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Diversity Visa Lottery is Now Open

The Diversity Visa for 2014 is now officially open until November 3, 2012.  This is an online lottery held by the U.S. Department of State which allows for 50,000 visa winners.  If the winner is otherwise admissible to the United States, he/she will be able to apply for a green card based on the diversity visa.  You are eligible to enter if you are a national of certain countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.  You can find the list of countries, and the instructions, here:  For the first time, nationals of Guatemala are welcome to apply.

Additionally, the lottery requires entrants to be high school graduates, or have two years’ experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years’ of training.  Winners, as well as their spouse and unmarried children under age 21, will be issued  diversity visas.  Nevertheless, both a husband and wife can apply for the diversity visa (two entries) and will both be issued visas if one wins the lottery.

There is no fee to enter the lottery.  You can only enter online at https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/.  You can enter whether you are in, our outside, of the United States.  You will need passport photos for yourself, your spouse and your children if any, and to complete some basic biographical information.

An important note: if you are issued a visa but are inadmissible (due to an illegal entry to the U.S., for example) you may be unable to obtain a green card based on the visa.  The issuance of the visa itself does not mean that you will get a green card.  However, recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DREAMers) who re-enter the United States with an advance parole will not be considered inadmissible on the basis of their first illegal entry, and may be able to adjust status.  For that reason, and in light of other changes that could occur until 2014, it’s worth entering the lottery whether you are or are not admissible at this point.

As always, beware of scams.  If you receive correspondence that you won the diversity visa and must may a payment to claim it, it is a scam.  Also beware of any immigration practitioners who charge high fees to assist you with this process.  Good luck!

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