The US Department of State yesterday began accepting requests to register for the 2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Programme (DV-2017), also known as the Green Card Lottery.
The Diversity Lottery Programme provides a path for foreign nationals to become permanent residents of the United States regardless of whether they have a family member or an employer willing to sponsor them. This programme is open to applicants who hail from countries where more than 50,000 people have immigrated to the United States over the past few years.
However, while this criterion makes the majority of UK residents ineligible to apply for a visa through this scheme, applicants from Northern Ireland are not excluded from doing so.
It is also important to note that should you be selected in the lottery, this does not in itself guarantee the applicant a green card; applicants must still meet all standards for admissibility and be able to process their green cards within the allotted time. Immediate family members of successful lottery applicants are eligible for green cards as well, provided they meet the same admissibility standards.
For fiscal year 2017, 50,000 diversity visas will be available. The successful applicants will be notified in May 2016.
Natives of the countries are not eligible for the DV-2017 Lottery: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
For more information on the programme, and to potentially apply for a place, visit the official diversity lottery website.