Foreign nationals who do not have employment sponsorship or family ties in the United States have another avenue to immigrate to the United States with the Diversity Visa Lottery Program (DV program). Thus, a foreign national does not need to have a U.S sponsor to obtain permanent residence. Rather, the foreign national will register for the Diversity Visa lottery that is available on the U.S. Department of State Web site.   Before applying for the DV program, the foreign national must first make sure he or she is eligible to participate in the program. To qualify for the DV program, the foreign national must meet the following:

  • be a native of a country that is a low admission foreign state;
  • have at least a high school education or its equivalent or, within the five years before applying for a visa, have two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years training or experience.

  A country can be designated as a low-admission state if immigration from that country was lower than 50,000 over the preceding five years. Low admission states are allowed to participate in the DV program, whereas high admission regions are not. The list of countries participating in the DV program changes every year.  

Once the foreign national determines he or she is eligible to participate in the DV program, the next process will be to prepare the application, which is filed electronically with the Department of State. The application is available at www.dvlottery.state.gov. The registration period lasts for 60 days and begins October 2, 2009, and ends on November 30, 2009, for DV-2011.

It is vital that to be considered a DV applicant, the application period for the DV-2011 program must be submitted during this acceptable period. Once the form is submitted, the random selection begins within each region. A selected applicant will be a DV-lottery winner and the Kentucky Consular Center will send a notification letter providing instructions for the visa application.  

Kraft & Associates will answer your questions regarding the DV program and the process toward permanent residence. Call us at 214-999-9999. For more information on the DV program, visit the Department of State Web site at www.travel.state.gov.