In my Consulta Migratoria® column, I explain what the 2024 visa lottery consists of and who can register for the lottery.
If you are excited about the possibility of living permanently in the United States, one way to make your dream a reality is through the 2024 visa lottery.
Each year, the U.S. government awards thousands of diversity visas through a lottery system, and certain individuals who were born in a qualified country can apply. Here's how to enter the lottery.
What is the 2024 Visa Lottery?
One of the ways to obtain permanent residency and a green card in the United States is through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV).
The U.S. Department of State conducts an annual lottery for these visas, which is commonly referred to as the visa lottery, diversity visa lottery or the hype. These visas are given to citizens of countries whose immigration rate to the United States is low and who meet certain requirements.
By fiscal year 2024, there will be up to 55,000 diversity immigrant visas available. The State Department distributes these visas among six geographic regions, and no country may receive more than seven percent of the available diversity immigrant visas in any one year.
A great benefit of winning the visa lottery is that if you have a spouse or children, they could also receive a visa and permanent residency on a derivative basis if they meet all the requirements.
2024 Visa Lottery Registration Deadline Starts Wednesday, October 5, 2022
The U.S. Department of State announced the new registration deadline for the fiscal year 2024 diversity visa program lottery covering October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024.
Interested persons may submit their applications electronically beginning Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. EDT through 12:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. This registration period will not be extended.
Who can participate in the 2024 visa lottery?
There are strict restrictions on who can receive a diversity visa, based on the foreign national's origin and country of birth.
These visas are intended for individuals from countries with a low rate of immigration to the United States. The government determines which countries are eligible. The list may change from year to year.
Individuals from the following countries whose immigration rate to the United States is low are among those eligible to enroll in the FY 2024 visa lottery:
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain and Uruguay.
From Latin America, are not Eligible individuals from Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Venezuela.
Other countries excluded from the 2024 visa lottery are: Bangladesh, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Haiti, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea (South Korea), United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
The excluded countries do not qualify because they have sent more than 50,000 migrants to the United States in the last five years.
Being a native of one of the eligible countries is only one of the requirements. The foreigner must also be eligible. Just because you "win" the lottery does not mean that you will automatically get a visa.
When submitting your application, you must meet a number of conditions, including education or work experience requirements.
For example, you must have at least a secondary education or its equivalent, defined as the successful completion of a 12-year course of formal primary and secondary education, or at least two years of job training in an occupation that has required training.
In addition, the applicant must be admissible to the country. If you do not comply with all the requirements, the Government will deny the visa.
How to register for the 2024 visa lottery?
To participate in the lottery, you must submit the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form or DS-5501) on the following website dvprogram.state.gov.
Full instructions for the FY2024 visa lottery are available on the U.S. Department of State's website, which you can view by clicking here. click here.
You must follow the instructions exactly and confirm that all the information on the registration form is correct. It is important that you provide correct answers to the questions on the form. If you do not meet all of the registration requirements, your application will be disqualified.
The procedure is free. Applications can only be submitted strictly within the registration period.
If you wish to participate, I recommend that you submit the electronic form as soon as possible. If you wait until the last minute, problems may arise.
Generally, there is high demand before the close of the application period and this could lead to an overload on the website. If this happens, there is a possibility that you may not be able to submit your application in time.
Upon successful completion of your registration, be sure to print the confirmation page containing a confirmation number of your DV visa application.
Is it possible to submit multiple applications for one person?
The law stipulates that only the following may be submitted an application per person for the diversity visa drawing during each enrollment period.
The State Department uses sophisticated technology that can detect if someone has made multiple entries. If they detect that someone submitted multiple forms to increase their chances of winning a visa, they will eliminate them from the lottery.
How to find out who won the 2024 visa lottery?
The Government will publish the names of the foreign nationals selected through the FY2024 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery on the following website dvprogram.state.gov from May 6, 2023 to September 30, 2024.
It is the responsibility of each applicant to verify whether he/she has been selected. You will need to log in to the website with the confirmation number you received when you completed the online visa lottery application.
If your name is on the short list, you have a limited window during fiscal year 2024 to claim the diversity immigrant visa and complete the appropriate paperwork at a U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If you miss the deadline, you lose your right to a U.S. diversity visa.
How to avoid becoming a victim of visa lottery fraud?
The visa lottery is a way for people from countries with historically low immigration rates to immigrate to the United States, but it also opens the door to scammers. Every year, people fall victim to scammers who promise them a green card in exchange for money.
There are a few things you can do to avoid being scammed:
1. Ignore emails from websites that try to scam you into transferring money or handing over your personal information. A U.S. Embassy or USCIS officer will never contact you to ask for money.
Do not pay registration fees to register for the visa lottery. Registration is free on the Department of State website.
3. Do not send private information to people you do not know, as it could be used for identity theft or fraud.
4. Ignore communications from people posing as representatives of the Department of State or the Kentucky Consular Center. The U.S. government has never emailed visa lottery registrants to inform them that they have been chosen, and has no plans to do so for the DV-2024 program.
5. Do not listen to people who encourage you to lie on your diversity visa lottery application. This includes lying about your level of education or saying you have at least two years of work experience when it is not true.
6. Also, do not follow instructions from people who tell you that you should not be present during the preparation of your entry or entry so that you can provide the correct answers.
7. If you are selected and apply for an immigrant visa, never send Department of State or USCIS fees to third parties via Western Union. The fees are paid directly to the U.S. Government.
8. If you need immigration legal advice, only consult with an immigration attorney or a federally accredited representative who is licensed in the United States and has years of experience.
Frequently asked questions about the visa lottery
What is the probability of winning one of the 55,000 permanent residence visas in the diversity visa lottery?
According to the August 2022 Visa BulletinThe Department of State received 9,570,291 qualified entries for the 2023 visa lottery. A similar number of qualified entries are expected to be submitted for the 2024 diversity visa lottery.
Citizens of eligible countries should apply for diversity immigrant visas. Immigrating to the United States is the dream of many. Although the odds of winning a diversity visa are low, it is worth entering the lottery once you are eligible to participate. The United States is a country of opportunity for hard-working people with legal status.
Is it possible to obtain permanent residency and a green card through the visa lottery?
Permanent residency or a green card can be obtained through the visa lottery.
A citizen of an eligible country must be favored in the lottery, apply for an immigrant visa in a timely manner and be approved by a U.S. government official.
Which form is submitted to participate in the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery (DV 2024)?
To participate in the lottery, you must submit the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form or DS-5501) on the following website dvprogram.state.gov. You must submit the registration form online only.
If in doubt, consult with a licensed U.S. immigration attorney for appropriate advice.
For more information and immigration tips, visit my website at Immigration Today.
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Nelson A. Castillo, Esq. is an immigration attorney and author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo Obtener la Residencia Permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States). He is a past President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Westlake South Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. For information on how to consult with Dr. Castillo, click here. click here.
The purpose of this column is to provide general information. There can be no guarantee or prediction as to what will be the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. This column may be considered an advertisement under the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys in several states, including California and New York. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.