US immigration's 2015 green card lottery closes November 2nd

We remind you that this year's Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, better known as the Green Card Lottery, will close on November 2nd 2013 so, if you want to enter, you must apply by then. Every year, 50,000 US green cards, or permanent resident visas, are issued to successful applicants under the green card lottery. Applications must be made online. There is no fee.

The annual Green Card Lottery was first held in 1995. It is open to citizens of countries with historically low levels of immigration to the US and is designed to increase the diversity of the US population. Each year, all applications are entered into a lottery and 50,000 people are selected at random.

The lucky winners must then send their details to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which will check that they meet all the US's entry criteria. Even if you are selected by the lottery you will not be eligible for a US green card unless

  • You have been educated to a level equivalent to completing US high school or
  • You have two years' experience in a qualifying occupation in the last five years. Qualifying occupations can be found on the US Department of Labor's O*Net Online Database

Citizens of only 19 countries barred from applying

You can only apply for this year's Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (known as DV-15) if you come from a country with a low rate of immigration to the US in the last five years. This year, Nigerians can no longer apply because over 50,000 Nigerians have immigrated to the US in the last five years.

Citizens of the following countries are ineligible for DV-15

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China (mainland)
  • 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
  • Vietnam.
Even if you do come from one of these countries you may be able to apply if your spouse was born in another country not on the list or if your parents were born in another country which is not on the list of barred countries.

DV-15 may be the last

This year's Green Card Lottery may be the last. President Obama has promised to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority of his second term. Several bills are before Congress that would, if they are passed, abolish it.

The STEM Jobs Act would abolish the lottery and issue green cards to 50,000 graduates from US universities in the STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernisation Act, which has already been approved by the Senate would also abolish the lottery.

This may be your last chance

So, if you have ever considered applying, you might like to do so this year.

The lottery closes to new applications on November 2nd at 12 noon, Eastern Daylight Time. (GMT -4).

If you would like to apply for a US visa, WorkPermit.com can help. WorkPermit.com is a specialist visa consultancy with 25 years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.