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Jamaicans not eligible to apply under the Diversity Visa Programme

Ask the US Embassy

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Q. I received an e-mail recently asking me to make a payment and apply to the embassy under the Diversity Visa Programme. Is this a legitimate programme, and how do I apply?

A. Thanks for your query about the Diversity Visa Programme. I must, however, inform you that the Department of State, Office of Visa Services, has advised that there has been a notable increase in fraudulent e-mails and letters being sent to people about the Diversity Visa (DV) Programme (Visa Lottery). The scammers behind these fraudulent e-mails and letters are posing as US Government agents in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants. All applicants should be familiar with information about DV scams provided by the Federal Trade Commission. Applicants are encouraged to review the rules and procedures for the DV programme so that you know what to expect, when to expect it, and from whom. These may be found in full at

Please also be informed that Jamaicans are not eligible to apply for DVs.

The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions and no single country may receive more than seven per cent of the available DVs in any one year. For DV-2018, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are eligible.

The Department of State administers the Congressionally-mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Programme annually. Section 203 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides for a class of immigrants known as "diversity immigrants" from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For Fiscal Year 2018, 50,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) will be available. There is no cost to register for the DV Programme.

Applicants who are selected in the programme must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a diversity visa. The Department of State determines selectees through a randomised computer drawing.

While DV applicants may receive an e-mail from the US Government reminding them to check their status online through DV Entrant Status Check, they will not receive a notification letter or e-mail informing them that they are a successful DV entrant. Applicants can only find out if they were selected to continue with DV processing by checking their status online through the DV Entrant Status Check at

Finally, remember that fees for the DV application process are paid to the US Embassy or consulate cashier at the time of your scheduled appointment. The US Government will never ask you to send payment in advance by cheque, money order, or wire transfer.

You can find more information about travelling to the US on the embassy’s website at and the website of our authorised service provider at Keep on top of embassy news on our Facebook page, Jamaica, and by following @ USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

You may also send your questions to: to be forwarded to the embassy.

Reminder: Your appointment time is your arrival time, NOT your interview time. Do not show up earlier than your appointment time.