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GREEN CARD LOTTERY (DV-2008) Updated:12/04/06


  • Our online registration for the DV-2008 Green Card Lottery ended on December 3, 2006. Winners are expected to be notified by the US goverment between April and July 2007. Losers are not notified.
    Online registration for the DV-2009 Green Card will be available as soon as the program is announced by the US government. This announcement is expected in August 2007.


Each year the U.S. Department of State conducts a green card lottery. This program is authorized by Section 203(c) of the Immigration Act of 1990.

The registration period of this year's green card lottery is from 12:00PM EDT (GMT -5) on October 4, 2006 to 12:00PM EST (GMT -5) on December 3, 2006.

The State Department advises applicants NOT to wait until the last week of the registration. Heavy Demand may result in delays.

For DV-2008, 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. in the previous five years:

BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PHILIPPINES, 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.

Winners will be selected randomly and there is no fee to enter the lottery. DV-2008 winners selected will be notified by mail between May and July 2007.

DV-2008 green cards will be issued between October 1, 2007 and September 30, 2008. The two major requirements are (1) that the applicant has at least a high school education OR 2 years of work experience, and (2) that he/she is a native from a qualifying country, which includes Japan. This usually means the country of birth.

The decision to hire an attorney is entirely up to the applicant. If you follow the directions carefully, which are available on the Internet at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/, I encourage you to register for the lottery by yourself.

If you would rather have a law firm assist you, we provide that service on the Internet or at our office for $45 per person. Our service includes notification of next year's green card lottery.

If you win the DV-2008 lottery you might want to consider hiring an attorney. The main reason is that you must receive your green card by September 30, 2008. The procedural delays and the inability to obtain all required documents is currently no excuse. The bottom line is that if you win the lottery, but your case is still pending with the Immigration and Naturalization Service or the U.S. State Department after September 30, 2008, you will not receive a green card.

Individuals who won a previous lottery who were unable to get green cards because the INS offices failed to process the case before the end of the fiscal year for that program are encouraged to contact this office. There is discussion by some US Immigration law firms to file a class-action lawsuit against the INS to force them to issue green cards in lottery cases not handled in a timely manner by the INS.

There are a few major changes to this year's lottery instructions compared to previous years. They include the following:

  • There is only one way to enter the DV-2008 lottery. Applicants must submit an Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (EDV Entry Form), which is accessible only at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov. Paper entries will not be accepted.
  • Recent photographs of the applicant and his/her spouse and each child under 21 years of age, including all natural children as well as all legally-adopted and stepchildren, excepting a child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident, even if a child no longer resides with the applicant or is not intended to immigrate under the DV program, must be submitted electronically with the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. Group or family photos will not be accepted; there must be a separate photo for each family member.
  • Photo specifications.
    • The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
    • The image must be either in color or grayscale; monochrome images (2-bit color depth) will not be accepted.
    • If a new digital photograph is taken, it must have a resolution of 320 pixels wide by 240 pixels high, and a color depth of either 24-bit color, 8-bit color, or 8-bit grayscale.
    • If a photographic print is scanned, the print must be 2 inches by 2 inches (50mm x 50mm) square. It must be scanned at a resolution of 150 dots per inch (dpi) and with a color depth of either 24-bit color, 8-bit color, or 8-bit grayscale.
    • The maximum image size accepted will be sixty-two thousand five hundred (62,500) bytes.
    • Applicant, spouse, or child must be directly facing the camera; the head of the person being photographed should not be tilted up, down or to the side, and should cover about 50% of the area of the photo.
    • The photo should be taken with the person being photographed in front of a neutral, light- colored background. Photos taken with very dark or patterned, busy backgrounds will not be accepted.
    • Photos must be in focus.
    • Photos in which the person being photographed is wearing a hat or glasses with dark lens or in which the face is obscured in any way will not be accepted.
    • Photos may be either color or black and white.
  • Only one entry for each applicant may be submitted. A husband and a wife can each submit a separate application.



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