US Opens 2009 Visa Lottery Up to Cambodians

Registration for the US government’s 2009 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery is now open to Cambo­dian applicants, the US Embassy announced at a news conference Tuesday.

Winners of the lottery, which opened on Oct 3 and closes on Dec 2, will be allowed to apply for one of the 50,000 visas distributed to eligible countries worldwide, US Embas­sy Consular Chief Anne Simon said.

The odds, however, of actually winning the lottery are quite slim and even the winners aren’t guaranteed visas; Simon said that lottery winners still have to make a non-refundable payment of $755 for themselves and each family member when applying for the visa.

Simon also said that, among more than 19,000 Cambodians who registered in the 2005 lottery, only 177 were picked to apply for immigrant visas in 2007. And of those, Simon said, only 135 actually received visas. That figure, however, was corrected downward later Tuesday.

Jeff Daigle, spokesman for the US Embassy, said Tuesday even­ing that only 40 of the 177 potential applicants for the 2005 lottery actually received visas, while a further 50 visas were given to family members of the 40 winners.

During the news conference, Sim­on warned potential applicants to be cautious if using brokers who offer to help in the DV-Visa application process, saying that many are scams.

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