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Cooley Alert: The DV-2001 Lottery Program

The State Department has announced its seventh Diversity Visa Lottery Program ("the DV-2001 Program"). Applications for this program must be received between noon on October 4, 1999, and noon on November 3, 1999. Successful applicants will be eligible for immigrant visas during the 2001 fiscal year, which begins on October 1, 2000, and ends on September 30, 2001.

The DV-2001 program will make 55,000 immigrant visas available to nationals of certain nations. Persons who receive these visas will be permitted to reside permanently in the United States, and to receive "green cards".

Fourteen nations are excluded from the program. These are Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, the People's Republic of China (excluding the Hong Kong SAR), the Philippines, Poland, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom (including its Caribbean and South Atlantic possessions). Natives of Northern Ireland, although British subjects, may apply.

Eligibility Requirements

Only natives of an eligible nation may participate in the DV-2001 program. To be considered a native of one of these nations, an applicant must have been born in that nation, or must be chargeable to it under standards used by the State Department. Merely holding the citizenship of an eligible nation will not suffice. To be chargeable to an eligible nation, an alien must have at least one parent that is a native of the eligible nation, and must have been born in a non-eligible nation in which neither parent was born or was resident at the time of the alien's birth.

All applicants for the DV-2001 Program must have a high school education or its equivalent. Alternatively, they must have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience.

How to Apply

To apply for the DV-2001 Program, an eligible alien must type or print on a plain sheet of paper the following information: (1) the alien's full name; (2) the alien's date and place of birth; (3) the names, dates and places of birth of the alien's spouse and children under 21, if any; (4) the alien's mailing address and telephone number; (5) the alien's native country, if different from his or her country of birth. The sheet must be signed by the alien, and must be accompanied by a recent photograph of the alien attached with clear tape (not stapled). The photograph must have the applicant's name printed on the reverse side. No fee is imposed for the initial application.

The sheet must be mailed by regular or air mail in an envelope measuring between 6 and 10 inches long and between 3.5 and 4.5 inches wide to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire at the following address:

DV-2001 Program

National Visa Center

Portsmouth, NH

The specific zip code will depend on the geographic region to which the alien belongs. Applicants from Asia should use 00210; applicants from Central and South America and the Caribbean should use 00211; applicants from Europe should use 00212; applicants from Africa should use 00213; applicants from Oceania should use 00214; applicants from North America should use 00215.

The applicant's native country, name, and mailing address should be printed in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope. Post cards will not be accepted, neither will mailings sent by express mail, certified mail, fax, or telegram. Hand delivered applications will also not be accepted.

Only one application may be submitted by each applicant. Submission of multiple applications will result in disqualification. Please note that there is no fee for participating in this program.

Applications must be received by the National Visa Center between noon on Monday, October 4, 1999, and noon on Wednesday, November 3, 1999. Any applications that arrive before or after this period will be disqualified, regardless of the postmark date. Please note that a failure to follow these instructions precisely will result in disqualification.

Given the simplicity of the application process, the assistance of an attorney or a similarly qualified professional is not required, and will not improve an applicant's likelihood of success. Cooley Godward LLP Immigration Group will be available to provide advice with regard to the application process, however.

A random drawing will determine which applications are successful. Successful applicants will be notified between April and July of 2000; unsuccessful applicants will not be notified. Information about the DV-2001 program may be accessed from the State Department's web site at

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