26 September 2006

US Diversity Lottery opens 4th October

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Registration for the United States' 2008 Diversity Visa Lottery program (DV-2008) will be held October 4 to December 3, the State Department has announced.

Applicants whose names are selected randomly will be eligible to apply for one of 50,000 permanent resident visas made available annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

The 2008 lottery will mark the fourth year in which the registration process has been conducted entirely via the Internet. Persons seeking to enter the lottery program must register online through the designated Web site (www.dvlottery.state.gov), and digital photos must be submitted with the registration form. Paper entries will not be accepted, according to the DV-2008 instructions.

Entries will be accepted between noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (1600 GMT), Wednesday, October 4, and noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) (1700 GMT) Sunday, December 3. No entries will be accepted after that time, according to the DV-2008 instructions.

Applicants are encouraged to enter early in the registration period, because excessive demand might slow down the system as the deadline nears. Applicants should be aware that there is only one official site for the diversity visa lottery registration, according to the State Department.

Applicants must meet certain education or work experience requirements to register for DV-2008. They must have either a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; 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.

Natives of the some countries are not eligible to apply because those nations sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the previous five years: Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.

Registration is free. The State Department will notify winning entrants for the 2008 lottery by mail between May 2007 and July 2007.

In July, the results of the 2007 Diversity Visa Lottery were announced. Approximately 82,000 people in 175 nations received letters from the U.S. State Department informing them that they were eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa to the United States. More than 5.5 million people submitted entries in the registration process.


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