The U.S. diversity (DV)
immigrant visa lottery for fiscal year 2015 opens on Tuesday, October
1, 2013 and will remain open for entries until November 2, 2013. This
year, the U.S. government has 50,000 immigrant visas available through the DV
lottery and subsequent DV visa application process.
As in previous years, the Department of State
(DOS) will select about 100,000 entries as “winners” and then through a process
of elimination, 50,000 DV immigrant visas will actually be issued. At
least half of the “winners” will be eliminated either due to technical errors,
the applicant’s failure to meet the minimum education or experience
requirements, or because the application was not approved before the
September 30th cut-off date.
Incorrectly Submitted Lottery Entries
The DV program has a deceptive appearance of
simplicity, but has numerous pitfalls. These include rigid and technical
qualification requirements, such as being born in (as opposed to being a
citizen of) a country from among those listed as
qualifying countries by the Department of State docs/DV_2015_Instructions.pdf as well as specific
minimum educational (a G.E.D. is not accepted as the equivalent of a
high-school degree) or work experience requirements. These rigid pitfalls
end up disqualifying thousands of distraught lottery winners every year.
DV Visa Application Cut-off Date
The DV immigrant visa is a “Cinderella visa.”
If not completed prior to midnight on September 30, the end of the government’s
fiscal year, it disappears. This means once notified of selection,
numerous qualification steps must be completed prior to September 30 of the
relevant year. The 2015 DV lottery opens October 1, 2013, and
those selected will have until September 30, 2015 to complete the
entire process and receive the DV visa.
Presently entrants will have to check their
lottery results online as no notifications of winning will be issued by
the government. Starting on May 1, 2014, and continuing for the 16-month
period through at least September 2015, DV lottery entrants will have to
periodically check to see if DOS has updated their online lottery status.
If so, the clock starts ticking for that lottery winner to prepare and submit
their DV visa application right away. Historically (and again
anecdotally), this has resulted in tens of thousands of DV lottery winners
finding themselves unable to reach the finish line by the deadline.