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Homeland Security

18 August 2003

U.S. Diversity Visa Program Registration Goes Electronic

Only electronic submissions accepted; program runs Nov. 1-Dec. 30, 2003

Applicants for the annual U.S. Diversity Visa lottery program will have to fill out an electronic form on a designated Internet web site, the State Department has announced. The Department will no longer accept paper entries or mail-in requests.

Registration for the visa lottery program will take place November 1-December 30, 2003.

Under the program, persons from eligible countries can register for the chance to apply for an immigrant visa. Approximately six million persons register each year. Those selected at random and notified by the State Department are eligible to apply for one of 55,000 immigrant visas made available annually.

Additional information and instructions will be provided in the Federal Register in the near future.

Following is a State Department notice:

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
August 18, 2003

Media Note

DIVERSITY VISA PROGRAM REGISTRATION TURNS ELECTRONIC

The Department of State announced in today's Federal Register a change in how applicants may petition to participate in the Diversity Visa lottery program. Starting this year, all persons registering for an opportunity to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa under the diversity lottery will have to do so electronically through a designated Internet website. The Department will no longer accept paper entries or mail-in requests for diversity visa registration.

The Department of State is implementing the new electronic system in order to improve efficiency in the diversity visa petition process and make the process less prone to fraud, thus making it less vulnerable to use by persons who may pose a threat to the security interests of the United States.

The Diversity Visa Program is administered by the Department of State. Applicants from eligible countries, as determined by the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, petition the Department of State for the opportunity to apply for one of 55,000 immigrant visa made available annually. Only those selected at random and notified by the Department of State will then be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. Each year, approximately 6 million people worldwide register to participate in the program. Previously, all registrations were submitted by mail. Starting this year, only electronic submissions will be accepted.

Persons submitting a request for entry in the diversity visa lottery will use a specially designated website which will have a standard petition form that will be filled out and sent electronically. They will also be required to include digital photographs.

Further details with complete instructions will be provided when dates have been selected for the submission of petitions.

[Editor's Note: According to a State Department official interviewed on August 18, registration for the Diversity Visa Program will be open from November 1-December 30, 2003.]

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(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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