(Provided in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs)
* The period to apply for the 2012 lottery is October 5, 2010 -November 3, 2010. This is a shorter period than in previous years.
* Applications will only be accepted electronically. Mail-in and delivered applications will not be accepted, and multiple applications will be disqualified.
* The official web site is through the U.S. Department of State –www.dvlottery.state.gov
* Not all countries qualify. If a person is from any of the following countries, they will NOT qualify for the lottery this year:
Brazil, Canada, China (Mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom and its dependent territories and Vietnam.
* Selection in the lottery is completely random; there are no guarantees to being selected.
* There is no application fee for the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery.
* Be careful of deceptive advertisements.
Some ads may claim the service provider is a Notary Public or "Notario" and will promise to represent you in immigration process or provide legal advice. Notaries are not authorized to do this unless they are also a licensed attorney.
* Never leave original documents such as passports or other identity documents with an immigration service provider.
* Don't pay to use web sites selling services or claiming they are "accredited" providers. Free filing is available by going online to the Dept. of State web site at www.dvlottery.state.gov
* Always keep a copy of the application.
If someone else files for you, be sure to get a copy as well as an acknowledgement of receipt.
* Avoid doing business with providers using a P.O. Box.
* No business or service provider can guarantee winning.
Selection is random. Filers do not get a better chance by paying a higher fee or by using a particular service provider.
Applicants can also call 311, the City’s 24-hour service information line to request names of immigration service providers or file a complaint regarding potential fraud. Operators at 311 can speak 171 languages and are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.