Friday, October 05, 2007

2009 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Begins October 3

The U.S. Department of State has announced that registration for the 2009 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery will begin on October 3, 2007 and entries will be accepted until December 2, 2007.

The program makes available 55,000 permanent resident visas annually, randomly selected among persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

Persons seeking to enter the lottery program must register online through the DV website (www.dvlottery.state.gov) during the registration period. Registration is free of charge. The State Department will notify winning entrants by mail between May and July 2008. Those selected in the random drawing are NOT notified by e-mail.

Additional information on the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is available at the following U.S. State Department website: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html.

The U.S. Embassy in Freetown wants to make sure that Sierra Leoneans have the information they need to make informed decisions about the U.S. Government’s annual Diversity Visa (DV) program.  Sierra Leone is among the participating countries, and interest in the program is especially high here.

Misinformation, misunderstanding, and outright lies from dishonest businesses and individuals have the potential to cost members of the public both time and money, and even to cause applicants to participate in serious fraud schemes, which could make them ineligible for visas for the rest of their lives.

  • The U.S. Government does not communicate via e-mail regarding the DV program; any e-mail you receive – saying you’ve been selected or asking for money in return for assistance with the program – is fraudulent.
  • There is no fee to enter the DV Lottery.  You are not required to use an agent or an attorney to complete your entry or application for you.  Winners pay fees ONLY in person at the U.S. Embassy when a case is being processed.
  • You can enter the DV lottery only via the Internet at www.dvlottery.state.gov.  The online application will include basic personal information and requires a photograph.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that all aspects of the application are accurate and complete.  Applicants must apply only once; if it is discovered you have entered more than once, your application will be automatically disqualified.
  • Applicants do not need a sponsor in the U.S. to apply for the DV, and applicants do not need to be married.  Applicants who supply false sponsorship documents or who have participated in marriages solely for the purpose of receiving a visa may be permanently ineligible to receive a U.S. visa.
  • Do not enter the lottery unless you can meet the work experience or educational requirements necessary to qualify for a Diversity Visa. Please refer to the instructions for more information on the requirements.

Questions about the DV process can be submitted by e-mail to the Embassy’s Consular Section at consularfreetown@state.gov.

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