Diversity Visa Lottery Status Check Available Online

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has a new online feature for tracking the status of diversity lottery (DV) applications. This allows individuals who applied for the DV lottery for fiscal year (FY) 2010 to check the status of those applications online. This will allow applicants to learn whether or not their applications were picked in the lottery.


The DV lottery is held annually. Information on the lottery application process for the 2010 DV lottery was provided in our September 26, 2008 NewsBrief, 2010 Diversity Lottery Registration Begins October 2, 2008. Prior to the online system, applicants had to wait for the receipt of a notification letter in the mail. The DOS continues to transmit notification letters (not eMails) to the selected lottery applicants. Notification is sent ONLY to individuals who are selected.

Information Needed

In order to use the online system, the applicant must have the confirmation number. This would have been received following submission of the DV lottery application. Also needed is the name and birth date information.

Permanent Residence Not Guaranteed

The lucky individuals who are selected in the DV lottery need to follow the directions in their “winner” letters carefully. Selection alone does not grant individuals or immediate family members U.S. permanent residence. The individuals must move forward either to adjust their status to permanent residence in the United States, or to complete consular processing for an immigrant visa at the appropriate U.S. consulate abroad within the timeframes required by law. They must meet general requirements for these procedures, as well as requirements for the DV lottery. More people are granted winner letters than ultimately receive permanent residence under the DV program.


The DOS online system is an improvement over a mail-only system. It also provides a good way for individuals to verify selection in the DV lottery. It should help to reduce the common problem of fraudulent websites and winner notifications (often sent via eMail), attempting to take advantage of the desperation and vulnerability of foreign nationals.


Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.