DOS Receives Over 6 Million DV Lottery 2006 Entries18 Feb 2005
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced on February 10, 2005, that they received over six million entries during the two-month registration period for the DV Lottery program for fiscal year 2006. The registration ended at noon, January 7, 2005. The registrations were made electronically, a process that began with the DV 2005 lottery.
While there has been controversy surrounding the electronic registration, the DOS reports that the system grants them increased ability to detect duplicate and fraudulent entries. Some duplicate entries were located via facial recognition software. The duplicate entries are eliminated from consideration. The DOS did attempt to address the problems that occurred with system overload at the end of the registration period for the prior year’s lottery by increasing their capacity. They also provided receipt notices to registrants; a common complaint last year.
The lottery is a random selection that does not guarantee that the individual will receive an immigrant visa or adjustment of status to permanent resident. Once the entries are received, the selection process begins. Notification to the “winners” will be sent by mail between May and July 2005. Even winners are not guaranteed green cards. There are more people selected than there are visa numbers available under the program. Some of the winners will not end up receiving the green card for a number of reasons. More detail can be found in our August 6, 2004 MurthyBulletin article, Diversity Lottery 2005 “Winner” Letters Issued, available on MurthyDotCom.
Diversity applicants should check their mail carefully and follow all DOS instructions to the letter if they are selected as potential diversity immigrants. They should continue to maintain legal status if currently in the U.S. Otherwise they could end up having the I-485 denied for failure to maintain legal status. They should continue to make any appropriate alternative immigration plans, rather than rely upon the lottery, which is, by definition, a random chance to win a valuable “prize.”