Diversity Visa (DV-2021) Green Card Lottery Entry Period and Upcoming EIIC Public Immigration Information Meetings

EIIC announces
dates for Public Immigration Information sessions for the community at Bronx and
Queens offices and continues to offer free assistance with green card lottery
applications and general consultations.

The annual diversity visa
lottery registration period opens once again on October 2nd until November 5th for those who are eligible to apply for a green card to
reside permanently in the United States. Only entries submitted during this
period will be accepted and considered for selection in the lottery. Applications
will only be accepted online via the U.S. Department of State official website
at www.dvlottery.state.gov.

In recent years there has
been an increase in online scams promising green cards or quicker service for a
fee.  EIIC’s Immigration Attorney and
Director of Immigration Legal Services, John A. Stahl, Esq., urged those
interested in applying to note
that “[t]here is still no fee to apply and there is
only one official website to register.” He advises individuals to ignore any email
offers to help complete or expedite the application process.

Please call either of our offices if you
need assistance with your application
. Alternatively, if you have questions about any
immigration matter, please note the dates and places of our upcoming public
meetings from 6pm to 8pm:

  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019, Queens, 59-26 Woodside
    Ave, 2nd Fl, Woodside, NY 11377
  • Thursday, October 17, 2019, Bronx,
    4275 Katonah Avenue, Woodlawn, NY 10470

The immigration legal
services staff at the Center is once again appealing to potential applicants to
apply early this year, cautioning that the official DV Lottery website can get
frozen closer to the deadline of noon on Tuesday, November 5th. Regretfully, we
will be unable to accommodate last minute walk-ins during the final week of the
DV Lottery registration period.

If you are a
member of a local group or organization and would like our staff to speak to
your group on the DV Lottery in October or on any immigration topic at a future
meeting, please contact John A. Stahl, Esq., Director of Immigration Legal
Services and Immigration Attorney at 718-478-5502, extension 201.

Check our
website for additional information and upcoming public meeting dates at www.eiic.org

EIIC Immigration legal services staff has helped many, who are
currently in the United States and are still in status, to apply on the visa
waiver program or on a temporary work visa. “The green card lottery is a yearly
opportunity for qualified applicants who are legally in the United States or
overseas to attain permanent resident status here with no strings attached,” according
to EIIC’s Immigration Legal Services Director, John A. Stahl.

This year 55,000 green cards will be available through a lottery
system to individuals coming from countries with low rates of immigration to
the United States. The State Department’s Kentucky Consular Center holds the
annual lottery and chooses winners randomly from about 8-10 million qualified
entries. About 100,000 entries are selected and given the opportunity to apply
for permanent residence. If permanent residence is granted, then the
individual, their spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 will be
authorized to live and work permanently
in the United States. “The DV Lottery is one of the few ways that exist to
apply for a green card. Despite the low allocation of green cards to Ireland, it
is worth the effort, if you really do want a long-term option to stay legally
in America,” stated Siobhan Dennehy, EIIC’s Executive Director. “I equate the odds
to playing the New York State Lottery as there are over 8 million applications
from all over the world annually. Although you apply for the green card in 2019,
you will not be notified about your application until 2020 and you won’t
actually receive the green card itself until 2021, that’s why they call it the 2021
DV Lottery, which can be confusing.”

Only
natives of certain countries are eligible to apply for the green card lottery.
Those born in the following countries are NOT
eligible to apply for the DV-2021 lottery because a total of more than 50,000
immigrants came from these countries to the U.S. in the previous five years: Bangladesh,
Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El
Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan,
Philippines, 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. An applicant may, however, claim the country of birth
of their spouse, if eligible, or of either parent if they were born in a
country of which neither of their parents was a native or a resident at the time of their birth.

All applicants also must have a high school diploma or the
equivalent, defined in the United States as the successful completion of a 12-year
course of elementary and secondary education or they must have two years of
work experience within the last five years in an occupation that requires at
least two years of training or experience to perform. Entries for the DV-2021
diversity visa lottery must be submitted electronically from noon EDT on Wednesday,
October 2, 2019 through noon EST on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Applicants may
access the electronic diversity visa entry form at www.dvlottery.state.gov only during
the registration period beginning October 2nd. Paper entries will not be accepted. All entries by an applicant will be
disqualified if more than one entry for the applicant is received, regardless
of who submitted the entry. Applicants may prepare and submit their own
entries, or have someone submit the entry for them. The Department of State
will issue DV lottery entrants an electronic confirmation number and notice
upon receipt of a correctly completed Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form.

Applicants must also attach separate digital photographs of
themselves, their spouses and unmarried children less than 21 years of age (except spouses
or children who are already permanent residents or U.S. citizens). The
photographs must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format and
meet specific resolutions (minimum 600 pixels high by 600 pixels wide), color
depths (24-bit color) and kilobytes (maximum 240 KB) requirements. If a photograph
print is scanned, the print must be two inches square and be scanned at a
resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi) and with specific color depths. The
photograph must be taken within the last six months and no glasses may be worn
in the photo. If the digital image does not conform to the specifications, the
application will be automatically disqualified.

NEW FOR DV-2021:
Applicants must now provide their passport details in the online application.
Specifically, the applicant must indicate the passport number, country of
issuance, and expiration date for the principal entrant’s valid, unexpired
international travel passport. This requirement applies to the principal entrant
only, not to dependents. All applicants must enter valid international travel passport
information unless they are stateless, nationals of a Communist-controlled
country and unable to obtain a passport from the government of the
Communist-controlled country, or the beneficiary of an individual waiver
approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State.

Applicants
will be selected at random by computer from among all qualified entries. All
applicants will be required to go back to the website to find out whether their
entry has been selected in the DV-2021 lottery or to find out they have not
been selected. Selectees will only be notified of their selection through the
“entry status check” available starting May 5, 2020 at the website www.dvlottery.state.gov. The online
entry status check will be the only means by which selectees will be
notified of their selection for DV-2021. The Kentucky Consular Center will not
be mailing out notification letters. Those selected in the random drawing are
not notified of their selection by e-mail. Those individuals not selected will
be notified of their non-selection through the web-based “entry status check.”

No
fee is charged to enter the annual DV program. The U.S. Government employs no
outside consultants or private services to operate the DV program. Any
intermediaries or others who offer assistance to prepare submissions for
applicants do so without the authority or consent of the U.S. Government. Use
of any outside intermediary or assistance to prepare a DV entry is entirely at
the applicant’s discretion. A qualified entry submitted electronically directly
by an applicant has an equal chance of being selected by the computer at the
Kentucky Consular Center as does an entry submitted electronically through a
paid intermediary who completes the entry for the applicant.

The
current immigration laws carry heavy penalties for visa overstays. Those who
have overstayed their visa by 6 months, face a 3 year bar upon their departure
from the United States, if they have overstayed for one year or more, they are
subject to a 10 year bar. Successful lottery applicants who are undocumented in
the US must be processed for a visa at a US Consulate abroad under existing
immigration laws. Departing the US will trigger the 3 or 10 year bars making them
ineligible for a visa. Undocumented lottery winners with a relative petition or
an employer labor certification pending before April 30, 2001, may be eligible
to be interviewed in the United States under Section 245(i), provided they have
not already triggered the 3/10 year bars by leaving
the US.

Inquiries may be made to the EIIC at their Woodside, Queens’s
office at (718) 478-5502 or at their Woodlawn, Bronx office at (718) 324-3039
or on the EIIC website www.eiic.org.

The EIIC is a member of the Coalition of Irish Immigration
Centers, for further information about Irish centers in the US providing free
assistance with DV lottery applications please refer to their website at www.ciic.usa-org

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