In 1995, the Immigration and Nationality Act established an annual visa lottery program known as the DV-1 Lottery, which offers 50,000 visas for people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States. To qualify, applicants must: 1) have a high school education (or its equivalent) and; 2) within the past five years, have two years of experience in an occupation requiring two years of such training/experience. The registration period for the 2013 US Green Card Lottery begins on Oct 4, 2011 and will continue until Nov 2, 2011. Please note that registering for the lottery is free. You do not have to pay any fees, so please be weary about websites and emails requesting payment of fees to process the registration for you. A lot of these websites pose as U.S. government or USCIS sites, leading applicants to believe that they are government-sanctioned. Not everybody is eligible to register for the green card lottery, as it only permits applicants from countries with low immigration rates to the U.S. So countries like Canada, UK, Mexico, China, India and the Philippines are excluded. You can visit the official website for information at: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.html.
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