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U.S. Invites Russians To Take Part In Immigrant Visa Lottery


The U.S. Embassy in Russia has announced that "persons born in Russia will be eligible to participate in the 2011 Diversity Visa Program," an annual U.S. government-administered lottery for immigrant visas known as "green cards."

Under the program, 50,000 permanent resident visas are made available annually "to countries with low rates of immigration to the United States," the embassy said in a press release.

Several years ago Russia was removed from the list of countries whose citizens qualified to take part in the program as Russian emigration to the U.S. had grown sharply.

However, U.S. officials said that recently Russian emigration to the U.S. had begun to decline.

Last year Russians were again allowed to join the program.

"The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Act makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States," the release said.

"Applicants for Diversity Visas are chosen by a computer-generated random lottery drawing. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration. Within each region, no one country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year," it said.

"Entering the Diversity Visa Lottery is free. All entries must be submitted online. Electronic entries for the Diversity Visa (DV) 2011 Lottery will be accepted from Noon Eastern Daylight Time on October 2, 2009, until Noon Eastern Standard Time on November 30, 2009. Additional information on the Diversity Visa Program, including instructions for entering the Diversity Visa lottery, is available online at: www.dvlottery.state.gov," the embassy said.

"While many commercial firms offer services to help persons submit entries for the Diversity Visa Lottery, entrants should be aware that the use of these services does not in any way enhance one's chances of winning the Diversity Visa Lottery," it said.

"Diversity visa entrants should also be aware that no processing fees are collected by the U.S. government for this program until the day that a winner of the Diversity Visa appears at a US Embassy or Consulate for a visa interview. Any letter of other announcement to a lottery entrant regarding the Diversity Visa Program which asks the entrant to pay any processing fees in advance of the visa appointment should be disregarded as the work of scam artists," the release said.

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