Bureau of Consular Affairs; Registration for the Diversity Immigrant (DV-2017) Visa Program

 
CONTENT

Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 197 (Tuesday, October 13, 2015)

Federal Register Volume 80, Number 197 (Tuesday, October 13, 2015)

Notices

Pages 61552-61561

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov

FR Doc No: 2015-25964

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Public Notice: 9314

Bureau of Consular Affairs; Registration for the Diversity Immigrant (DV-2017) Visa Program

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This public notice provides information on how to apply for the DV-2017 Program and is issued pursuant to 22 CFR 42.33(b)(3), implementing sections 201(a)(3), 201(e), 203(c), and 204(a)(1)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, (8 U.S.C. 1151, 1153, and 1154(a)(1)(I)).

Program Overview

The Congressionally-mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered annually by the Department of State. Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for a class of immigrants known as ``diversity immigrants'' from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For Fiscal Year 2017, 50,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) will be available. There is no cost to register for the DV program.

Applicants who are selected in the program (``selectees'') must meet simple, but strict, eligibility requirements in order to qualify for a Diversity Visa. Selectees are chosen through a randomized computer drawing. Diversity Visas are distributed among six geographic regions and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.

For DV-2017, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, 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.

Changes in eligibility this year: None.

Eligibility

Requirement #1: Individuals born in countries whose natives qualify may be eligible to enter.

If you were not born in an eligible country, there are two other ways you might be able to qualify.

Was your spouse born in a country whose natives are eligible? If yes, you can claim your spouse's country of birth--

provided that both you and your spouse are named on the selected entry, are issued diversity visas, and enter the United States simultaneously.

Were you born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but in which neither of your parents was born or legally resident at the time of your birth? If yes, you may claim the country of birth of one of your parents if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the DV-2017 program. For more details on what this means, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

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Requirement #2: Each DV applicant must meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program by having either:

At least a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education;

OR

two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The U.S. Department of Labor's O*Net Online database will be used to determine qualifying work experience.

For more information about qualifying work experience for the principal DV applicant, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Do not submit an entry to the DV program unless you meet both of these requirements.

Entry Period

Entries for the DV-2017 DV program must be submitted electronically at www.dvlottery.state.gov between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Thursday, October 1, 2015, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Do not wait until the last week of the registration period to enter, as heavy demand may result in Web site delays. No late entries or paper entries will be accepted. The law allows only one entry by or for each person during each registration period. The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries. Individuals with more than one entry will be disqualified.

Completing Your Electronic Entry for the DV-2017 Program

Submit your Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form or DS-5501), online at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Incomplete entries will not be accepted. There is no cost to register for the DV Program.

You are strongly encouraged to complete the entry form yourself, without a ``visa consultant,'' ``visa agent,'' or other facilitator who offers to help. If someone helps you, you should be present when your entry is prepared so that you can provide the correct answers to the questions and retain the confirmation page and your unique confirmation number. It is extremely important that you retain your confirmation page and unique confirmation number. Without this information, you will not be able to access the online system that will inform you of your entry status. Be wary if someone offers to keep this information for you. You also should retain access to the email account listed in your E-DV entry. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about Diversity Visa program scams.

After you submit a complete entry, you will see a confirmation screen containing your name and a unique confirmation number. Print this confirmation screen for your records. Starting May 3, 2016, you will be able to check the status of your entry by returning to www.dvlottery.state.gov, clicking on Entrant Status Check, and entering your unique confirmation number and personal information. Entrant Status Check will be the sole means of informing you of your selection for DV-2017, providing instructions on how to proceed with your application, and notifying you of your appointment for your immigrant visa interview. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the selection process.

You must provide the following information to complete your entry:

  1. Name--last/family name, first name, middle name--exactly as on your passport.

  2. Gender--male or female.

  3. Birth date--day, month, year.

  4. City where you were born.

  5. Country where you were born--Use the name of the country currently used for the place where you were born.

  6. Country of eligibility for the DV program--Your country of eligibility will normally be the same as your country of birth. Your country of eligibility is not related to where you live. If you were born in a country that is not eligible, please review the Frequently Asked Questions to see if there is another way you may be eligible.

  7. Entrant photograph(s)--Recent photographs (taken within 6 months) of yourself, your spouse, and all your children listed on your entry. See Submitting a Digital Photograph for compositional and technical specifications. 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.

    Group photographs will not be accepted; you must submit a photograph for each individual. Your entry may be disqualified or visa application refused if the photographs are not recent, have been manipulated in any way, or do not meet the specifications explained below. See Submitting a Digital Photograph for more information.

  8. Mailing Address--In Care of

    Address Line 1

    Address Line 2

    City/Town

    District/Country/Province/State

    Postal Code/Zip Code

    Country

  9. Country where you live today.

  10. Phone number (optional).

  11. Email address--An email address to which you have direct access. If your entry is selected and you respond to the notification of your selection through the Entrant Status Check, you will receive follow-up email communication from the Department of State notifying you that details of your immigrant visa interview are available on Entrant Status Check. The Department of State will never send you an email telling you that you have been selected for the DV program. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the selection process.

  12. Highest level of education you have achieved, as of today: (1) Primary school only, (2) Some high school, no diploma, (3) High school diploma, (4) Vocational school, (5) Some university courses, (6) University degree, (7) Some graduate-level courses, (8) Master's degree, (9) Some doctoral-level courses, and (10) Doctorate. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about educational requirements.

  13. Current marital status--Unmarried, married and my spouse is NOT a U.S. citizen or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), married and my spouse IS a U.S. citizen or U.S. LPR, divorced, widowed, or legally separated. Enter the name, date of birth, gender, city/town of birth, country of birth of your spouse, and a photograph of your spouse meeting the same technical specifications as your photo.

    Failure to list your eligible spouse will result in your disqualification as the Diversity Visa principal applicant and refusal of all visa applications in your case at the time of the visa interview. You must list your spouse even if you plan to be divorced before you apply for a visa. A spouse who is already a U.S. citizen or LPR will not require or be issued a visa, though you will not be penalized if you list them on your entry form. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about family members.

  14. Number of children--List the name, date of birth, gender, city/

    town of birth, and country of birth for all living unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of whether or not they are living with you or intend to accompany or follow to join you, should you immigrate to the United States. Submit individual photographs of each of your children using the same technical specifications as your own photograph.

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    Be sure to include:

    All living natural children;

    all living children legally adopted by you; and,

    all living 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.

    Married children and children over the age of 21 are not eligible for the DV. However, the Child Status Protection Act protects children from ``aging out'' in certain circumstances. If your DV entry is made before your unmarried child turns 21, and the child turns 21 before visa issuance, he/she may be treated as though he/she were under 21 for visa-processing purposes.

    A child who is already a U.S. citizen or LPR is not eligible for a Diversity Visa, and you will not be penalized for either including or omitting such family members from your entry.

    Failure to list all children who are eligible will result in disqualification of the principal applicant and refusal of all visa applications in the case at the time of the visa interview. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about family members.

    See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about completing your Electronic Entry for the DV-2017 Program.

    Selection of Applicants

    Based on the allocation of available visas in each region and country, individuals will be randomly selected by computer from among qualified entries. All DV-2017 entrants will be required to go to the Entrant Status Check using the unique confirmation number saved from their DV-2017 online entry registration to find out whether their entry has been selected in the DV program. Entrant Status Check will be available on the E-DV Web site at www.dvlottery.state.gov starting May 3, 2016, through at least September 30, 2017.

    If your entry is selected, you will be directed to a confirmation page that will provide further instructions, including information about fees connected with immigrating to the United States. Entrant Status Check will be the ONLY means by which selectees are notified of their selection for DV-2017. The Department of State will not mail notification letters or notify selectees by email. U.S. embassies and consulates will not provide a list of selectees. Individuals who have not been selected also ONLY will be notified through Entrant Status Check. You are strongly encouraged to access Entrant Status Check yourself and not to rely on someone else to check and inform you.

    If you are selected, in order to receive a Diversity Visa to immigrate to the United States, you still must meet all eligibility requirements under U.S. law. These requirements may significantly increase the level of scrutiny required and time necessary for processing for visa applications of natives of some countries listed in this notice including, but not limited to, countries identified as state sponsors of terrorism.

    All processing of entries and issuance of DVs to selectees meeting eligibility requirements and their eligible family members must be completed by midnight on September 30, 2017. Under no circumstances can DVs be issued or adjustments approved after this date, nor can family members obtain DVs to follow-to-join the principal applicant in the United States after this date. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the selection process.

    Submitting a Digital Photograph (Image)

    You can take a new digital photograph or scan a recent photographic print with a digital scanner, as long as it meets the compositional and technical specifications listed below. Test your photos through the photo validation link on the E-DV Web site, which provides additional technical advice on photo composition and examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos.

    Photographs must be in 24-bit color depth. If you are using a scanner, the settings must be for True Color or 24-bit color mode. See the additional scanning requirements below.

    Compositional Specifications

    Head Position: The subject must directly face the camera. The subject's head should not be tilted up, down, or to the side. The head height or facial region size (measured from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin) must be between 50 percent and 69 percent of the image's total height. The eye height (measured from the bottom of the image to the level of the eyes) should be between 56 percent and 69 percent of the image's height.

    Light-colored Background: The subject should be in front of a neutral, light-colored background.

    Focus: The photograph must be in focus.

    No Decorative Items: The subject must not wear sunglasses or other items that detract from the face.

    No Head Coverings or Hats: Head coverings or hats worn for religious reasons are acceptable, but the head covering may not obscure any portion of the face. Tribal or other headgear not religious in nature may not be worn. Photographs of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats will not be accepted.

    Technical Specifications

    Taking a New Digital Image. If you take a new digital image, it must meet the following specifications:

    Image File Format: The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.

    Image File Size: The maximum image file size is 240 kilobytes (240KB).

    Image Resolution and Dimensions: Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 pixels (width) x 600 pixels (height) up to 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels. Image pixel dimensions must be in a square aspect ratio (meaning the height must be equal to the width).

    Image Color Depth: Image must be in color (24 bits per pixel). 24-bit black and white or 8-bit images will not be accepted.

    Scanning a Submitted Photograph. Before you scan a photographic print, make sure it meets the color and compositional specifications listed above. Scan the print using the following scanner specifications:

    Scanner Resolution: Scanned at a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi).

    Image File Format: The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.

    Image File Size: The maximum image file size is 240 kilobytes (240 KB).

    Image Color Depth: 24-bit color. Black and white, monochrome, or grayscale images will not be accepted.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Eligibility

  15. What do the terms ``native'' and ``chargeability'' mean?

    ``Native'' ordinarily means someone born in a particular country, regardless of the individual's current country of residence or nationality. ``Native'' also can mean someone who is entitled to be ``charged'' to a country other than the one in which he/she was born under the provisions of Section 202(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Because a numerical limitation is placed on immigrants entering from a country or geographic region, each

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    individual is ``charged'' to a country. Your ``chargeability'' refers to the country whose limitation you count towards. Your country of eligibility normally will be the same as your country of birth. However, you may choose your country of eligibility as the country of birth of your spouse, or the country of birth of either of your parents if you were born in a country in which neither parent was born and in which the parents were not resident at the time of your birth. These are the only three ways to select your country of chargeability.

    Listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability (i.e., one to which you cannot establish a valid claim) may disqualify your entry.

  16. Can I still apply if I was not born in a qualifying country?

    There are two circumstances in which you still might be eligible to apply. First, if your derivative spouse was born in an eligible country, you may claim chargeability to that country. As your eligibility is based on your spouse, you only will be issued a DV-1 immigrant visa if your spouse also is eligible for and issued a DV-2 visa. Both of you must enter the United States together using your DVs. Similarly, your minor dependent child can be ``charged'' to a parent's country of birth.

    Second, you can be ``charged'' to the country of birth of either of your parents as long as neither of your parents was born in or a resident in your country of birth at the time of your birth. People are not generally considered residents in a country in which they were not born or legally naturalized, if they were only visiting, studying in the country temporarily, or stationed temporarily for business or professional reasons on behalf of a company or government of a different country other than the one in which you were born.

    If you claim alternate chargeability through either of the above, you must provide an explanation on the E-DV Entry Form, in question #6.

    Listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability (i.e., one to which you cannot establish a valid claim) may disqualify your entry.

  17. Why do natives of certain countries not qualify for the DV program?

    DVs are intended to provide an immigration opportunity for persons who are not from ``high admission'' countries. The law defines ``high admission countries'' as those from which a total of 50,000 persons in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visa categories immigrated to the United States during the previous five years. Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) tallies the family and employment immigrant admission and adjustment of status figures for the previous five years to identify the countries that are considered ``high admission'' and whose natives will therefore be ineligible for the annual Diversity Visa program. Since this calculation is made annually, the list of countries whose natives are eligible or not eligible may change from one year to the next.

  18. How many DV-2017 visas will go to natives of each region and eligible country?

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines the regional DV limits for each year according to a formula specified in Section 203(c) of the INA. The number of visas that eventually will be issued to natives of each country will depend on the regional limits established, how many entrants come from each country, and how many of the selected entrants are found eligible for the visa. No more than seven percent of the total visas available can go to natives of any one country.

  19. What are the requirements for education or work experience?

    U.S. immigration law and regulations require that every DV entrant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience. A ``high school education or equivalent'' is defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education in the United States OR the successful completion in another country of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a high school education in the United States. Only formal courses of study meet this requirement; correspondence programs or equivalency certificates (such as the General Equivalency Diploma G.E.D.) are not acceptable. Documentary proof of education or work experience must be presented to the consular officer at the time of the visa interview.

    If you do not meet the requirements for education or work experience, your entry will be disqualified at the time of your visa interview, and no visas will be issued to you or any of your family members.

  20. What occupations qualify for the DV program?

    The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) O*Net OnLine database will be used to determine qualifying work experience. The O*Net Online database groups job experience into five ``job zones.'' While many occupations are listed on the DOL Web site, not all occupations qualify for the DV program. To qualify for a DV on the basis of your work experience, you must have, within the past five years, two years of experience in an occupation that is classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) range of 7.0 or higher.

    If you do not meet the requirements for education or work experience, your entry will be disqualified at the time of your visa interview, and no visas will be issued to you or any of your family members.

  21. How can I find the qualifying DV occupations in the Department of Labor's O*Net OnLine database?

    When you are in O*Net OnLine, follow these steps to determine if your occupation qualifies:

  22. Under ``Find Occupations'' select ``Job Family'' from the pull down;

  23. Browse by ``Job Family'', make your selection, and click ``GO'';

  24. Click on the link for your specific occupation.

  25. Select the tab ``Job Zone'' to find the designated Job Zone number and Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating range.

    As an example, select Aerospace Engineers. At the bottom of the Summary Report for Aerospace Engineers, under the Job Zone section, you will find the designated Job Zone 4, SVP Range, 7.0 to