The New Visa Lottery (DV-2008)
October 1, 2006

Like in years past, millions of people from all over world will submit entries to have a chance at one of 50,000 diversity immigrant visas and obtain “green card” status in the U.S. Excluded from the program are natives of Brazil (new to the list), Canada, China (mainland born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru (new to the list), Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and Vietnam. That is because these are considered to be “high admission” nations, and the basis of Congress establishing the visa lottery statute was to provide immigration opportunities for individuals for other, non-high admission countries. A determination of which countries are “high admission” is made year to year.

The entry period for this year’s visa lottery began at noon (EST) on October 4, 2006 and continues through noon (EST) December 3, 2006. Individuals who are picked will ultimately be eligible to enter the US (or adjust their status, if they are already in the US and are otherwise eligible) during the 2008 fiscal year which runs from October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008.

Some features:

For the 4th year in a row, all entries are electronic. Applicants must register at during the registration period, and all application must include photos conforming to detailed specifications.

All winners will be chosen randomly by computer and notifications will be forwarded by way of conventional mail between May and July, 2007. Applicants are specifically advised that email notification should not be expected, and to be on the look-out for scam artists using email and the Internet to take advantage of unsuspecting applicants. (Applicants are also provided instructions for reporting Internet fraud or unsolicited emails).

The requirement that all applications be signed has been eliminated.

There is no initial application fee.

Applicants must have either a high school education or its equivalent, OR two years of experience working in a “skilled” position.

There is a limitation on one application per individual. Qualifying individuals in the same household may submit individual applications.

Applicants can be living in the U.S. or abroad.

Those picked as winners are eligible to have their spouse and under 21 year old children join in on receiving the same green card benefits. Siblings and parents of winners do not stand to derive immigration benefits.

For every detail featured in this column, there are at least 10 that I did not discuss. The application is not rocket science, and individuals should not be tricked into thinking they need to pay an exorbitant fee to have their application processed. Nor should anyone be tricked into thinking that payment of a fee to a “professional” increases their chances of being picked. Further details on the DV visa lottery program can be accessed at

Copyright © 2006-2008, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois