September 10, 2001

As many of you already know, it is again the time of year to apply for the green card lottery. From noon on October 1 to noon on October 31, the US Department of State will be accepting entries for this year's green card contest. Although using a lawyer is probably the safest way to do this, many people have been able to do this themselves.

This article will give you new information about this year's program – called "DV-2003" ("DV" for "Diversity Visa," and "2003" because the winners will be eligible to apply for visas or green cards in fiscal year 2003). There are a few changes to last years' rules, and a few changes to the countries that are eligible. Fortunately, all NIS countries are still eligible. More detailed instructions are available from the State Department Website.

DV-2003 will make permanent residence visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements.

The entries must be received between noon on October 1 and noon on October 31 at the "Kentucky Consular Center" at the specific address for the region that contains the country of which the applicant is a "native." ("Native" is explained below.)

The basic requirements for entry are as follows:

The applicant must be a native of a qualifying country. In most cases, a "native" of a country means the country in which the applicant was born.

The applicant must have either a high school education,; OR two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform.

Application Procedure

Although the application is very simple, even a small deviation from the acceptable procedure will cause a needless disqualification.

All entries by an applicant will be disqualified if more than ONE entry for the applicant is received, regardless of who submitted the entry.

The entry will be disqualified if the entry is not PERSONALLY SIGNED by the applicant with his/her usual and customary signature in his/her native alphabet, as it would appear on his/her passport or other official or contractual obligations.

The entry will be disqualified if all required photos are not attached. Recent photographs of the applicant and his/her spouse and each child, including all natural children as well as all legally-adopted and stepchildren, even if the children no longer reside with the applicant, must be attached to the entry. The photos must, of course, match very specific requirements, including:

The photos must be 2 inches (50mm) square, with the applicant's, spouse's, or child's name and date of birth printed on the back. The applicant, spouse, or child must be directly facing the camera; the head of the person being photographed should not be tilted up, down or to the side, and should cover about 50% of the area of the photo. The photo should be taken with the person being photographed in front of a neutral, light-colored background. Photos in which the face of the person being photographed is not in focus will not be accepted. Photos in which the person being photographed is wearing a hat or glasses with dark lens or in which the face is obscured in any way will not be accepted.

There is no specific format for the entry. Simply use a plain sheet of paper and type or clearly print in the English (Roman) alphabet the following information.

1. FULL NAME, with the last (surname/family) name underlined

2. DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH
Date: Day, Month, Year
Place: City/Town, District/County/Province, Country (The name of the country should be that which is currently in use for the place where the applicant was born).

3. THE APPLICANT'S NATIVE COUNTRY IF DIFFERENT FROM COUNTRY OF BIRTH

4. NAME, DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH OF THE APPLICANT'S SPOUSE AND ALL NATURAL CHILDREN, AS WELL AS ALL LEGALLY-ADOPTED AND STEPCHILDREN, WHO ARE UNMARRIED AND UNDER THE AGE OF 21 YEARS, EVEN IF YOU ARE NO LONGER LEGALLY MARRIED TO THE CHILD'S PARENT, AND EVEN IF THE CHILD DOES NOT CURRENTLY RESIDE WITH YOU AND/OR WILL NOT IMMIGRATE WITH YOU.

5. FULL MAILING ADDRESS

6. PHOTOGRAPH. Attach recent photographs of the applicant, the applicant's spouse, and all children. Print the name and date of birth of each family member on the back of each photograph.

7. SIGNATURE. The applicant must personally sign the entry, using his/her usual and customary signature, as it would appear on his or her passport or other official or contractual obligations.

Mailing the Entry.

For DV-2003, the world is divided into six regions, and each region has a separate address. The DV entry should be mailed to the address listed below for the applicant's region of nativity. For countries in the region of Europe (including Russia and Ukraine) the address is:

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

For Israel, which is included in the region of Asia, the address is:

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

You must submit the entry by regular or airmail to the correct address matching the region of the applicant's country of nativity, otherwise it will be rejected.

The envelope must be between 6 and 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) long and 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 inches (9 to 11 cm) wide. Postcards or envelopes inside express or oversized mail packets are NOT acceptable. In the upper left-hand corner of the envelope the applicant must write his/her country of nativity (see instruction 3 above), followed by the applicant's name and full return address. The applicant must provide both the country of nativity and the country of the address, even if both are the same. Failure to provide this information will disqualify the entry.

Selection of Applicants

Applicants will be selected at random by computer from among all qualified entries. Those selected will be notified by mail between April and June 2002 and will be provided further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the U.S. Persons not selected will NOT receive any notification. Spouses and unmarried children of successful applicants under age 21 may also apply for visas to accompany or follow to join the principal applicant. DV-2003 visas will be issued between October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2003.

Processing of entries and issuance of diversity visas to successful applicants and their eligible family members MUST occur by midnight on September 30, 2003. Under no circumstances can diversity visas be issued or adjustments approved after this date, nor can family members obtain diversity visas to follow to join the applicant in the U.S. after this date.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Contact John Byrley at tel: 410-719-1501.