The online registration dates and official instructions for the annual diversity visa aka the “green card lottery” for 2014. The green card lottery registration period runs from noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, October 1, 2014, to noon, Eastern Standard Time (EDT) (GMT-5), Monday, November 3, 2014.
This program was sponsored by the late Senator Edward Kennedy under section 203 (c) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1990 to help even out the proportions of immigrants from different European countries which, at the time, were viewed as skewed in favor of immigrants from Latin America and Asia. The DV Program now awards 50,000 green cards annually to citizens of countries that are under-represented in terms of U.S. immigration visas. To meet the diversity goal, any country that has admitted over 50,000 immigrants into the U.S. in the last five years is not eligible.
Roughly 100,000 “winners” will be chosen randomly by computer by May 1, 2015 for interviews at U.S. consulates abroad, or at a local USCIS office for those living in the United States. Interviewees must bring proof of education or work in a qualifying occupation, birth and marriage certificates, and more, including evidence they have a job waiting in the United States or someone willing to pay their living costs until they find a job so they do not become a public charge.
Countries ineligible for the upcoming calendar year 2014 lottery (“DV-2016) are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Applicants born in all other countries are eligible to enter.
Those eligible for the green card lottery can register electronically at the official U.S. government website at: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ during the 30-day open registration period. Applicants can also register any time of year using a highly rated lottery service. Ethical, fee-based lottery services represent a viable choice for many applicants who require or just want the peace of mind knowing they have help throughout the process from registering to finding an immigration attorney if they win.
The green card lottery represents one of the few avenues for legal entry into the United States, for those from African and Caribbean countries. But poorer non-citizens are without lobbyists, let alone a significant number of supporters in Congress. For this reason the lottery has been on the chopping block for many years by conservatives such as Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) who view the winners as a threat to national security, as taking jobs away from Americans, or that the program admits too many “undesirables” via a process of “chain-migration.”
However, the number of immigrants admitted to the United States by the lottery represents only about 5% of the overall number. Independent immigration studies consistently show that legal immigrants contribute to the economy, promote diversity, and help reduce the deficit. The program pays for itself via relatively steep fees charged to each alien and family member admitted into the USA.