The Department of State annually administers the statutorily-created Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States.
For Fiscal Year 2022, up to 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) will be available. There is no cost to register for the DV program.
Applicants who are selected in the program (selectees) must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a diversity visa. The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing. The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.
For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.
Requirement #1: Natives of countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States may be eligible to enter.
If you are not a native of a country with historically low rates of immigration to the United States, there are two other ways you might be able to qualify.
- Is your spouse a native of a country with historically low rates of immigration to the United States? If yes, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth – provided that you and your spouse are named on the selected entry, are found eligible and issued diversity visas, and enter the United States simultaneously.
- Are you a native of a country that does not have historically low rates of immigration to the United States, but in which neither of your parents was born or legally resident at the time of your birth? If yes, you may claim the country of birth of one of your parents if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the DV-2022 program.
Requirement #2: Each DV applicant must meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program by having either:
- at least a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education;
- two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform. The Department of State will use the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net Online database to determine qualifying work experience.
You should not submit an entry to the DV program unless you meet both of these requirements.
AILA Doc. No. 20093033