The Diversity Visa Program, or “Green Card Lottery,” is an annual lottery run by the U.S. Department of State to allow about 50,000 people a chance to get a permanent resident visa to the USA. The visas provided under this program are reserved for natives of countries that have a traditionally low rate of immigration to the U.S.
The application period for each year’s lottery is only about one month long, and there is very little opportunity to correct mistakes made when submitting documents – in fact, you can be disqualified for not filing the forms correctly. Therefore, it is very important to fill out your forms correctly and quickly. Here is how to apply for the Green Card Lottery.
- 1Consider if you want temporary or permanent admission into the United States.The Green Card Lottery is only for people who want to become permanent residents of the U.S. If you only want to stay in the U.S. temporarily – for example, for a vacation, to visit relatives, or for business -- the Green Card Lottery isn’t for you. Instead, you may need a temporary visa for nonimmigrant stay or, if you are from an eligible country, you may qualify for the visa waiver program. Citizens of Canada and Bermuda, subject to certain restrictions, don’t need a visa for a temporary visit the U.S.
- 2Consider whether you qualify for another form of immigrant visa. If you have a sponsor, such as a family member or employer, or you are eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa, there may be other visa options available to you that aren’t subject to a random drawing. Information about these options are available from the State Department website, https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/all-visa-categories.html. However, you can apply for the lottery even if you are registered for an immigrant visa in another category, as long as you meet the lottery’s eligibility requirements. Therefore, even if you do qualify for another type of visa, you may want to also apply for the lottery.
- 3Determine whether you are from an eligible country. Each year the State Department determines which countries are eligible based on which countries have had low immigration rates to the U.S. for the previous five years. People who cannot claim to be from an eligible country cannot participate in the lottery. The lottery instructions provide a complete list of eligible and ineligible countries by region.  There are three ways to claim that you are from an eligible country:
- If you were born in an eligible country
- If your spouse was born in an eligible country, as long as both of you are named on the selected entry, are issued diversity visas, and enter the United States at the same time
- If at least one of your parents was born in an eligible country, as long as neither of your parents were born in your country and neither of your parents were legal residents of that country at the time of your birth (for example, they were there temporarily there on vacation, business, to study, etc.).
- 4Determine whether you meet the education/work experience requirement. To be eligible to apply for the lottery, you must meet one of two education/work requirements. You must either:
- Have a high school education or its equivalent. This means that you must have successfully completed a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education or
- Have worked for two years within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform. This is determined through O*Net, a database found on the U.S. Department of Labor website, http://www.onetonline.org.
- 5Determine if any factors make you inadmissible. The lottery is not a way of getting around the general admissibility requirements for permanent residency. If your application is selected during the lottery, factors that would bar your admission to the U.S., such as criminal activity, will still apply.
Assemble and Submit the Documentation
- 1Beware of scams. Be careful not to fall prey to scams involving the application process.
- Some applicants have received emails or letters requesting money in connection with the application. The Department of State does not give information to applicants via e-mail or regular mail, and there is no application fee for the lottery. 
- The Department recommends that applicants not use a consultant or agent to help them file their application. If an applicant does have someone else prepare and submit the application, the applicant should be present for the preparation and submission and retain the confirmation notice with the unique confirmation number.
- 2Don't be confused by the dates. The years referred to for the lottery can be confusing, so take a few minutes to understand what they mean. For example, the 2013 application period was from October 1, 2013 through November 2, 2013. The 2013 application period marked the beginning of what is referred to as the 2015 Diversity Immigration Visa Program (DV-2015). It is called the 2015 program because successful applicants will receive their visas during the 2015 fiscal year, which runs from October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015.
- 3Gather everything you need. Make sure you gather all the information you will need to fill out the application, and a digital photo for each person who will be included in your application (yourself, spouse, children), before you begin filling out the application. Once you open the application form, you will only have 60 minutes to complete and submit it. You cannot save or download the form for later submission. If you don’t complete the form in 60 minutes, you will have to start over. You will need to know the following information:
- Your name, exactly as on your passport
- Your birth date
- Your gender
- The city where you were born
- The country where you were born (as the country where your birth city is located is called today)
- The country you can claim for eligibility for the program
- Your mailing address
- The country where you live today
- Your phone number (optional)
- Your e-mail address – make sure this is an e-mail address you have direct access to
- The highest level of education you have achieved, as of the day you are filling out the application
- Your current marital status -- provide the name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, and country of birth of your spouse. Visa applications based on a same-sex marriage are now treated the same way as opposite-gender spouses, if the marriage took place in a jurisdiction where such marriages are legal.
- Information regarding your children – name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, and country of birth for all living unmarried children under 21 years old, regardless of whether they are living with you or intend to accompany or follow to join you should you immigrate to the United States. Your children include all living natural children, children legally adopted by you, and step-children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 on the date of your electronic entry, even if you are no longer legally married to the child’s parent, and even if the child does not currently reside with you and/or will not immigrate with you.
- 4Collect photos. You must provide a recent photograph of yourself, your spouse, and all children listed on your entry. You do not need to include a photograph for a spouse or child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, but you will not be penalized if you do. You must submit a photograph for each individual – group photos are not permitted. If the photos were not taken with a digital camera, you can scan the non-digital photos into your computer or have someone else scan them and email the image to you.
- 5Validate photos. Go to the lottery website, https://www.dvlottery.state.gov, and click on the “Photo Validator” link to make sure the photos you are submitting meet the program’s requirements.
- 6Fill out the application. The application must be submitted online through the lottery website. It can’t be sent by mail. Go to https://www.dvlottery.state.gov and click “Begin Entry.” You must fill out the application form completely and accurately. Include the photos that you have validated. There is an online help link on the lottery website that provides more information about completing the application.
- 7Make sure you receive a confirmation number. After completing your application, click on “submit,” but don’t close out of the page until you receive a message confirming that your application has been submitted. This message will include a confirmation number. Print the confirmation page, if possible. Don’t lose the confirmation number because you will need it in several months to check on the lottery results.
Notification of Lottery Results
- 1Know that you will not be sent a selection notice. The State Department will not contact you to let you know if you have been selected. Also, the Department will not ask you to send money through regular mail or a wire service as part of this process. The Department might, however, e-mail you to direct you to review the Entrant Status Check for new information about your application.
- 2Be patient. The results will not be available for several months after the application period ends. Check the lottery website for the date you can begin finding out whether you were selected. For example, for the 2013 application period (DV-2015), the results will be available beginning noon EDT May 1, 2014.
- 3Check the results. You can access the results by clicking on the Entrant Status Check link on the lottery website, www.dvlottery.state.gov/ESC/. You will need your confirmation number, last/family name, and year of birth to check your status. Keep in mind that if you have not been selected, you should check again at a later date as there may be another drawing.
Obtaining a Visa
- 1Be aware of time limits. If you are selected through the lottery, you have only until the end of the applicable U.S. fiscal year to apply for, and obtain, your visa. For example, if you applied during the 2013 application period, referred to as DV-2015, you will be able to find out about your selection beginning May 1, 2014, and you must apply for and obtain your visa during the 2015 fiscal year, which is October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2015.
- 2Follow the Entrant Status Check instructions. When you check on your status through the Entrant Status Check link, if you are selected, you will receive online instructions on what to do next. Next steps will include being interviewed at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- 3Apply as quickly as you can. The DV program advertises that 50,000 green cards will be issued. In order to take into account the fact that many of the candidates in the lottery who were selected will probably NOT meet the requirements to obtain a green card, the DV program actually selects 125,000 people. This means that as soon as you submit your application, you will receive a Diversity Visa Rank Order number. The number is located in the Diversity Immigrant Category of the Visa Bulletin, http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin.html. Look for the region that you belong to. If your Rank Order number is really high, chances are the 50,000 visas will be issued before your application is processed and so you cannot immigrate. 
- 4Consider adjusting your status, if you are already in the United States. If you are already in the U.S., you may be able to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to adjust your status to permanent resident. To do this, you need to be otherwise eligible to adjust your status, and you must make sure that the USCIS can complete action on your Diversity Visa case, including processing your spouse and children during the program’s time limits
Packed with Innovative Features Including a Super Retina Display, TrueDepth Camera System, Face ID and A11 Bionic Chip with Neural Engine
Cupertino, California — Apple today announced iPhone X, the future of the smartphone, in a gorgeous all-glass design with a beautiful 5.8-inch Super Retina display, A11 Bionic chip, wireless charging and an improved rear camera with dual optical image stabilization. iPhone X delivers an innovative and secure new way for customers to unlock, authenticate and pay using Face ID, enabled by the new TrueDepth camera. iPhone X will be available for pre-order beginning Friday, October 27 in more than 55 countries and territories, and in stores beginning Friday, November 3.
The device is the display on iPhone X, featuring the first OLED screen that rises to the standards of iPhone.
“For more than a decade, our intention has been to create an iPhone that is all display. The iPhone X is the realization of that vision,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. “With the introduction of iPhone ten years ago, we revolutionized the mobile phone with Multi-Touch. iPhone X marks a new era for iPhone — one in which the device disappears into the experience.”
The all-glass front and back on iPhone X feature the most durable glass ever in a smartphone in two beautiful colors, silver and space gray.
“iPhone X is the future of the smartphone. It is packed with incredible new technologies, like the innovative TrueDepth camera system, beautiful Super Retina display and super fast A11 Bionic chip with neural engine," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPhone X enables fluid new user experiences — from unlocking your iPhone with Face ID, to playing immersive AR games, to sharing Animoji in Messages — it is the beginning of the next ten years for iPhone.”
Gorgeous All-Screen Design
The Super Retina display employs new techniques and technology to precisely follow the curves of the design, all the way to the elegantly rounded corners.
iPhone X introduces a revolutionary design with a stunning all-screen display that precisely follows the curve of the device, clear to the elegantly rounded corners. The all-glass front and back feature the most durable glass ever in a smartphone in silver or space gray, while a highly polished, surgical-grade stainless steel band seamlessly wraps around and reinforces iPhone X. A seven-layer color process allows for precise color hues and opacity on the glass finish, and a reflective optical layer enhances the rich colors, making the design as elegant as it is durable, while maintaining water and dust resistance.1
iPhone X is as elegant as it is durable while maintaining water and dust resistance.
Remarkable Super Retina Display
The beautiful 5.8-inch Super Retina display2 is the first OLED panel that rises to the standards of iPhone, with stunning colors, true blacks, a million-to-one contrast ratio and wide color support with the best system-wide color management in a smartphone. The HDR display supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, which together make photo and video content look even more amazing. The addition of True Tone dynamically adjusts the white balance of the display to match the surrounding light for a more natural, paper-like viewing experience.
Using the TrueDepth camera, iPhone X brings emoji to life in a fun new way with Animoji.
Introducing A11 Bionic
A11 Bionic, the most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone, features a six-core CPU design with two performance cores that are 25 percent faster and four efficiency cores that are 70 percent faster than the A10 Fusion, offering industry-leading performance and energy efficiency. A new, second-generation performance controller can harness all six cores
simultaneously, delivering up to 70 percent greater performance for multi-threaded workloads, giving customers more power while lasting two hours longer than iPhone 7. A11 Bionic also integrates an Apple-designed GPU with a three-core design that delivers up to 30 percent faster graphics performance than the previous generation. All this power enables incredible new machine learning, AR apps and immersive 3D games.
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