Ireland and the DV Lottery
I’m often asked by Irish immigrants why Ireland does not qualify for more visas under the Diversity Visa lottery. (DV) The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random drawing chooses selectees for DVs. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, and within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year. Visas are allocated to natives of countries with historically lower rates of U.S. immigration. Natives of countries who have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the past five years are not eligible to apply for the Diversity Visa program.
I remind callers that it’s a good idea to apply for the DV but not to place too much hope on winning a green card in this lottery. People should explore other visa options and see if they are eligible for working visas.
Visa lottery application period
Online registration for the DV-2014 Program began on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 12:00 noon, and concludes on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time.
There is no fee to apply for the DV Lottery. The Department of State has issued warnings on a number of websites advertising the DV program. They state there have been instances of fraudulent websites offering assistance for a fee to apply for the Diversity Visa Program. Some companies posing as the US Government have sought money in order to "complete" applications. Paying for the service will not increase or ‘bump’ your application forward.
Law Firms and DV
Private law firms have also jumped into the market offering what they consider DV assistance for fees of $200 and up. There is no need to retain a lawyer to complete a straightforward DV application which is free of charge on line. There are Irish centers from Boston to San Francisco to help you on the DV.
Free legal help from local attorneys
At the IPC, we are lucky to have attorneys like Dan Harrington and Chris Lavery available each month at our legal clinics. Other attorneys like Denis Fleming and Ted Harrington help us on general legal matters from family to criminal law matters.
Call us, email us, or come to our legal clinic on November 6th if you have any other general questions on visas.
Email me your immigration query or a topic you would like us to cover today: Kieran@ipcboston.org
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.