If you’re seeking admission to the United States as an immigrant and you don’t have a sponsor or you have family members or friends who are, it’s time to get ready: The State Department has announced that registration for the Diversity Visa Program for Fiscal Year 2022 (DV-2022) is about to start.
Better known as the “Visa Lottery,” DV-2022 can give up to 55,000 immigrants their green cards — but competition is fierce and your window of opportunity is small. You have to submit your electronic application between noon on Wed., Oct. 7, and Tues., Nov. 10 of this year.
The 2021 program received 6,741,128 qualified entries, which included 11,830,707 foreign nationals and their family members. The lottery is open to only six different geographical regions that have had low numbers of immigrants coming into the United States over the previous five years. In 2021, immigrants from Egypt, Algeria, Russia and Iran were the most common recipients.
Unfortunately, the Visa Lottery almost always starts a rush of scams directed at people hopeful or desperate to immigrate. Don’t fall into a scammer’s trap by believing claims that anyone can “guarantee” you’ll win the lottery if you pay them certain fees or that they can tilt the odds of winning in your favor somehow.
It may be helpful to work with an experienced immigration attorney on your application, however. Given the vast number of applicants and the short time you have to file, having assistance from someone who understands the rules can make the application process a lot easier. Plus, you can always talk to the attorney about your alternative options — just in case.