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News: Immigration News

Immigration News
October 6, 2004

The Diversity Visa 2006 Green Card Lottery, by which 50,000 immigrant visas are allotted and then awarded, runs from October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006. Foreign nationals from certain countries are eligible to apply. The application period begins November 5, 2004 and ends Tuesday, January 7, 2005 and for the first time this year, entries must be submitted electronically--paper entries will not be accepted.

It is easier to list the countries that are excluded rather than the countries that are included in this year's lottery. The countries that are excluded are: Canada, mainland China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (natives of Northern Ireland and Hong Kong are eligible, but natives of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, and the Turks and Calicos Islands are not eligible) and Vietnam.

To receive a DV-2006 visa, an individual must be a native of a country not listed above, must have at least a high school education or its equivalent, or, within the preceding five years, two years work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years training or experience. Someone may compete whether they are currently in the United States or in a foreign country.

Although an individual who is in the United States does not need to be in lawful status to compete in the lottery, a person who is out of status may be subject to the three and ten year bars on admission that may apply under immigration law and therefore be unable to take advantage of winning the lottery. Each such case is different and someone who is out of status should definitely contact our firm or another immigration attorney before applying for the lottery.

It is important to note that only one application can be made by any one individual. If someone submits more than one application in a misguided attempt to improve his or her chances, that person will be totally disqualified. However, if you have submitted an application for previous years, you can file again this year. Also, a husband and a wife may each submit one lottery application and then if either is selected, the other would be entitled to derivative status
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If a person is fortunate enough to be selected, he or she must be prepared to act very quickly because the government must be able to complete action on their case before September 30, 2006. If you are so fortunate, the State Department will notify you by mail between May 2005 and July 2005. If you are not selected, you will not be notified that you have been rejected.

There is no government application fee to enter the lottery. If someone retains our firm to assist them, there would be a nominal attorneys fee. If we can be of assistance to you or any family member or friend, whether in the United States or not, please contact Jim Tyler at 215 587-0160 or email him at jtyler@sbcq.com


September 23, 2004

The Department of State has issued a cable reminder that F, J, and M visas with initial I-20 or DS-2019 forms issued on or after September 1, 2004, will require payment of the SEVIS fee before making a visa application. Only students and exchange visitors with a Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued on or after September 1st are subject to the fee.

Students and exchange visitors should use Form I-901, the SEVIS Fee Application, to pay the fee. The Form is available on the SEVIS fee website and schools and exchange programs are also being encouraged to provide Form I-901 to their students and participants.

The SEVIS fee is generally a one-time fee for as long as the nonimmigrant maintains the status in which he or she was initially admitted. For an F or M student, the covered period generally extends from the time the student is granted F or M status to the time the student falls out of status, changes status, o


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