Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants.” These are immigrants from countries that have historically low rates of immigration to the United States. Persons from the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 people from these countries immigrated to the U.S. in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Columbia, Domincan Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories and Vietnam. For fiscal year 2018, 50,000 diversity visas will be available.
- Individuals must be born in eligible countries
- Individuals must have a high school diploma or two years of work experience within the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training.
- Individual must be admissible to the U.S.
Applications must be submitted electronically through the Department of State. Paper entries and mail-in requests are not accepted. There is no registration fee for the diversity lottery. For fiscal year 2018, diversity lottery applications will be accepted starting October 4, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EDT until November 7, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EDT.
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