The New Visa Lottery (DV-2010)
Published September 25, 2008
As in years past, millions of people from all over world will submit entries to have a chance at one of 55,000 diversity immigrant visas and obtain “green card” status in the U.S. Excluded from eligibility 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. The determination of which countries are “high admission” is made year to year.
The entry period for the 2010 visa lottery will begin began at noon (EDT) on October 2, 2008 and continues through noon (EST) December 1, 2008. 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 2010 fiscal year which runs from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010.
For the 5th year in a row, it is expected that all entries will be electronic and specific, detailed instructions will be available in the coming few days at www.travel.state.gov. As in years past, it is likely that applicants will have to include photos conforming to detailed specifications.
All winners will be chosen randomly by computer and notifications will be forwarded by way of conventional mail sometime between May and July, 2009. 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 with instructions for reporting Internet fraud or unsolicited emails).
There is no longer a requirement that all applications be signed.
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 children under 21 year s of age 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. As stated, further details on the 2010 DV visa lottery program can be accessed in the coming week at http://travel.state.gov
PUBLISHED September 25, 2008 – “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM”
Copyright © 2007-2008, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois