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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman

For Immediate Release
August 1, 2001

STATEMENT BY RICHARD BOUCHER, SPOKESMAN

Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2003)

The mail-in period for the next Diversity Visa lottery (DV-2003) will
be held between noon on October 1, 2001 and noon on October 31, 2001.
Those who choose to enter the DV-2003 lottery should obtain a copy of
the instructions in the "Visa Bulletin," which may be found at the
Bureau of Consular Affairs web site:  http://travel.state.gov.

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-2003).  The visas are
distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas
going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and no visas going to
citizens of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S.
in the past five years.  Within each region, no one country may receive
more than 7% of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

There is no specific format for the entry, but it is important to
provide all the information requested.  Entries for the DV-2003
Diversity Visa Lottery must be received at one of the Kentucky Consular
Center mailing addresses during the mail-in period.  Entries sent to
the wrong address or received before or after this period will be
disqualified regardless of when they are postmarked.  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.

* ASIA:  All countries are eligible except China (mainland born),
India, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam.  Persons born
in Hong Kong SAR, Macau 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-2003, the "high admission" countries are: Canada, China
(mainland born), Colombia, 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, Macau SAR, Taiwan, and Northern Ireland are eligible to
apply for the DV-2003 lottery.


HAVE THE REQUIREMENTS CHANGED SINCE LAST YEAR'S REGISTRATION?

The address for submitting DV applications has changed.  Applicants
must mail their entries to one of the six Kentucky Consular Center
regional addresses listed below.  The entry must be submitted by
regular or airmail to the address matching the region of the
applicant's country of nativity.  Entries sent by express or priority
mail, second day airmail, fax, hand, messenger, or any means requiring
special handling will be disqualified.

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

Africa:                            Asia:

DV-2003 Program                    DV-2003 Program
Kentucky Consular Center           Kentucky Consular Center
1001 Visa Crest                    2002 Visa Crest
Migrate, KY  41901-1000, U.S.A.    Migrate, KY  41902-2000, U.S.A.

Europe:                         South America/Central America/Caribbean

DV-2003 Program                    DV-2003 Program
Kentucky Consular Center           Kentucky Consular Center
3003 Visa Crest                    4004 Visa Crest
Migrate, KY  41903-3000, U.S.A.    Migrate, KY  41904-4000, U.S.A.

Oceania:                           North America:

DV-2003 Program                    DV-2003 Program
Kentucky Consular Center           Kentucky Consular Center
5005 Visa Crest                    6006 Visa Crest
Migrate, KY  41905-5000, U.S.A.    Migrate, KY  41906-6000, U.S.A.


The eligibility of the applicant and the information required on the
entry and on the envelope in which it is sent is specified in detail in
the Visa Bulletin.  Each entry must be personally signed by the
applicant.  Please note that photographs of the applicant and all
his/her dependents are now required, and the photos must conform to the
specifications listed in the Visa Bulletin.  Also note that qualifying
work experience will be defined by the Department of Labor's O*Net
online database:  www.onetcenter.org.


WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER?

The applicant 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 two years of work experience within the past five years
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, with the last name underlined.

* The applicant's DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH.

* The applicant's NATIVE COUNTRY if it differs from the country of
birth.

* NAME, DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH OF the applicant's SPOUSE AND CHILDREN,
including legally-adopted and stepchildren, who are UNDER AGE 21 (all
minor, unmarried children must be listed on the principal applicant's
entry, even if the applicant is no longer legally married to the
child's parent, and even if they do not wish to immigrate).  The entry
will be disqualified if all children are not listed.

* RECENT PHOTOGRAPH OF THE APPLICANT, the applicant's SPOUSE, AND ALL
CHILDREN.  Entry will be disqualified if photos of all family members
are not included.

* The applicant's FULL MAILING ADDRESS and, if possible, a telephone
number;

* THE APPLICANT'S SIGNATURE, using his or her usual and customary
signature in the native language.  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 the
six Migrate, Kentucky postal addresses.  Entries must be received
during the mail-in period for DV-2003 -- between noon on October 1,
2001 and noon on October 31, 2001.  Applicants must use the correct
address 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.

Husbands and wives may each submit an entry, if both qualify.  If
either were selected, the other would be entitled to derivative status.
Note:  Husbands and wives may not sign for each other.  Each applicant
must sign his or her own entry.

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.


WHAT DOES THE TERM "NATIVE" MEAN?  IS THERE ANY SITUATION IN WHICH A
PERSON WHO WAS NOT BORN IN A QUALIFYING COUNTRY MAY APPLY?

In most cases, "native" normally means someone born in a particular
country, regardless of the individual's current country of residence or
nationality.  HOWEVER, if a person was born in an ineligible country
but his/her spouse was born in an eligible country, such person can
claim the spouse's country of birth providing both the applicant and
spouse are issued visas and enter the U.S. simultaneously. A minor
dependent child can be charged to the country of birth of a parent; and
an applicant born in a country of which neither parent was a native or
a resident at the time of his/her birth may be charged to the country
of birth of either parent.  If the applicant is claiming nativity in a
country other than his/her place of birth, this must be clearly
indicated on the entry, and must show the native country claimed on the
upper left-hand corner of the envelope in which the registration
request is mailed.


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 and last for 30 days.  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 that 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 2003 begins on October 1, 2002 and ends on September 30, 2003) 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.  No fee is
charged to enter the DV-2003 program.  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.  Nevertheless, applicants may use outside assistance,
if 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 U.S.
Government employs no outside consultants or private mail services to
operate the DV program.  Any intermediaries or others who offer
assistance to prepare DV applicants do so without the authority or
consent of the U.S. Government.

A qualified entry received directly from an applicant has an equal
chance of being selected by the computer at the Kentucky Consular
Center as does an entry received through a paid intermediary who
completes the entry for the applicant.  There is no advantage to
mailing early, or mailing from any particular place.  Every entry
received during the mail-in period will have an equal random chance of
being selected within its region.  However, receipt of more than ONE
ENTRY PER PERSON will disqualify the person from registration,
regardless of the source of that entry.  In addition, the DV entry must
be personally signed by the applicant, or the entry will be
disqualified.

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:
http://www.FTC.gov.  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 June 2002, 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, 2003.   Once all available visas have
been issued, the DV Program for fiscal year 2003 will end.  In any
event, all DV-2003 visas must, by law, be issued by September 30, 2003.


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-2003 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 http://travel.state.gov 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.
Applicants may also e-mail kccdv@state.gov for copies of the
instructions on the DV lottery.

1 The 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-2003
program.

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


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