Frequently Asked Questions 5 – 8

5. What are the requirements for education or work experience?

U.S. immigration law and regulations require that every DV entrant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience. A “high school education or equivalent” is defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education in the United States OR the successful completion in another country of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a high school education in the United States. Only formal courses of study meet this requirement; correspondence programs or equivalency certificates (such as the General Equivalency Diploma G.E.D.) are not acceptable. You must present documentary proof of education or work experience to the consular officer at the time of the visa interview.

If you do not meet the requirements for education or work experience, your entry will be disqualified at the time of your visa interview, and no visas will be issued to you or any of your family members.

6. What occupations qualify for the DV program?

The Department of State will use the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) O*Net OnLine database to determine qualifying work experience. The O*Net Online Database categorizes job experience into five “job zones.” While the DOL website lists many occupations, not all occupations qualify for the DV program. To qualify for a DV on the basis of your work experience, you must have, within the past five years, two years of experience in an occupation classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) range of 7.0 or higher.

If you do not meet the requirements for education or work experience, your entry will be disqualified at the time of your visa interview, and no visas will be issued to you or any of your family members.

7. How can I find the qualifying DV occupations in the Department of Labor’s O*Net OnLine database?

When you are in O*Net OnLine, follow these steps to determine if your occupation qualifies:
1. Under “Find Occupations” select “Job Family” from the pull down menu;
2. Browse by “Job Family”, make your selection, and click “GO”;
3. Click on the link for your specific occupation; and
4. Select the tab “Job Zone” to find the designated Job Zone number and Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating range.

As an example, select Aerospace Engineers. At the bottom of the Summary Report for Aerospace Engineers, under the Job Zone section, you will find the designated Job Zone 4, SVP Range, 7.0 to < 8.0. Using this example, Aerospace Engineering is a qualifying occupation. For additional information, see the Diversity Visa – List of Occupations webpage.

8. Is there a minimum age to apply for the E-DV Program?

There is no minimum age to apply, but the requirement of a high school education or work experience for each principal applicant at the time of application will effectively disqualify most persons who are under age 18.

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