HOW TO RECOGNIZE A DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY SCAM?
Each year, the U.S. Department of State runs the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. That program lets people from some countries apply to be a "Lawful Permanent Resident." That is what many people call "getting a Green Card".
You can enter the lottery if you are from an eligible country and you meet the educational or work requirements. If your entry is picked, you get the chance to apply to be a Lawful Permanent Resident.
But dishonest people might try to trick you. Learn the facts about the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. It can help you avoid these scams.
How do I enter the Diversity Visa Lottery?
This is what you need to know:
- You can enter the Diversity Visa Lottery once a year. The Lottery is open for about a month in the fall;
- There is only one place to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery: http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/.
This State Department website has a form where you answer a few simple yet important
- give complete and truthful information about yourself, your spouse, and your children under 21;
- submit digital photos of yourselves;
- It is free to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery.
You may submit ONLY one single entry per given year. If you place more than one entry per year in the Diversity Visa Lottery, you will be disqualified from participation in the DV lottery. Your spouse can also make a single separate entry if he or she qualifies.
What happens after I enter the Diversity Visa Lottery?
You enter the Diversity Visa Lottery at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/. Then the State Department gives you a confirmation number. Keep that number safe. You will need it to check your status.
Diversity Visa Lottery winners are picked at random by a computer. There is no way to increase your chance of being picked.
You can find out your status only at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/. The State Department will never send you a letter or email to say you won. If you see that kind of a message, it is a scam.
If you win, you will have to pay a Consular processing fee. You pay it only when you go to the U.S. Consular Section for your appointment. The U.S. government will never ask you to send money in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer.
What do I need to know about scams?
Scammers try to trick people who enter the Diversity Visa Lottery. Scammers might:
- charge you money to help you apply
- try to convince you to sign indebting contracts and make you pay a significant ‘consultation service’ fee (from $6,000 to $20,000)
- send you a message saying you won and ask for money
- promise to increase your chance of being picked
- use your personal information without your knowledge and/or consent
- provide on original lottery entries incomplete/untruthful information about you or your family
- try to sell you your confirmation number
- try to coerce you into perpetrating fraud
If you remember how the Diversity Visa Lottery works, it will be hard for scammers to get your money.
- It is free to enter the Diversity Visa lottery at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/.
- The drawing is random. There is no way to increase your chance of winning.
- You can find out your status only at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/.
- You do not pay any money to anyone except for the U.S. government-mandated fees for medical examination and processing for visa application that will apply and need to be paid ONLY at the time of your appointment.
U.S. Embassy does not work with any intermediaries nor does the Embassy require the use of any agency for the DV Lottery program.
Avoid individuals offering DV Lottery registration "facilitation”.
Visa fraud is a crime in the United States.
Do not become a victim or an accomplice in this crime!
You will be disqualified for participation in the DV Lottery Program if you:
- get married to someone for immigration purposes;
- provide during your visa interview any incomplete and/or false information about yourself or your family;
- present your visa application with falsified vital, education documents, etc.
Fraudulent statements during a visa interview and submission of fraudulent documents would lead to a visa refusal and possibly to a criminal investigation. As a result, you might never be able to travel to the U.S. on any type of visa.
What should I do if I spot a scam?
If you suspect a scam or feel that someone is attempting to scam you or defraud the U.S. government, please report your situation to the U.S. Consular Section in Kyiv at KyivDV@state.gov.