Haiti, J’a Max Out US Visas

The United States says Haitians and Jamaicans are among nationals not eligible to apply for the 2014 Diversity Visa (DV) Program.

The U.S. Department of State said those nationals are ineligible because their countries “sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years.”

Other countries ineligible are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. It was also announced that natives of Guatemala are now eligible to enter the program.

The 2014 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2014) opened at noon, Eastern Daylight Time, on Oct. 2 and will close at noon on Nov. 3.

Applicants must submit entries electronically during the registration period using the electronic DV entry form (E-DV) at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Paper entries will not be accepted.

“We strongly encourage applicants not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter,” the State Department cautioned, adding: “Heavy demand may result in Web site delays.” It also warned that: “No entries will be accepted after noon, EDT, on Nov. 3, 2012.”

The congressionally-mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990, amended INA 203, provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants.”

Section 203(c) of the INA provides a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas each fiscal year to be made available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States, the State Department said.

It said 55, 000 immigrant visas are set aside for DV immigrants. However, since DV-1999, the U.S. Congress has reserved 5,000 visas from this annual allocation to be made available for use under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA).

“The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements,” the State Department said. “A computer-generated, random drawing chooses selectees for Diversity Visas,” it added.

The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the past five years.

“No single country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year,” the State Department said, adding that it implemented the electronic registration system, beginning with DV-2005, “in order to make the Diversity Visa process more efficient and secure.

“We utilize special technology and other means to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit multiple entries,” it said.

For DV-2014, the Department of State said it will once again implement an online process to notify entrants of their selection, and to provide information about the immigrant visa application and interview.

Beginning May 1, 2013, the department said DV-2014 entrants will be able to use their “unique confirmation number” provided at registration to check online through Entry Status Check at www.dvlottery.state.gov to see if their entry was selected.

It said successful entrants will receive instructions for how to apply for immigrant visas for themselves and their eligible family members. Confirmation of visa interview appointments will also be made through Entry Status Check.