US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT
TITLE II – IMMIGRATION CHAPTER 1 – SELECTION SYSTEM
INA: ACT 203 – ALLOCATION OF IMMIGRANT VISAS
Sec. 203. [8 U.S.C. 1153]
(c) Diversity Immigrants. –
(1) In general. – Except as provided in paragraph (2), aliens subject to the worldwide level specified in section 201 (e) for diversity immigrants shall be allotted visas each fiscal year as follows:
(A) Determination of preference immigration. – The Attorney General shall determine for the most recent previous 5-fiscal-year period for which data are available, the total number of aliens who are natives of each foreign state and who (i) were admitted or otherwise provided lawful permanent resident status (other than under this subsection) and (ii) were subject to the numerical limitations of section 201(a) (other than paragraph (3) thereof) or who were admitted or otherwise provided lawful permanent resident status as an immediate relative or other alien described in section 201(b)(2) .
(B) Identification of high-admission and low-admission regions and high-admission and low-admission states. – The Attorney General –
(i) shall identify –
(I) each region (each in this paragraph referred to as a “high- admission region”) for which the total of the numbers determined under subparagraph (A) for states in the region is greater than 1/6 of the total of all such numbers, and
(II) each other region (each in this paragraph referred to as a “low- admission region”); and
(ii) shall identify –
(I) each foreign state for which the number determined under subparagraph (A) is greater than 50,000 (each such state in this paragraph referred to as a “high-admission state”), and
(II) each other foreign state (each such state in this paragraph referred to as a “low-admission state”).
(C) Determination of percentage of worldwide immigration attributable to high-admission regions. – The Attorney General shall determine the percentage of the total of the numbers determined under subparagraph (A) that are numbers for foreign states in high- admission regions.
(D) Determination of regional populations excluding high- admission states and ratios of populations of regions within low-admission regions and high-admission regions. – The Attorney General shall determine –
(i) based on available estimates for each region, the total population of each region not including the population of any high-admission state;
(ii) for each low-admission region, the ratio of the population of the region determined under clause (i) to the total of the populations determined under such clause for all the low-admission regions; and
(iii) for each high-admission region, the ratio of the population of the region determined under clause (i) to the total of the populations determined under such clause for all the high-admission regions.
(E) Distribution of visas. –
(i) No visas for natives of high-admission states.- The percentage of visas made available under this paragraph to natives of a high- admission state is 0.
(ii) For low-admission states in low-admission regions. – Subject to clauses (iv) and (v), the percentage of visas made available under this paragraph to natives (other than natives of a high-admission state) in a low-admission region is the product of-
(I) the percentage determined under subparagraph (C), and
(II) the population ratio for that region determined under subparagraph (D)(ii).
(iii) For low-admission states in high-admission regions. – Subject to clauses (iv) and (v), the percentage of visas made available under this paragraph to natives (other than natives of a high-admission state) in a high-admission region is the product of –
(I) 100 percent minus the percentage determined under subparagraph (C), and
(II) the population ratio for that region determined under subparagraph (D)(iii).
(iv) Redistribution of unused visa numbers. – If the Secretary of State estimates that the number of immigrant visas to be issued to natives in any region for a fiscal year under this paragraph is less than the number of immigrant visas made available to such natives under this paragraph for the fiscal year, subject to clause (v), the excess visa numbers shall be made available to natives (other than natives of a high-admission state) of the other regions in proportion to the percentages otherwis e specified in clauses (ii) and (iii).
(v) Limitation on visas for natives of a single foreign state. – The percentage of visas made available under this paragraph to natives of any single foreign state for any fiscal year shall not exceed 7 percent
.(F) Region defined. – Only for purposes of administering the diversity program under this subsection, Northern Ireland shall be treated as a separate foreign state, each colony or other component or dependent area of a foreign state overseas from the foreign state shall be treated as part of the foreign state, and the areas described in each of the following clauses shall be considered to be a separate region:
(iv) North America (other than Mexico).
(vi) South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
(2) Requirement of education or work experience. – An alien is not eligible for a visa under this subsection unless the alien-
(A) has at least a high school education or its equivalent, or
(B) has, within 5 years of the date of application for a visa under this subsection, at least 2 years of work experience in an occupation which requires at least 2 years of training or experience.
(3) Maintenance of information. – The Secretary of State shall maintain information on the age, occupation, education level, and other relevant characteristics of immigrants issued visas under this subsection.
(d) Treatment of Family Members. – A spouse or child as defined in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) of section 101(b)(1) shall, if not otherwise entitled to an immigrant status and the immediate issuance of a visa under subsection (a), (b), or (c), be entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration provided in the respective subsection, if accompanying or following to join, the spouse or parent.
(e) Order of Consideration. –
(1) Immigrant visas made available under subsection (a) or (b) shall be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each such immigrant is filed with the Attorney General (or in the case of special immigrants under section 101(a)(27)(D) , with the Secretary of State) as provided in section 204(a) .
(2) Immigrant visa numbers made available under subsection (c) (relating to diversity immigrants) shall be issued to eligible qualified immigrants strictly in a random order established by the Secretary of State for the fiscal year involved.
(3) Waiting lists of applicants for visas under this section shall be maintained in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of State.
(f) Authorization for Issuance. – In the case of any alien claiming in his application for an immigrant visa to be described in section 201(b)(2)or in subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section, the consular officer shall not grant such status until he has been authorized to do so as provided by section 204 .
(g) Lists.- For purposes of carrying out the Secretary’s responsibilities in the orderly administration of this section, the Secretary of State may make reasonable estimates of the anticipated numbers of visas to be issued during any quarter of any fiscal year within each of the categories under subsections (a), (b), and (c) and to rely upon such estimates in authorizing the issuance of visas. The Secretary of State shall terminate the registration of any alien who fails to apply for an immigrant vi sa within one year following notification to the alien of the availability of such visa, but the Secretary shall reinstate the registration of any such alien who establishes within 2 years following the date of notification of the availability of such visa that such failure to apply was due to circumstances beyond the alien’s control.
3/ (h) RULES FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CERTAIN ALIENS ARE CHILDREN-
(1) IN GENERAL.– For purposes of subsections (a)(2)(A) and (d), a determination of whether an alien satisfies the age requirement in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) of section 101(b)(1) shall be made using–
(A) the age of the alien on the date on which an immigrant visa number becomes available for such alien (or, in the case of subsection (d), the date on which an immigrant visa number became available for the alien’s parent), but only if the alien has sought to acquire the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence within one year of such availability; reduced by
(B) the number of days in the period during which the applicable petition described in paragraph (2) was pending.
(2) PETITIONS DESCRIBED- The petition described in this paragraph is–
(A) with respect to a relationship described in subsection (a)(2)(A), a petition filed under section 204 for classification of an alien child under subsection (a)(2)(A); or
(B) with respect to an alien child who is a derivative beneficiary under subsection (d), a petition filed under section 204 for classification of the alien’s parent under subsection (a), (b), or (c).
(3) RETENTION OF PRIORITY DATE- If the age of an alien is determined under paragraph (1) to be 21 years of age or older for the purposes of subsections (a)(2)(A) and (d), the alien’s petition shall automatically be converted to the appropriate category and the alien shall retain the original priority date issued upon receipt of the original petition.
(4) 5/ APPLICATION TO SELF-PETITIONS- Paragraphs (1) through (3) shall apply to self-petitioners and derivatives of self-petitioners.
What is the DV Lottery Program?
The U.S. DV (Diversity Visa) Lottery Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, provides 50,000 Diversity Visas each fiscal year to persons drawn from randomly selected entries. Winning entrants are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States and must meet strict eligibility requirements. Officially called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, the DV Lottery provides a U.S. green card to those who are selected and who go through the process of obtaining a U.S. Immigrant Visa.
This year, the U.S. Department of State will again offer the Diversity Visa Program, which will provide winners with legal entrance to the U.S. Entries made in 2016 are for the DV-2018 Lottery, as January 2018 will be when winners are allowed to immigrate permanently to the United States. By then, permanent residence card winners are required to have submitted all of their immigration forms and successfully participated in a green card interview at the nearest Embassy to their current place of residence. Online registration for DV-2018 will only be available on the State Department website between October and November 2016 although registration is available at all times with US DV Experts.
Who can participate and how does it work?
Every person who was born in an eligible country, has a high school diploma or its equivalent and has no criminal record may apply.
A successful entry with your application information, correctly submitted will count as a successful entry. The Lottery usually takes place every February and the results are sent around July. Once an application is accepted, winning applicants will go through an interview process at their local US Embassy – It is essential to go through the consular process as close to your winning notice as only 50% of the winners will be granted with the immigration approval.
While the chances to win a lottery may result in 1 in millions, depends on one’s conditions, the chances to win the US DV Lottery seems reasonable – The DV-2016 annual limit is 50,000 spread out among various continents and also clarifies that one country cannot have more than 7% of the full allocation. There results do not become public so the actual chances may vary but it was reported in 2009 that 9.1 million applications were received, while 100,000 got notified about winning the DV Lottery, and half of those granted with the residency.