The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is
administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and
conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990
(Pub. L. 101-649) amended INA 203 to provide for a new class of
immigrants known as "diversity immigrants" (DV immigrants). The Act
makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons
from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The annual DV program makes permanent residence visas available
to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements.
Applicants for Diversity Visas are chosen by a computer-generated
random lottery drawing. The visas, however, are distributed among
six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to
regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to
citizens of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the
U.S. in the past five years. Within each region, no one country may
receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in
any one year.
For DV-2015, natives of the following countries are not eligible to
apply because they sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to
the U.S. in the previous five years:
CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN,
PHILIPPINES, POLAND, RUSSIA, 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.
LIST OF COUNTRIES BY REGION WHOSE NATIVES QUALIFY