The U.S. Department of State will begin accepting entries for the 2016 green card lottery this week

Lottery entries will be accepted beginning Weds. Oct. 1 at noon, and ending at noon Mon., Nov. 3. Go to the Department of State website, usvisas.state.gov, for more information


AP PHOTOA sample of the redesigned green card issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The U.S. Department of State will begin accepting entries for the 2016 Diversity Visa (green card) beginning Wednesday at noon, and will conclude on Nov. 3 at noon.

Get more information about the DV lottery program at the U.S. Department of State website. Go to usvisas.state.gov and click on “Diversity Visa.” The DOS accepts online entries only. Natives of all countries qualify for DV-2015 lottery green cards except Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, 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. No change since last year. Winners will get their visa during the 2016 fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016.

Here’s the answer to some common questions about the green card lottery:

Q: Who does the DOS consider a “native” of a qualifying country
A: Under lottery rules, you are a native of a qualifying country if you were born in a qualifying country, your husband or wife was born in a qualifying country, your parent was born in a qualifying country and you were born in a non-qualifying country in which neither parent was born nor was a resident at the time of your birth.
If you win the lottery, your spouse (including same-sex spouses) and unmarried children under 21 qualify for lottery green cards no matter where they were born.

Q: What are the education/work requirements
A: You must have at least a high school diploma earned either in your home country or the U.S., or you must have worked at least two years in a job where at least two years’ training, experience or education is required.
A high school Graduate Equivalency Diploma, known as a GED, is not sufficient.

Q: How will I find out whether I won the green card lottery
A: Sometime this spring, you’ll be able to go online to check if you have won. You will not receive notice by mail or email.

Q: If I win the lottery, does that mean that I’ll definitely get my green card
A: Not necessarily. Each year, the DOS selects more DV winners than the total number of green cards allotted for that year.
If you win, you’ll get a number showing your place in line based your region of the world.
To get a DV lottery green card, you must get to the front of the line before the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, for which you won.

Also, all the grounds of “inadmissability,” that is, bars to permanent residence, such as for criminal activity or being “likely to become a public charge,” apply.

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