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U.S. Department of State

Office of the Deputy Spokesman

Press Statement



Press Statement by Phillip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman

July 31, 2000


Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2002)


Section 203(c) of the Immigration Act of 1990 makes available up to 55,0001 permanent resident immigrant visas each year by random selection through a Diversity Visa lottery (DV-2002). The DV-2002 registration mail-in period will be held between noon on Monday, October 2, 2000 and noon on Wednesday, November 1, 2000. Please note several important changes in requirements and eligibility described below.


How are the visas being apportioned?


The visas will be apportioned among six geographic regions. A greater number of visas will go to those regions that have lower immigration rates and no visas may be issued to countries2 that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States during the previous five years. No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.


Information about visa allotments for each region is determined by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) each year according to a formula specified in Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.


The six geographic regions are:


--AFRICA: All countries on the continent of Africa and adjacent islands are eligible.


1The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NCARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NCARA program. The reduction of the limit of available visas to 50,000 began with DV-2000 and remains in effect for the DV-2002 program.


2The term "country" in this notice includes countries, economies and other jurisdictions explicitly listed.


--ASIA: All countries are eligible except China (mainland born and Macau), India, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan are eligible.


--EUROPE: All countries are eligible except Great Britain (United Kingdom) and its dependent territories. (Northern Ireland is eligible.)


--NORTH AMERICA: The Bahamas is the only eligible country in the region this year. (Canada is not eligible for the DV lottery.)


--OCEANIA: All countries in the region are eligible, including Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the countries and islands in the South Pacific.


--SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN: All countries in the region are eligible except Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico.


Who is not eligible?


Persons born in "high admission" countries are, in most instances, not eligible for the program. "High admission" countries are defined as those from which the United States has received more than 50,000 immigrants during the last five years in the immediate relative, family and employment preference categories. Each year, the INS adds the family and employment immigrant admission figures for the previous five years, to identify the countries that must be excluded from the annual Diversity Lottery. Since there is a separate determination made prior to each lottery entry period, the list of countries that do not qualify is subject to change each year.


For DV-2002, the "high admission" countries are: Canada, China (mainland born and Macau), Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, the United Kingdom and dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, and Northern Ireland are eligible to apply for the DV-2002 lottery.






Have the requirements changed since last year's registration?

The address for submitting DV applications has changed. Applicants must mail their entries to the Kentucky Consular Center at the following address:


DV-2002 Program

Kentucky Consular Center

Lexington, KY zip code (see below)



The mailing address for all entries is the same, except for the zip code. The zip codes are as follows: Africa: 41901; Asia: 41902; Europe: 41903; South America/Central America/Caribbean: 41904; Oceania: 41905; and North America: 41906.


Entries mailed to any address other than the Kentucky Consular Center address will be disqualified.


There are also changes in the list of eligible DV countries from last year's lottery - Poland and Taiwan are eligible and Pakistan is not eligible for DV-2002.


What are the requirements to enter?


All applicants must be a native of a qualifying country. However, if a person was born in an ineligible country but his or her spouse was born in an eligible country, such a person can claim the spouse's country of birth, provided both the applicant and spouse are issued visas and enter the U.S. simultaneously. Also, if a person was born in an ineligible country, but neither of his or her parents was born or resided there at the time of the birth, such a person may be able to claim one of the parent's countries of birth.


In addition, applicants must have either a high school education or its equivalent, or within the past five years have two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience. If the applicant does not meet these requirements, he or she should not submit an entry for the DV program.


There is no initial application fee or special application form to enter. The entry must be typed or clearly printed in the English alphabet on a sheet of plain paper and must include:


The applicant's full name and the name of the applicant's spouse and children (if any);


The date and place of birth for both the applicant, the spouse (husband or wife, even if separated, and even if the spouse does not plan to immigrate), and any minor, unmarried children under age 21 (all minor, unmarried children must be listed on the principal applicant's entry, regardless of whether they wish to immigrate and regardless of whether they are the natural children, the spouse's children by a previous marriage, or children formally adopted by the principal applicant);


The applicant's mailing address and, if possible, a telephone number; The applicant's native country if it differs from the country of birth;


A recent (preferably less than 6 months old) photograph (1 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches) of the principal applicant with the applicant's name printed across the back of the photograph. (The photograph should be taped to the entry with clear tape, not attached by staples or paper clips that can jam the mail processing equipment.);


The applicant must also personally sign the entry using his or her usual and customary signature in the native language, regardless of whether the entry is prepared and submitted by the applicant or someone else. Photocopied signatures are not acceptable. (Only the principal applicant, not the spouse and children, needs to submit a signature and photograph.) Any entry that is not personally signed by the applicant will be disqualified.

This information must be sent by regular mail or airmail to one of six postal addresses in Lexington, Kentucky. Applicants must use the correct postal zip code designated for their native region. The entry must be mailed in a standard letter or business-size envelope with the applicant's native country, full name, and complete mailing address typed or clearly printed in the English alphabet in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope. Postcards are not acceptable.


Only one entry for each applicant may be submitted during the registration period. Any entry sent by express or priority mail, fax, hand, messenger, or any means requiring receipts or special handling will not be processed. Duplicate or multiple entries will disqualify an individual from registration for this program. Any entry received before or after the specified registration dates regardless of when it is postmarked and any entry sent to an address other than one of those indicated will be disqualified. All mail received during the registration period and meeting the above requirements will be individually numbered and successful entrants will be selected at random by computer regardless of time of receipt during the specified mail-in period.


Please note: Failure to carefully follow all of these instructions will disqualify the entry.


When are entries for the DV program accepted each year?


The month-long application period will be held each fall beginning at noon on the first Monday in October. Each year, millions of applicants apply for the program during the mail-in registration period. The massive volume of entries creates an enormous amount of work in selecting and processing successful applicants. Holding the application period in the fall ensures successful applicants are notified in a timely manner. This also gives both them and our embassies and consulates overseas a full fiscal year (fiscal year 2002 begins on October 1, 2001 and ends on September 30, 2002) to process the necessary immigrant visas.


Is it necessary to use an outside attorney or consultant?


The decision to hire an attorney or consultant is entirely up to the applicant. Procedures for entering the Diversity Lottery can be completed without assistance following simple instructions. However, if applicants prefer to use outside assistance, that is their choice. There are many legitimate attorneys and immigration consultants assisting applicants for reasonable fees, or in some cases for free. Unfortunately, there are other persons who are charging exorbitant rates and making unrealistic claims. The selection of winners is made at random and no outside service can improve an applicant's chances of being chosen or guarantee an entry will win. Any service that claims it can improve an applicant's odds would be promising something it cannot deliver.


Persons who think they have been cheated by a U.S. company or consultant in connection with the DV Lottery may wish to contact their local consumer affairs office or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Internet address for using the online complaint form is: The FTC can also be contacted by telephone, toll free at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or (202) 382-4357 or TDD: (202) 326-2502. The mailing address is: Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. (The FTC telephone number is only to report fraud and not to obtain information about application procedures for the DV Lottery.)


How will winners be notified?


Only successful applicants will be notified by mail by the Kentucky Consular Center at the address listed on their entry. The notifications will be sent between April and July 2001, along with instructions on how to apply for an immigrant visa. Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements under U.S. law to be issued a visa.


Being selected in the DV Lottery does not automatically guarantee being issued a visa because the number of applicants selected is greater than the number of immigrant visas available. Those selected will therefore need to act quickly on their immigrant visa applications. Applicants who are physically present in the United States may be eligible to apply to the INS for adjustment of status to permanent resident. However, such applicants must ensure that INS can complete action on their cases before September 30, 2002. Once all available visas have been issued, the DV Program for fiscal year 2002 will end. In any event, all DV-2002 visas must, by law, be issued by September 30, 2002.


Where can one receive instructions to enter the lottery?


Interested persons may call (202) 331-7199, which describes the various means to obtain further details on entering the DV-2002 program. Applicants overseas may contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for instructions on the DV lottery. DV information is also available in the "Visa Bulletin" on the Internet at or via the Consular Affairs automated fax at (202) 647-3000 (code 1550). Calls to the automated fax service must be made from a fax machine using the receiver or voice option of the caller's fax equipment.



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