The Diversity Lottery (DV Lottery) was created by the US Congress in the Immigration Act of 1990 as a mechanism for aliens from certain countries to be able to have an immigration visa available to them without having to go through one of the standard application processes - family, employment, asylum applications. Section 203 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act permits the Department of State (DOS) to create a mechanism to selection aliens to become diversity immigrants.
Each year the Department of State sets up a lottery time mechanism to permit aliens to fill in an application. After a set deadline passes, the applications are completed applications are collected,and a electronic drawing is conducted in which the "winning" applicants are selected.
The 2013 Diversity Visa Lottery (DV-2013) opened for applications on 12:00PM EDT (GMT -4) on October 4, 2011. The ability for aliens to apply for DV-2013 ends at 12:00PM EST (GMT -5) on November 5, 2011. The DOS has required that the applications be done online and have set up a designated site for the completion and submission of the application. https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/
To further assist in the application process for DV-2013, the DOS has created an online set of instructions that will provide the basics to the alien before commencing the application. http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html The DOS has also completed a 55 minute webcast that has been imbedded into the Instruction page that provides a complete review of the DV-2013 Lottery and answer many questions that concern the application process.
The electronic application requires the electronic submission of a current photo (less than six months old) of the applicant. The DOS provides a separate web page explaining the photo requirements including a pitcher validated to check for the digital image being in compliance with the technological requirements. https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/photo.aspx
Finally, the DOS has the actual entry form on a separate web page with open spaces for the information to be entered for each question. The application is provided in basic English and has pull down menus when possible. Examples are also provided in brackets after many of the sections to show what type of answer is requested by the specific question. https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/photo.aspx
The DOS has set up the site that will become operational on May 1, 2012 to enable entrants o check to see if they were awarded a place in the DV-2013 Lottery. http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ESC/
It is important that any alien wishing to enter the DV-2013 Lottery does so before the deadline as stated above. An alien is advised to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can review his/her immigration history prior to entering the DV-2013 Lottery.
NOTE: The application for the DV-2013 Lottery is an application to be in the content and is not considered to be an act that resulting in the existence of immigration intent for purposes of requesting a nonimmigrant visa or when being inspected at the port of entry. If the alien is successful in obtaining the right to apply for a diversity immigrant, an experienced immigration attorney can provide a legal opinion concerning the filing of documents for available immigrant visa.