2 Updates to the Visa Lottery Program

American Flag and Visa

Effective June 5, 2019, the U.S. State Department announced two changes to the Diversity Visa Program, commonly called the Visa Lottery. This random computerized drawing grants 50,000 permanent resident cards, known as Green Cards, each year. The Visa Lottery is the program many immigrants that have no immigration sponsor use to get a Green Card to live in the United States.  

  • Effective immediately, foreigners are required to have a valid, unexpired passport to participate in the Green Card lottery.
  • If foreign citizens do not comply strictly with all the Diversity Visa instructions and don’t include all the required information, they will be immediately disqualified from the drawing of that fiscal year.

According to the Federal Register announcing the changes, the new rules are necessary due to criminal immigration fraud and to increase transparency:

“Individuals or entities that submit unauthorized entries will often contact unwitting individuals whose identities were used on selected DV Program entries, inform them of the opportunity to apply for a diversity visa, and hold the entry information from the named petitioner in exchange for payment.”

President Trump has advocated for the end of the Visa Lottery program, calling it “a disaster for our country” and that the program has created “significant vulnerabilities” for national security.

The Immigration Simplified attorneys work with you to evaluate your immigration status and guide you in your journey to getting a Green Card. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at (312) 883-9944.

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