Open Season

Oct 01, 2007 (LBO) – The United States visa lottery for would-be immigrants will be opened on Wednesday, October 3, and participation is without any charge, the US embassy in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo said. Lottery winners will be notified between May and July, 2008 and have a one-year window in which they may immigrate to the United States, the statement said. Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery allows randomly selected applicants to immigrate to the United States on an expedited basis, provided they meet all the criteria, it said in a statement.

The period for lottery registration, which is free, will be October 03 to December 2, 2007.

Some Sri Lankans have earlier paid fees for foreign firms to put in their entry.

The embassy said 50,000 people from around the world will win the ‘Green Card’ giving them citizenship.

Under last year’s visa lottery program, 318 cases qualified for immigrant visa interviews.

Applicants must be citizens of a qualifying country (Sri Lanka and the Maldives both qualify), and have either a high school equivalent education (Six GCE O-Levels including compulsory subjects) or specified work experience.

“Individuals wishing to participate in the visa lo