The U.S. Department of State has announced the DV-2008 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program.  This year’s program will only accept applications electronically between noon EST October 4, 2006 and noon EST December 3, 2006.  No paper entries will be accepted.  Applicants must submit an Electronic Diversity Form (EDV Entry Form), which is accessible only at www.dvlottery.state.gov.

Applicants may access the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form during the 60-day registration period beginning October 4, 2006.  No fee is charged to enter the annual DV program.  Failure to complete the form in its entirety will disqualify the applicant’s entry. 

For DV-2008, natives of the following countries are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply: Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.  Persons born in Hong Kong S.A.R., Macau S.A.R., and Taiwan are eligible.  Foreign nationals from countries other than those ineligible countries listed above should prepare to file electronically during the registration period.  Only one entry per person will be permitted; submitting more than one entry will disqualify all entries by the applicant. 

An applicant may have either a high school education or its equivalent, or two years’ work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years’ training or experience.  A husband and a wife may each submit one entry if each meets the eligibility requirements.  Both the application and the accompanying photographs must be submitted electronically. 

There are 50,000 DV visas available for DV-2008.  Applicants will be selected at random by computer among all qualified entries.  Notification letters will be sent to those selected within about five to seven months from the end of the application period.  Persons not selected will not receive any notification.  In order to actually receive a visa, applicants selected in the random drawing must meet all eligibility requirements under U.S. law. 

If any of your employees are from an eligible country and would like to apply for the immigration lottery, they must submit the Diversity Visa Entry Form electronically, along with a photo (also to be submitted electronically).  Detailed photo instructions can be found on the website.  Persons who submit entries for the 2008 lottery will receive a confirmation notice that the completed application was received. 

Interested applicants should review the website.  If we can assist or answer any questions, please contact us.  Remember, the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form must be submitted between October 4, 2006 and December 3, 2006.