As of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, October 4, 2006, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) is accepting applications for the 2008 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery. The application period will expire at noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5) on Sunday, December 3, 2006. Under §203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990, a maximum of up to 55,000 Diversity Visas (DV) each fiscal year may be made available to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The annual DV program makes permanent residence visas available to individuals who are natives of one of the eligible countries listed at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2006/72835.htm and who meet either the education or work experience requirement (i.e., have EITHER a high school education or its equivalent, OR two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform). Eligible applicants must submit the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form online at www.dvlottery.state.gov along with a digital photograph of the applicant, of the applicant’s spouse and of each unmarried child under 21 years of age, including all natural children as well as all legally-adopted children and stepchildren, even if the child no longer resides with the applicant or does not intend to immigrate under the DV program. Paper entries are not accepted and only one entry per individual will be accepted. All entries by an individual will be disqualified if more than one entry for that individual is received, regardless of who submitted the entry.
A computer-generated random lottery drawing will choose those who may proceed with an immigrant visa application under the diversity visa program. Those chosen will be notified by mail, not email, between May and July 2007. No notice will be given to those not selected. The DOS will provide further instructions to chosen individuals at that time, including information on fees for immigration to the United States and eligibility requirements under U.S. law. All DV-2008 visas will be issued between October 1, 2007 and September 30, 2008 and processing of entries and issuance of diversity visas to successful individuals and their eligible family members must occur by midnight on September 30, 2008 in order for individuals to immigrate under the DV program.
Full information on the DV-2008 program is available online at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2006/72835.htm. The application process is simple and free. The DOS emphasizes that applications submitted online by qualified applicants have the same chance of being selected in the random lottery as entries submitted through a paid service.
Immigration News is an electronic publication of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP's Immigration Practice Team and is mailed to our clients and friends. Our Immigration Practice Group regularly advises clients on matters involving immigration law. Immigration News is intended to inform its readers of current trends or changes in immigration law. It does not provide answers to specific legal problems. If you have any questions concerning these or other aspects of immigration law, please feel free to contact attorneys Elizabeth Gibbes (864.253.6128 or firstname.lastname@example.org), Todd Rubin (919.835.4598 or email@example.com) or Charlie Castner (843.727.2670 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or paralegals Pam Estrich (919.835.4497 or email@example.com), Belinda Cloy (704.335.9066 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Amy Schuler (704.335.9088 or email@example.com).