The Department of State recently announced instructions for the Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 2012) diversity lottery for permanent residence (“green card”). The application period begins at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 5, 2010, and will end at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on November 3, 2010. Applications are submitted via the Department of State’s electronic registration system.

The annual diversity lottery program (the DV lottery) makes available permanent resident visas to certain eligible persons from countries with a low rate of immigration to the United States. There are 50,000 visas available for the FY 2012 diversity lottery. In past years, approximately 6 to 7 million people have applied for the program.

For 2012, persons born in any of the following countries are once again not eligible to apply because those countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the previous five years: Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, 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.

Applicants must have a high school education or its equivalent, which is defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education, OR two years of work experience within the five years preceding the date of the application, in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.

Diversity lottery visas must be issued between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012.

For more information, see the Department of State instruction page, the Department of State’s diversity lottery program web page, or contact your Ogletree Deakins immigration professional.

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