The US Department of State has announced that registration for the 2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery (DV-2017) has opened on October 1 and will close on November 3.
The DV-2017 program started in 1986 with 10,000 visas issued on a first filed basis. In 1990, 40,000 additional visa numbers were added and the selection was changed to a random selection. (The random change was a welcome modification from the early days of post box stalking with overnight lines in front of the boxes that were predicted to have the first pickup and delivery to the government). Though many predicted that the DV-2017 program would be eliminated, 50,000 visa numbers are still available for those lucky enough to qualify and be chosen. More than 50,000 will be selected, to account for dropouts and disqualifications during the process. For this reason, it is very important to take quick action if your application is selected.
Natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply this year because more than 50,000 natives of these countries have immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom and its dependent territories (except Northern Ireland), and Vietnam. Even if you were born in one of these countries, however, you might still qualify based on your spouse’s place of birth. If you were born in an ineligible country where neither of your parents were born or classified as legal residents at the time of your birth, you can claim your parents’ place of birth as your own, instead.
There is no cost to register for the DV program. Click on this link for more detailed rules.