U.S. Em­bassy Bagh­dad Warns of Diver­sity Visa Scams

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The U.S. Em­bassy Bagh­dad urges Iraqi cit­i­zens and res­i­dents to use cau­tion when work­ing with pri­vate en­ti­ties to ap­ply for visas to the United States. Re­ports of fraud­u­lent e-mails, web­sites, and print ad­ver­tise­ments of­fer­ing visa ser­vices are on the rise.

The Diver­sity Visa pro­gram (“DV pro­gram,” also known as the “Green Card Lot­tery”) of­fers up to 55,000 visa slots an­nu­ally for peo­ple who wish to im­mi­grate to the United States. Af­ter con­duct­ing a ran­dom draw­ing, the U.S. Depart­ment of State con­tacts ap­pli­cants di­rectly, ad­vis­ing them to check the sta­tus of their ap­pli­ca­tions online at dvlot­tery.state.gov. Ap­pli­cants may only ver­ify sta­tus online; no in­for­ma­tion on an ap­pli­ca­tion’s sta­tus is sent by let­ter or e-mail. Un­suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants have no fur­ther re­course but to ap­ply again next year.

Only the U.S. Depart­ment of State is au­tho­rized to no­tify DV pro­gram ap­pli­cants of their sta­tus. Un­for­tu­nately, fraud­sters pos­ing as DV pro­gram of­fi­cials have tar­geted Iraqis. The scam e-mail in­structs re­cip­i­ents to send money via Western Union to a fic­ti­tious per­son at the U.S. Em­bassy in Lon­don. UN­DER NO CIR­CUM­STANCES should money be sent to any ad­dress for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the DV pro­gram. Im­mi­gra­tion in­for­ma­tion and forms are free and avail­able to all at the Depart­ment of State (www.state.gov) and U.S. Em­bassy Bagh­dad (iraq.usem­bassy.gov) web­sites.

The only way to reg­is­ter for the DV pro­gram is di­rectly through the Depart­ment of State web­site dur­ing a lim­ited-time reg­is­tra­tion pe­riod; DV-2015 ap­pli­cants may reg­is­ter be­tween Oc­to­ber 1 and Novem­ber 2, 2013, and will be able to check the sta­tus of their en­try for free at dvlot­tery.state.gov start­ing on May 1, 2014. DV2014 en­trants (those who en­tered the DV lot­tery be­tween Oc­to­ber 2 and Novem­ber 3, 2012) may check their sta­tus at dvlot­tery.state.gov through June 30, 2014, and should keep their con­fir­ma­tion let­ter un­til Septem­ber 30, 2014.

To re­port in­ci­dents of visa fraud, please e-mail the Em­bassy at Bagh­dadIV@state.gov. Com­plaints about scam e-mails may be sent to the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice (www.usdoj.gov/spam.htm).

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