will be disqualified. Once an employee successfully registers online, 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. Starting May 1, 2013 an employee may check the status of his/her entry on the official DV Lottery website 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.