Your confusion is understandable! Many different companies do
everything they can to try and make money from the enormous number of
people who all want a US green card.
The US Government has only *ONE* official web site for this year's
Green Card Lottery. That site is located at [
http://www.travel.state.gov/dv2005.html ]. This is the *ONLY* web site
which provides US Government approved information about the lottery
and the application process for applications due this year.
Note that general information about the lottery (and a pointer to the
dv2005 site above) can be found at [
http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/howdoi/divlott.htm ]. I'd suggest
that you read this page in its entirety, but I'm cutting and pasting
some important points below:
"What is the Diversity Visa Lottery Program?
Each year, 50,000 immigrant visas are made available through a lottery
to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the
United States. None of these visas are available for people who come
from countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the
United States in the past five years. The State Department's National
Visa Center holds the lottery every year, and chooses winners randomly
from all qualified entries. Anyone who is selected under this lottery
will be given the opportunity to apply for permanent residence. If
permanent residence is granted, then the individual will be authorized
to live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be
allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age
of 21 to the United States."
"How Much Does the Lottery Cost?
There is no fee for entering the diversity visa lottery. If you win,
you must pay a fee for an immigrant visa and a separate visa lottery
If you want to tell the difference between an official US Government
web site and non-official sites, look at the web address "suffix".
Both of the above pages have web addresses that end in ".gov". The
entire ".gov" domain is reserved for use by the US Government.
Therefore, it is usually safe to assume that information posted on a
.gov site is "officially" published by the US Government.
Web sites which end in ".com", ".org", ".net" or other suffixes are
rarely approved or monitored by the US Federal Government. (There are
exceptions, such as state governments, which frequently end in ".us",
but you need to be very careful.) Just because a web site "looks"
official (because it has pictures of government buildings or the US
flag) does not mean that it is sponsored by the US Government! In the
case of the Green Card Lottery, the web site [
http://www.travel.state.gov/dv2005.html ] is the only one which
provides official US Government information about how to apply in year
I strongly advise you to read the dv2005 web site in its entirety and
make sure you understand the instructions perfectly. There are a huge
number of mistakes which will disqualify you from consideration.
If you are interested in applying this year, keep in mind the
following, as posted on the dv2005 site:
"The Department of State will only accept completed Electronic
Diversity Visa Entry Forms submitted electronically at
http://www.dvlottery.state.gov during the 60 day registration period
beginning November 1, 2003."
(The website advertised here isn't available yet. My guess is that it
will be turned "on" for the opening day of November 1, 2003.)
And now, let me answer your questions about the specific web sites
mentioned in your question.
Both of web sites you have listed are commercial services which claim
to submit a Green Card Lottery application on your behalf. NEITHER OF
THESE SITES ARE AFFILIATED WITH OR APPROVED BY THE US GOVERNMENT!
They're selling a service. For the listed prices, they claim that they
will guide you through the lottery application process. If you are
scared by the instructions posted on the official US Government web
site, you may want to consider using one of these services to help you
prepare your application. Keep in mind that if you use one of these
services, and the service makes a mistake which disqualifies you,
there's no appeal process. The most you'll be able to do is possibly
get your money back from the service. Be very careful when dealing
with these companies, and make sure that they are legitimate. You do
*not* have to pay to enter the lottery. You only have to pay if you
want one of these services to "proofread" your application before you
Green Card Lottery USA at [ http://www.green-card-lottery-usa.org/ ]
appears to be a business with the sole purpose of proofreading Green
Card Lottery applications. Their web site doesn't appear to offer any
other services. Their disclaimer/guarantee says the following:
" Our Guarantee means:
* You will not be disqualified due to an error in your application
* You will not be disqualified due to misunderstanding the
* You will not be disqualified because you missed the submission
* All your personal and confidential information will be kept safe
with the USA\GCL Association.
* You will always be able to check and update your on-line
*Please note we do not guarantee you will win a Green Card; only that
your DV- lottery program Applications will be accepted by the USA
Green Card Visa Lottery Program.
*USA\GCLA does not warrant, promise, or suggest that the applicant
will have increased odds of winning a green card, or that they will
win a Green Card.
*USA\GCLA warrants that any fees charged are for review, processing,
and forwarding of the application/s to the visa lottery center."
See that last line? The money you pay them is for proofreading. If you
enter the lottery on the OFFICIAL US Government web site, your
application is FREE!
VisaPro, the other company you've listed, provides similar Green Card
Lottery proofreading services, but they also sell legal advice from
licensed attorneys. You are not required to consult an attorney in
order to enter the lottery. Their attorney consultation seems to be
directed at people interested in all types of US Visas, not only the
Green Card Lottery.
"VisaPro is a Private Firm not affiliated in any way to the U.S.
Government. Fees paid to VisaPro are for helping the applicant prepare
and submit the Green Card Lottery Application only. Contents of the
website are for general information only and do not constitute legal
advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding
your own situation.
VisaPro does guarantee to its clients a qualified lottery entry by
following in strict conformity the guidelines and rules set forth by
the U.S. Government.
You agree that VisaPro is not liable even if VisaPro, any of its
affiliates, or an authorized representative of the company has been
negligent, or if either has been advised of the possibility of such
VisaPro further does not guarantee and makes no representation
regarding the use or results of use of any materials in this site in
terms of their accuracy, reliability, or any other matter. We do not
guarantee that this site or every feature of this site will remain
available to you."
After reading both of their disclaimers, decide for yourself if you
want to use their services or if you'd like to submit your application
for free directly on the US Government site.
I hope this information has provided you with what you wanted. Please
ask for clarification if needed.
Good luck with your application!
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