DV Lottery Registration for FY2008 Starts October 4, 2006

September 28, 2006 - According to the U.S. Department of State (DOS), applications for the 2008 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery will be accepted from noon (U.S. Eastern Time) October 4, 2006, to noon (U.S. Eastern Time) December 3, 2006. The DV Lottery Form will only be available through the DOL WebSite. The lottery program offers an opportunity for a minimum of 50,000 DV winners each year to obtain their green cards. Eligibility is limited to persons from countries with low rates of U.S. immigration.

Certain Countries Not Eligible to Apply

Since the DV program is intended to attract persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S., many individuals are simply not eligible to participate in the DV Lottery program. Generally, persons born in Brazil, Canada, mainland China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (including its dependent territories, except Northern Ireland), and Vietnam are NOT eligible to apply. These countries have sent more than 50,000 immigrants each to the U.S. over the last five-year period and, thus, do not meet this lottery criterion. If a person from one of these countries has a spouse born in a qualifying country, the couple may qualify for the DV lottery. An individual born in one of these non-qualifying countries, whose parents were not born in the non-qualifying country, and did not reside there at the time of the applicant's birth, is also eligible if one of the parents was born in a qualifying country. More information on these matters is available in the DV Instructions on the DOS WebSite.

Minimum Education / Experience Requirements

Qualifying applicants must also have either a high school education or its equivalent or must have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform. The instructions define "high school or equivalent," and a link to the Department of Labor (DOL) O*Net database, used to determine which jobs require two years of experience or training.

Procedures

Individuals should carefully review the instructions and the registration form, so that the application is correctly filled and submitted within the strict timeframes required by law. Submission of more than one application is not permitted and doing so will prompt rejection of all of the applications from such an individual. The application must include a recent electronic photograph of the applicant, another of the applicant's spouse, and one of each of the applicant's children under 21 years old. Failure to submit proper photographs will also result in a rejection of the application. The instructions include detailed specifications regarding the photographs.

Selection of Applicants

Qualified individuals will randomly selected by electronic means. Notifications will be sent to lottery winners between May and July 2007. This information will be sent only by U.S. mail; NOT by eMail or other forms of communication. Those who are not selected in the lottery will NOT receive notification from the DOS that they have not been selected. Those who are unsure as to whether information they have received is from the DOS should speak with a qualified immigration attorney. Selection in the lottery does not guarantee an immigrant visa will be available or that it will ultimately be granted to that individual and all immediate family members. It only opens the possibility of applying for the immigrant visa, and applicants must still be eligible to become permanent residents, in terms of procedure and personal background investigation, medical tests, etc.

For more information visit our DV Lottery section on our web site, click here.

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