Avoid fraud when seeking a green card

Monday, May 02, 2011

 

The Federal Trade Commission is offering information to help prospective immigrants avoid fraud when seeking green cards – the right to live in the Unites States permanently.

Even though the U.S. State Department’s Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program is free and the agency does not authorize any other organization to notify applicants about the application process, some fraudulent businesses and lawyers charge substantial fees and misrepresent their “services.”

The “DV lottery” – sometimes also referred as the “Visa lottery” or “green card lottery” – offers up to 55,000 visas each year for people who want to immigrate to the U.S. Applicants who meet eligibility requirements are selected in a random drawing and notified by the State Department, which tells them about the next steps in the process for applying for an immigrant visa. Applicants should know the following:

  • The only website to use to enter the DV program random drawing is www.dvlottery.state.gov.
  • There is no charge to enter the DV program or submit an entry.
  • Submit only one entry – if you submit more than one you will be disqualified.
  • Selection of entries is random. There is no way to increase an applicant’s chance of selection.
  • The State Department does not notify selected applicants by mail or e-mail – starting with the DV-2012 program, entrants must check their application status online.

For detailed information, see the FTC’s consumer alert, Diversity Visa Lottery: Read the Rules, Avoid the Rip-Offs.

 

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