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Entry acceptance for Department of State green card lottery

Georgia residents aware of foreigners interested in the U.S. Diversity Visa for 2016 should note that entries will be accepted from Oct. 1 through Nov. 3. The program is open to natives of many countries, allowing a green card to be issued to some selected individuals. However, there are some exceptions, making it important to review changes if one has entered the drawing in previous years. Examples of excluded countries include Mexico, Canada and the Philippines for having significant immigration levels in the U.S. already.

It is important to be familiar with rules of the program, including the Department of State's definition of native. An individual must have been born in a qualifying nation or be the spouse or child of someone born in a qualifying nation. A child who resides in a non-qualifying country may apply as long as neither parent resided in that country at the time of the individual's birth and as long as neither parent was born in that non-qualifying nation. An applicant must have completed a high school education in the birth country or the U.S. or have worked in a position requiring a minimum of two years' education.

Winning the lottery for a green card through the diversity program is not an assurance of receiving an actual green card. A candidate will be placed on a waiting list in order of selection, and more candidates are selected than green cards are available. Additionally, a candidate must comply with legal standards used in seeking a green card outside of the diversity program.

While the diversity program offers individuals from certain nations an increased opportunity to obtain a green card, it may also be possible to use other options such as naturalization through work. It may be helpful to contact an immigration lawyer to learn of all applicable options.

Source: New York Daily News, "The U.S. Department of State will begin accepting entries for the 2016 green card lottery this week ", Allan Wernick, September 29, 2014

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