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State Moves Visa Lottery Online

The State Department says starting later this year all foreigners participating in the Diversity Visa Lottery will have to do so electronically through a designated Website. State is implementing the new electronic system in order to improve efficiency in the diversity visa petition process and make the process less prone to fraud.

In the Diversity Visa Program, applicants from eligible countries, as determined by the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, petition the Department of State for the opportunity to apply for one of 55,000 immigrant visa made available annually.

Only those selected at random and notified by State will then be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. Each year, approximately six million people worldwide register to participate in the program. Previously, all registrations were submitted by mail.

Persons submitting a request for entry in the diversity visa lottery will use a specially designated website which will have a standard petition form that will be filled out and sent electronically. They will also be required to include digital photographs.

Further details with complete instructions will be provided when dates have been selected for the submission of petitions.