Visa Lottery Services Report for DV-2007

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MyGreencard.com ranks green card websites by fee, service and content for 2005 diversity visa lottery.

MyGreencard.com reviewed more than 70 web-based immigration services currently offering to help prospective immigrants enter the upcoming U.S. State Department green card lottery. Among the major findings in their annual survey is that relatively few services use deceptive advertising, countering claims by some anti-immigration groups that the industry is rife with fraud.

Their report found that only seven services (13%) earned "red flag" penalties – indicating understaffing, negligence, or potential fraudulent activity. Most websites were penalized for posting obsolete rules from past visa lotteries or for receiving multiple unresolved complaints from customers who used their service.

The average fee charged by green card lottery service providers is $45.50 for one person and $70.12 for two persons. There was no correlation found between the fee charged and the quality of the service provided, based on their criteria.

Several green card lottery websites appearing at the top of popular search engines ranked among the lowest in their review. In one case, a poorly rated operator cloned their site under six different URLs.

Top rated services offer toll free telephone numbers, accept paper-based applications with standard photographs, have immigration attorney contacts, offer multiple natural language translations, and notify winners directly. According to J. Stephen Wilson, author of the report, "Ten lottery services out of 73 we reviewed qualify as top sites based on price, quality of service, and information content provided to lottery registrants. Lower ranked services fail to post occupational requirements to obtain a visa, have no listed telephone number, no attorney contacts, and depend on the government to notify winners."

The report suggests best practice recommendations for site operators and provides helpful guidelines for lottery entrants, including legitimate reasons why applicants may need a service to help them prepare their entries.

About MyGreencard.com

MyGreencard.com is the publisher of Win the Green Card Lottery! The COMPLETE Do-It-Yourself Guide to the USA Diversity Visa Lottery, 2005 Edition by Marybeth Rael and J. Stephen Wilson. Edited by James T. Daly, Attorney At Law (ISBN 0970508972, ISBN 0970508980). To order the Visa Lottery Services Report for DV-2007, the executive summary, or obtain the latest immigration news, books, and reports, please visit: http://www.mygreencard.com.

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J. Stephen Wilson
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