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What You Need to Know about the 2024 U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery

Until November 8th, 2022, foreigners interested in trying their luck with the United States immigration system were able to enter the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program for the fiscal year concluding in October 2024. Also known as the “green card lottery,” this program, which is managed by the Department of State, will offer up to 55,000 visas to foreigners who meet specific criteria conducive to permanent residency.

DV Lottery Eligibility

The basis of this program is to promote the diverse pool of immigrants that has always characterized the U.S. What this means for prospective applicants is that they won’t be considered if they’re from nations that have historically high rates of immigration—for example, China, Mexico, India, the United Kingdom, and 16 others.

The requirement based on country of birth isn’t always absolute. You can check the list on the Department of State’s website for the DV program, but a San Diego immigration law firm can give you a more definitive answer. For example, British citizens born in Northern Ireland are allowed to register for the green card lottery. In some cases, the parents’ country of birth may be considered. Married couples can consider an immigration strategy whereby the spouse born in an eligible country can later become a sponsor through the family-based immigration process.

It’s also worth noting that DV lottery applicants must have secondary education degrees to immigrate. The only exceptions are people who can prove they have at least two years of experience working in a trade equivalent to established professional fields in the U.S.

DV Lottery Mechanism

All eligible entries have been assigned unique registration numbers, and the State Department will hold a random drawing to grant 55,000 visas. If you’re selected, you’ll have from October 1st, 2023, to October 1st, 2024, to submit a green card package to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The results of the DV lottery drawing will be published online by the State Department and nowhere else. Even if you retain an immigration lawyer in San Diego to help you with registration, there won’t be any other method of notification other than the aforementioned website.

Getting Legal Assistance with the Green Card Lottery

There are no fees associated with the DV program registration, and the online process has been designed to be as self-guided as possible. For the most part, prospective immigrants shouldn’t need legal counsel until they’re selected to receive one of the 55,000 visas. This is when the green card application process starts, and it must be flawless because those selected have a chance to arrive as conditional residents.

Immigration attorneys can help with certain waivers, such as when authoritarian regimes reject passport applications or when prospective applicants were born in disqualifying nations but have familial or cultural links to other nations. In some cases, these waivers have to be processed through the Department of Homeland Security. 

If you need advice on any aspect of immigration law, reach out to the caring, experienced San Diego immigration attorneys at KS Visa Law. From green cards to family immigration and naturalization, we can address all your immigration-related needs. Call us today at 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.

April 2024