The U.S. State Department has announced the registration mail-in period for the “diversity visa” lottery will be from Monday, Oct. 4, through noon on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Under the Immigration Act of 1999, 55,000 permanent resident immigrant visas are issued annually through the lottery, but up to 5,000 visas are to be made available for applicants from Nicaragua and Central America under a special relief program.

Applicants from all countries on the continent of Africa and adjacent islands are eligible this year.

Applicants from all Asian countries are eligible except for natives of mainland China and Taiwan, India, Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam.

All Europeans are eligible except for natives of Great Britain and its dependent territories and Poland.

Bahamians are the only eligible applicants from North America this year.

All applicants from Oceania including Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the countries and islands in the South Pacific are eligible.

All applicants from countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean are eligible except those from Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico.

More information may be found at