• Green Card Lottery Registration Starts Tuesday, October 2
  • August 13, 2012
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The registration period for the FY 2014 Diversity Visa lottery will open on Tuesday, October 2 at noon EDT. Foreign nationals will have until Saturday, November 3, 2012 at noon EDT to submit their online registration forms and accompanying photographs.

    Each fiscal year, the State Department makes 50,000 immigrant visas available through the DV lottery. Foreign nationals selected in this year’s lottery will be eligible to submit a green card application during the 2014 fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2013.

    To register, a foreign national must submit an online form and a digital photo through the official DV lottery website. Only one entry is permitted per person. If there are multiple registrations for one person, all of them are disqualified.

    The State Department has yet to release its official instructions for the FY 2014 DV lottery, which will contain detailed information regarding registration procedures, and a list of countries whose nationals are not eligible to participate in the lottery. Fragomen will issue a Client Alert when the instructions are released. Applicants must carefully follow the State Department’s official lottery instructions. Lottery entries and digital photos that do not precisely conform to the instructions will be disqualified.

    The State Department chooses lottery winners by random computer selection. Results will be posted on the official DV lottery entry status website. The State Department does not notify entrants by letter, e-mail, fax or telephone. The official website is the only legitimate source of information about lottery results.

    Guarding Against Lottery Fraud

    Unfortunately, DV lottery fraud is very common. However, foreign nationals can and should take a few precautions to protect themselves.

    • Look out for deceptive lottery websites. The only authorized DV lottery website is http://www.dvlottery.state.gov. The State Department does not use or authorize any outside individual or company to accept lottery applications or operate the lottery. But fraudulent websites posing as official government sites or claiming to have State Department authorization abound. They should be avoided.
    • The State Department does not charge a fee for lottery registrations. A website, individual or company claiming there is a government fee to enter the lottery is fraudulent.
    • If lottery assistance is needed, seek competent advice. Though applicants may use a lawyer or other representative to prepare a lottery registration, they should be wary of commercial websites that claim to register applicants outside of the registration period or purport to be authorized by the State Department to accept registrations for a fee.
    • Beware of lottery e-mails, letters or faxes that claim to be from the State Department. The State Department does not send e-mails, letters or faxes about the DV lottery. The official website is the only legitimate source of information about lottery results and the only place to submit a lottery registration.
    • Be skeptical of any communication claiming a foreign national has won the DV lottery when he or she did not register, or registered in a previous year.
    • Avoid sending money or personal information to questionable individuals or companies.
    • Learn more about DV lottery fraud by visiting the websites of the State Department and the Federal Trade Commission.