Online registration will begin Oct. 1 for the fiscal year 2016 Diversity Lottery, which provides 50,000 immigrant visas to individuals from countries with historically low immigration to the U.S.

Registration begins Wednesday, Oct. 1 at noon EDT (GMT -4) and ends Monday, Nov. 3 at noon EST (GMT -5). Applicants must register online at The State Department is warning participants not to register during the final week, as last-minute demand may slow web registration.

Nationals of the following countries are not eligible because the number of immigrants to the U.S. exceeded 50,000 in the past five years: 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. Individuals born in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are eligible.

Registrants must meet two eligibility criteria: They must be born in an eligible country and meet educational or work requirements. Individuals who are not from an eligible country may qualify by claiming the country of their spouse or parents from an eligible country under certain circumstances. Applicants must have a high school degree or equivalent of two years of work experience in the past five years.

Applicants must complete an online form and submit a digital color photo fitting precise specifications for each family member. The State Department selects lottery winners through a random computerized selection process starting May 2, 2015 through June 30, 2016 and later. Lottery applicants can find out if they are selected only by entering their confirmation number on the official E-DV Entrant Status Check website. Lottery winners may apply for their green cards beginning Oct. 1, 2015.

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