Oct 2, 2020
DOS Releases Instructions for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
Gregory J. Eck
On September 30, 2020, the Department of State released instructions on how to apply for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. For FY2022, up to 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) will be available. Registration begins on October 7, 2020, and will continue until November 10, 2020.
The Department of State annually administers the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which provides the possibility of a green card for “diversity immigrants,” i.e. persons from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. There is no cost to register for the DV program.
For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
- Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
- Note - Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.
Applicants who are selected in the program must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a diversity visa. The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing. The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.
In order to qualify for a DV you must, among other requirements, satisfy the following:
- You must be a native of a country with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. However, you may still qualify if:
a. Your spouse is a native of a country with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. You can then claim your spouse’s country of birth – provided that you and your spouse are named on the selected entry, are found eligible and issued diversity visas, and enter the United States simultaneously;
b. You are a native of a country that does not have historically low rates of immigration to the United States, but in which neither of your parents was born or legally resided at the time of your birth, then you may claim the country of birth of one of your parents if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the DV-2022 program.
- You must have at least a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education; OR, you must have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.
Applicants must submit entries for the DV-2022 program electronically at www.dvprogram.state.gov between noon Eastern time, Wednesday, October 7, 2020, and noon Eastern time, Tuesday, November 10, 2020. No late entries, paper entries, or incomplete will be accepted. Also, only one entry per person is permitted. Again, there is no cost to submit an entry form. Starting May 8, 2021, you will be able to check the status of your entry online. The U.S. government will not inform you directly.
In order to receive final approval for a green card, DV selectees must be admissible to the United States. If selected in the DV lottery you will need to complete an online visa application form and you will also be asked questions by a US consular officer, including questions about criminal and security-related topics.
For additional information about the Diversity Visa Program, please contact the attorneys at Green & Spiegel, LLC at (215) 395-8959 to best understand your options.