Diversity Visa Lottery Scams

Diversity Visa Lottery Scams

Every year, the United States Department of State implements the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Through this program, people from certain countries can apply to apply for “Legal Permanent Resident” status. 

You can participate in the lottery if you come from an eligible country and if you meet the established educational and employment requirements. If you are drawn, you will be able to file a Legal Permanent Resident application.

But there are dishonest people who might try to trick you. Learn how the Diversity Visa Lottery Program works. That information can help you avoid these scams.

How can I participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery?

Here is what you need to know:

  • You can participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery once a year. Registration is open for approximately one month during the fall.
  • There is only one place to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery drawing:  On this State Department website you will find a form in which:
    • Answer a series of questions.
    • Gives information about you, your spouse, and your children under the age of 21.
    • Present digital photos of yourself in passport format.
  • Enrollment in the Diversity Visa Lottery draw is free.

You can sign up once a year. If you enroll more than once in the Diversity Visa Lottery, all of your entries will be disqualified. If your spouse is also eligible, you can file your own application separately.

If your application is selected, you can include your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.

What will happen after I register for the Diversity Visa Lottery draw?

You sign up to participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery at  The State Department will then give you a confirmation number. Keep that number well. You will need it to verify the status of your application.

The selection process for the Diversity Visa Lottery winners is done by computer and the winners are chosen at random. 

The only way to check the status of your application is to check  . The State Department will never send you a letter or email to tell you that you won. If you receive such a message, it is a scam.

If selected, you will have to pay a fee. This fee must be paid at the United States embassy or consulate the day you go to your interview. The United States government will never ask you to pay in advance by check, money order, or money transfer.

What do I need to know about scams?

There are scammers trying to trick people who sign up to participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery. Scammers could:

  • Charge you money to help you apply.
  • Promise you to increase your chances of winning.
  • Send him a message telling him he won and ask him for money.

Thieves will have a hard time getting money out of you if you keep in mind how the Diversity Visa Lottery works.

  • Enrolling in the Diversity Visa Lottery at is free.
  • Winners are randomly selected. 
  • The only way to check the status of your application is to check 
  • You do not have to pay anything until you know you have been selected and go to your personal interview at the United States embassy or consulate.

What should I do if I detect a scam?

If you suspect a scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission

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