Applications for the 2010 Diversity Visa Lottery Program will be accepted from October 2 to December 1, 2008. Entries for the DV-2010 Diversity Visa lottery must be submitted electronically between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Thursday, October 2, 2008, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Monday, December 1, 2008. Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after noon, EST, on December 1, 2008.
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual 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 (DV) each fiscal year to be made available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The annual Diversity Visa program makes visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for Diversity Visas. 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 U.S. over the past five years. Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.
For DV-2010, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous five years:
Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Savvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, 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 DV-2010, Russia has returned to the list of eligible countries. Kosovo has also been added to the list of eligible countries. No countries have been removed from the list of eligible countries for DV-2010.
The Department of State (DOL) implemented the electronic registration system beginning with DV-2005 in order to make the Diversity Visa process more efficient and secure. Special technology and other means are used to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit multiple entries. In DV-2010, for the first time, those who submit entries may check the status of entries online and determine whether their entries are selected or not selected. Successful entrants will continue to receive notification letters by mail.