Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

DV-2009 Lottery Application Period Begins

Entries for the DV-2009 diversity visa lottery must be submitted electronically between noon EDT, Wednesday, October 3, 2007, and noon EST, Sunday, December 2, 2007. Applicants must use the electronic entry form at during the registration period. Paper entries will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in Web site delays. There is no fee to enter the DV lottery.

For DV-2009, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because they sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the period of the previous five years: Brazil, Canada, China (mainland born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, 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 SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

A computer will select individuals randomly from among all qualified entries. They will be notified by mail between May and July 2008 and will be provided further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the U.S. Those selected in the random drawing are not notified by e-mail. Individuals not selected will not receive any notification. U.S. embassies and consulates will not be able to provide a list of successful entrants. Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 of successful entrants may also apply for visas to accompany or follow to join the principal applicant. DV-2009 visas will be issued between October 1, 2008, and September 30, 2009.

To receive a diversity visa to immigrate to the U.S., those chosen in the random drawing must meet all eligibility requirements. Processing of entries and issuance of diversity visas to individuals and their eligible family members must occur by midnight on September 30, 2009.

Several questions and options for answers have been added to the DV-2009 program to gather additional information, including the country where the applicant lives today, the highest level of education the applicant has achieved, and the term “legally separated” instead of “separated” as an option under the marital status question. Legal separation means that a court has formally declared that the applicant and his or her spouse are legally separated, and means that the spouse would not be eligible to immigrate as the applicant’s derivative.

Those electing to file a DV lottery application should be aware that the State Department considers the DV application to be a petition to be reported in the standard visa application Form DS-156 (item 36). While this may be safe enough if seeking an H or L nonimmigrant visa, any others choosing to participate should seek legal advice first to see if the application will adversely impact a future visa application.

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Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.