Diversity Visa Lottery – DV-2020

Did you know that each year the Diversity Visa Program administrated by the Department of State makes 55,000 visas (green cards) available in a lottery system? Five thousand are set aside for the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act participants, but the remaining 50,000 visas are made available to eligible entrants.

It is actually a lottery program mandated by the government and meant to ensure that natives of countries with the lowest rates of immigration into the United States are encouraged to register. Just as the program’s name implies, it is meant to attract “diversity immigrants” and open to citizens of countries that have not sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the past five years. Additionally, no country can be awarded more than seven percent of the available DVs (Diversity Visas) in any given year. (State.gov, 2015)

Clearly, it uses immigration data to determine the possible outcomes, and allows the visas to be distributed across six different geographic regions – but with the largest numbers being awarded to the regions with the lowest rates of immigration for the previous five years.

DV 2020 as an Example

The 2020 program was named DV 2020, and allowed entries through a special online portal. It did not allow paper applications or entries, and was so popular that entrants were told not to wait until the week prior to the closing date for DV 2020 registration.

Based on the available data, the countries ineligible for entrance into the lottery were: 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. However, those same countries may not all appear on the list for subsequent lottery drawings

Understanding the Green Card Lotteries

Of course, if you are new to the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you may be confused by the terminology and steps you will have to take. You may not still understand how something like DV 2020 could be such an advantage.

For instance, you might hear about green cards, lotteries, Diversity Immigration Visas, and more. This confusion is something that discourages a lot of people hoping to become permanent residents of the United States, and yet it is possible to clarify and understand things if you look at the issue “step by step”.

Understand the Differences

The first step is to know that there is a difference between those who are “citizens” and those who want to become legal permanent residents. To become a naturalized citizen of the United States requires that you first obtain the legal permanent resident status and maintain it for a specific number of years.

The common term for permanent resident status is the “green card”, and yet there are a few ways that you might obtain one:

  • Through a family member who is a citizen or a green card holder
  • Through the offer of employment or through your employer
  • As a refugee or someone seeking asylum
  • With special approval from the Director of the CIA
  • Through the Green Card Lottery (such as DV 2020)

Winning the lottery means you don’t have to submit to the formal application process and wait for several years.

To apply for a visa or green card means petitioning the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, waiting for an immigrant visa to become available (it varies by conditions and countries), and then confirm their status. It is a remarkably disheartening process for many because it takes such a long time, and is vulnerable to many different factors. For example, there are quotas for certain countries.

There are also many “priority” issues relating to the visas, such as family related applicants getting priority over non-familial applicants, and those with job offers having precedence over others, and so on. This is precisely what DV 2019, and any other lottery programs may be one of the best opportunities available to those truly hoping to become permanent residents, or even citizens of the United States.

Not a Guarantee

However, it is important to remember that entering into the lottery (though DV 2019 is now closed) is not a guarantee of a green card. Just consider that more than six million people entered in the 2008 lottery alone, and that number seems to climb annually.

What that indicates is that entering is a “sooner the better” sort of activity. Don’t risk missing the application deadlines and don’t wait until the last minute when the website may be flooded with others hoping to win one of the green cards.

It is also important to note that the intense interest in DV 2019 and all other green card lotteries has led to some fraudsters seeking to profit from those hoping to win in the lottery. Among the worst are those who send fake emails claiming that an individual has won and can submit some sort of fee through the sender’s website. These are hard to spot as frauds, but there are some assistance services that can help applicants overcome such risks easily.

Rather than trust any claims by those guaranteeing a winning entry, it is always wiser to turn to consultants that will help to clarify some of the more confusing aspects of immigration and green cards in the United States. For example, there are reputable agencies that make sure your information is reviewed and assessed to ensure that entries are eligible and qualified.

Far too many submissions are disqualified because the information was entered inaccurately. Instead of struggling with something as important as a chance to win the green card lotteries, like DV 2020, turn to trustworthy consultants who can assist you to make the best application and increase your chances at winning. They make a complicated process simple and help you get a chance at an amazing opportunity.

We recommend that you complete the application form and you will be notified if your country becomes eligible for each year’s green card lottery, or if any other changes are made to the official US government diversity visa program.