Foreign nationals interested in entering the fiscal year 2021 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program are reminded that registration ends Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 at noon EST.

Key points:

  • The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program provides 50,000 immigrant visas (green cards) to people from countries with historically low levels of immigration to the United States. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements and are selected through a computerized lottery.
  • Registration to participate in the lottery opened on Oct. 2. Entries will not be accepted after the Nov. 5 deadline, and people with more than one entry will be disqualified.
  • Applicants must apply online by submitting the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form that will be available at the E-DV website Paper applications are not accepted.
  • Lottery winners will be selected at random. Registrants will be given a confirmation number they may use to check whether they have been selected starting May 5, 2020 on the E-DV website.

Background: In order to qualify, registrants must have been born in an eligible country and meet educational or work requirements. Nationals of the following countries will be ineligible to apply for DV-2021: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. People born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

A new requirement for the 2021 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is that the principal registrant (not family members) must have a passport and enter a passport number. Exempted are nationals of communist-controlled countries who are unable to obtain a passport, stateless individuals and those who have received a waiver from the U.S. government. Registrants must also have at least a high school education or its equivalent, or have worked two of the previous five years in an occupation that requires a minimum of two years of training or experience.

BAL Analysis: Those interested in entering the lottery should review the State Department’s Diversity Visa Instructions page. Heavy demand may cause delays on the E-DV website, and interested individuals are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Registration is free, and registrants should be aware of scams that target those attempting to register for the program.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact © 2019 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact