In its continuing efforts to streamline and digitalize petitioning processes for visa applications, the Department of State is now requiring that all petitioners for the Diversity Visa Program submit their applications online via a specific Internet site. As of August 18, 2003, all applications for this program must be submitted via the web; paper applications will not be accepted.
ENTRIES FOR THE DV-2005 DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY MUST BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY BETWEEN SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2003 AND TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2003. APPLICANTS MAY ACCESS THE ELECTRONIC DIVERSITY VISA ENTRY FORM AT ‘WWW.DVLOTTERY.STATE.GOV’ DURING THE 60 DAY REGISTRATION PERIOD BEGINNING NOVEMBER 1. PAPER ENTRIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WEBSITE IS NOT WROKING YET.
The DOS believes that this new electronic system will make the application process less prone to fraud (facial recognition software, among other processes, will check for repeat applications), will improve the efficiency of the application process and will reduce the cost of the process to the U.S. government.
The Diversity Visa Program allocates 55,000 new immigrant visas each year for individuals from underrepresented nations. A nation is considered underrepresented if less than 50,000 people from that nation immigrated to the U.S. in the past five years.
Previous to this new rule, a petitioner was required to submit information via paper, sign the paper and attach a photograph of him/herself, along with photographs of spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. While a signature will no longer be required with the electronic application, applicants (or individuals acting for the applicant) are required to attach digital photographs (of a specific size, composition and quality) to the digital application. Applicants will also be required to specify their gender (only for the purpose of implementing facial recognition software).
This interim rule is effective as of August 18, 2003. Written comments must be received on or prior to October 17, 2003 and should be addressed to: the Chief, Legislation and Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-0106, by fax to 202-663-3898, or by e-mail to VisaRegs@state.gov.