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DV-2020 Diversity Visa Registration to Open

The US Department of State announced instructions for the DV-2020 (Diversity Visa 2020) program. The release of the instructions is somewhat unexpected, as last November President Trump announced that he intended to eliminate the program.

The DV-2020 program provides 50,000 immigrant visas conferring lawful permanent resident status to individuals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. It is free to register for the program, but applicants must meet strict eligibility requirements in order to apply. If chosen, applicants will be responsible for fees in connection with applying for the visa. The DV-2020 program opens at noon (EDT) on October 3, 2018, and closes at noon (EDT) on November 6, 2018. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible at The program receives a huge volume of applicants, and heavy demand can result in website delays. No late or paper entries will be accepted. Each applicant may only apply once; individuals with more than one entry will be disqualified.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • An applicant or his or her spouse must have been born in an eligible country (see below list for ineligible countries) OR the applicant’s parents must have been born in an eligible country with neither parent legally resident in an ineligible country at the time of the applicant’s birth.
  • The applicant must possess at least a high school education or its equivalent OR have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience.

After the close of the application period, the Department of State will conduct a randomized computer lottery to determine which applicants to select. The selected applicants will be distributed among six geographic regions, with no single country receiving more than 7% of the available visas in a year. Applicants will need to go online to check their status and visa interview appointment date. Once selected, the applicants can then apply for the visa. Results will be available May 7, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The government will not mail, e-mail, or otherwise communicate the results of the lottery, so it is imperative that applicants monitor their status.

Who is Ineligible?

Due to the number of immigrants from the following countries within the last five years, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply:

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

*Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

©1994-2020 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 276


About this Author

We’ve earned our national and international reputation for excellence and innovation, and our Immigration Practice attorneys serve as trusted business advisors for top-tier companies with offices throughout the world.

Mintz Levin has a successful track record working with—and lobbying—government entities involved in immigration and naturalization matters, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the State Department (including consular offices abroad), and the Department of Labor.