In recent weeks, I have been asked a number of times as to when the Entry period for DV 2021 would begin. Before now, one could only speculate: “the first week in October,” since in fact that is when it always begins. The exact date generally remains a mystery until it is released by the State Department.
DV 2021 Entry Period
The State Department has announced via its official website that the Entry period for DV 2021 begins at Midday, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (i.e. 4:00 PM or 16 Hours, GMT), on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.
This means that, beginning at that precise moment, the EDV Entry form will become available on the official DV website, for entrants to fill in and subsequently submit. It must be noted, however, that because of the influx of hopefuls to the website at the time indicated, the form is expected to be difficult to access, for several hours at the beginning.
This DOES NOT mean that the Program is canceled or postponed, as some would start to think. Every year, that is how things are, at the beginning of the Entry period. There’s therefore no need to panic upon encountering this reality. Simply wait! After a number of hours, the website will “normalize”.
Entry Submission Not Yet Possible
There are others who would attempt to enter the Lottery immediately upon hearing that the date and time have been released. The release is just intended to define and acquaint us with the duration of the Entry period, beforehand. It does not mean that access to the EDV Entry form is automatically possible. You will have to wait until at least several hours after the indicated time on the given date, to enter the Lottery.
Enter Anytime During the Entry Period
You may even enter a number of days into the Entry period. There’s no disadvantage in doing so. There’re usually rumors suggesting that the Lottery favors those who enter at the beginning. That’s not true. We have had winners from the very first day in the Entry period, as well as from the final moments – and from other times in between.
You may therefore enter anytime during the Entry period. You are however advised against entering at the very end, because there may be website delays as a result of “last-minute rush,” and your entry may end up not being submitted in that case. But anytime from a few hours into the Entry period up to – I would say – a day to the end, is fine to submit your entry.
The Time in Your Location
As you may have noticed, I included GMT when indicating the start of the Entry period, in addition to the EDT (used in the Instructions). That’s because GMT is the most widely referenced time zone.
Every year, upon learning that the Entry period begins at Noon/Midday, DV enthusiasts ignore the time zone provided, and begin to complain that the specified time has passed, and they’re not accessing the form.
We are all aware that there are different time zones in the world. Time in one location is not necessarily the same in another. So when time is indicated, especially when it concerns another part of the world, one should “convert” said time to his/her time zone. 12 Noon EDT, as indicated in the Instructions, is 16 hours (or 4:00 PM) GMT. Remember this, and try to find out the time of the place where you live when it is 4:00 GMT (i.e. if you’re not in the GMT Time Zone). The process will begin in your location at that time on the day indicated.
The Entry period will end at 12 Noon Eastern Standard Time (i.e. 5:00 PM or 17 Hours, GMT) on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Apply the method explained above when it comes to knowing the ending time of the Entry period in your location.
Now to the big question:
The issue of passport as a requirement. I have also being asked a number of times whether “the Passport issue is true”. I wrote a number of articles to that effect: you must have a valid passport to enter DV 2021 and subsequent DV programs.
The Statement Department would not say one thing and do something else. They announced that possessing a valid international passport would be a requirement. Hence, they’ve included that within the instructions for the DV 2021 program. Those exempted from this regulation are nationals of Communist-controlled states unable to acquire passports from their governments, and beneficiaries of a special U.S. Government waiver, which constitute a minute fraction of the total number of entrants expected. So get your passport ready; you’ll need it.
Anything Else New?
The question regarding the passport is the only new question added to the EDV Entry form. It increases the number of questions to 15, as opposed to last year’s 14. The rest of the questions on the EDV Entry form basically remain the same. The list of eligible countries for DV-2021 also remains unchanged.
The DV 2021 instructions also mention that Incomplete EDV forms will not be accepted.
Results for DV-2021 will be published as usual, on the official DV website, six months from the end of the Entry period, on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
You may click on the following link to access the full INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 2021 DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM.
Wish you best of success as you enter DV 2021!