A statement from the United States Embassy in Accra said applicants must submit entries electronically, using the electronic DV entry form (E-DV) at dvlottery.state.gov.
Paper entries will not be accepted. All entrants must print and retain their online confirmation page after completing their DV entries so that they will be able to check their entry status.
“We strongly encourage applicants not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after 12:00 p.m. EDT on November 2, 2013,”the statement said.
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Programme 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 (Pub. L. 101-649) amended INA 203 and 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.
Fifty-five thousand immigrant visas are set aside for DV immigrants; however, DV-1999, Congress has set aside 5,000 of the annual allocation to be made available for use under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act.
The annual DV programme makes visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements, the statement said.
It noted that a computer-generated, random drawing chooses selectees for the DVs.
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 period of the past five years.
No single country may receive more than seven per cent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.
For DV-2015, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (Mainland) Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, and the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories and Vietnam
A “native” ordinarily means someone born within a particular country, regardless of the individual’s current country of residence or nationality.
Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.
The Department of State implemented the electronic registration system beginning with DV-2005 in order to make the Diversity Visa process more efficient and secure.
“We utilise special technology and other means to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit multiple entries,” the statement said.
It said for DV-2015, the Department of State would 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, 2014, DV-2015 entrants will be able to use their unique confirmation number provided at registration to check online through Entry Status Check at dvlottery.state.gov to see if their entry was selected”.
Successful entrants, the statement said would receive instructions for how to apply for immigrant visas for themselves and their eligible family members.
Changes in US immigration practice as a result of the US Supreme Court decision striking down part of the Defence of Marriage Act also apply to DV-2015 applicants.
US embassies and consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way as applications for opposite gender spouses.
Confirmation of visa interview appointments will also be made through Entry Status Check, the statement said.