INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM (IMMIGRANT DV)
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649) amended INA 203 and provides for a class of immigrants known as ―diversity immigrants.‖ Section 203(c) of the INA provides a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (IMMIGRANTs) each fiscal year to be made available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The annual IMMIGRANT program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for IMMIGRANTs. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the past five years. Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available IMMIGRANTs in any one year.
For IMMIGRANT program, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years: 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 born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible. For IMMIGRANT-2012, no countries have been added or removed from the previous year's list of eligible countries. The Department of State implemented the electronic registration system beginning with DV-2005 in order to make the IMMIGRANT process more efficient and secure. The Department utilizes special technology and other means to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit multiple entries.