Columbus, Ohio Immigration Lawyer Discusses Diversity Immigrants: The DV Lottery

Postage Stamps from Countries.jpgRegistration for the 2010 Diversity Visa Program opened again on October 5, 2010 and will remain open until November 3, 2010. This means that right now there is a great opportunity for forging nationals of qualifying countries to file and plan ahead for the prospect of receiving a Green Card from this fantastic program. This fiscal year, 50,000 diversity visas have been made available for persons who come from underrepresented regions of the world and from countries that send less than 50,000 immigrants to the United States per year. However, to qualify for this program, the applicant must follow some simple yet strict eligibility requirements. Below, we have provided some general guidance for interested immigrants to study as they consider this fantastic opportunity.

Foreign National Must Be From a Country of Eligibility

Only foreign nationals of certain countries that are underrepresented in immigration to the United States may qualify for the diversity visa lottery. Foreign nationals from countries that have sent over 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the past year are not eligible. A list of the countries that are not eligible this year for the DV lottery is as follows:

BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PERU, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and VIETNAM.

Persons from countries not listed above are eligible to apply to the DV Visa lottery. Additionally, a person may use the nationality of his or her spouse to register for the lottery if the couple was married before registration for the DV lottery. Must have a High School Diploma or Work Experience Equivalent

The diversity lottery is only available to those persons who have a high school education or two years of experience in certain occupations. The Department of State has given clarification to what it means by “high school education” and “work experience.”

High School diploma means that the foreign national must be able to provide academic records that would enable him or her to enroll at a United States university. Basically, this means that the high school diploma must have been gained from a twelve year program of primary and secondary school education. Diplomas from correspondence programs and General Education Diplomas are not accepted for the diversity visa lottery.

The work experience that qualifies an applicant for the DV lottery is two (2) years of work experience within the last five (5) most recent years in an occupation that requires at least two (2) years of training or experience. The Department of State decides which occupations require at least two years of experience to perform by looking to the O*NET occupational rating systems that has been set up by the Department of Labor. O*NET rates how much preparation is needed for certain jobs by assigning them a “job zone” rating of one through five. Level one jobs need the least preparation and level five jobs need the most preparation to perform. For purposes of the DV lottery, only jobs with a ranking of four or five will qualify for the necessary experience needed for persons to apply without a high school diploma. Please utilize the drop down menu at this link to find the job zone number of the job you possess.

Requirement of obtaining the visa within the fiscal year of application

Visas for winners of the diversity lottery must have their visa issued between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012. Foreign nationals who are currently present in the United States may adjust their status with the USCIS, provided they are eligible for an adjustment of status. A common problem occurs when a foreign national is present in the United States on J-1 status. In such cases, a waiver of the requirement that the foreign national return home must be had. There is only a short amount of time to receive the visa, so waiver cases must be anticipated and completed quickly.

How to Contact Us

If you have questions about an immigration visa or green card matter, and/or you need help in an immigration process, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. Our law firm handles various matters including Green Cards and Permanent Residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H1B visas, Investor Visas, PERM applications, and many more. Please contact us and experience how our law firm can assist you in your immigration matters. Whether you are an employer, an employee or a family member, The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA has competent, responsive and innovative lawyers who can make your immigration experience pleasant and seamless.