Diversity Visa Lottery Update

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently conducted a second random lottery to select “winners” of the 2012 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery. The DV 2012 new “winners” have been finalized and posted. All DV 2012 applicants must check the official lottery website in order to learn whether their applications were selected.

Background: Initial Results Voided

As many MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers know, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) had to void the initial results of the 2012 Diversity Visa Lottery. This occurred because the selection of winners was not made in the required, random fashion. More information is available in our May 16, 2011 NewsBrief, Diversity Lottery Results Voided Due to Computer Error.

New Results Valid and Official Lottery Posting

After voiding the initial results, the DOS had to conduct the lottery selection again. The process has been completed, and results are posted on the official lottery website. This is the only notification system for lottery winners.

Individuals who entered the DV 2012 lottery should determine whether or not they were selected, if they have not done so already. Lottery winners always need to act promptly, as there are strict time constraints on the annual program to submit the application and finally obtain the “green card” approval.

Avoid Being Defrauded by Scams

While the DV lottery is a genuine U.S. government program, it is often referenced in efforts to take advantage of foreign nationals. The DOS has noticed a recent increase in fraudulent eMails and letters pertaining to the DV program. These often prompt potential victims to wire funds as payment of some type for the fraudulent program.

DOS Notification Only on Official Lottery Website

To avoid becoming a victim, applicants should be aware that the DOS does not notify lottery applicants by mail or eMail. The only means by which DV 2012 lottery winners can determine whether they are selected is by checking the official lottery website.

This is a notable change from past practice, in which the DOS Kentucky Consular Center mailed notification letters to successful DV applicants. Information on DV lottery scams and how to report fraud is available on the U.S. Department of State WebSite.

Future of the DV Lottery Program

The need for and value of the DV Lottery has long been debated. A bill, known as the SAFE for America Act, was recently introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives, which seeks to completely abolish the DV program. The bill is based on claims of fraud and security issues and the potential for exploitation. Opponents of the bill warn that abolishment of the DV Lottery would severely limit legal immigration from certain underrepresented nations, as well as reduce the overall visa pool.

On July 20, 2011, the bill was referred from the House Judiciary Committee to the full House. MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers will be advised of any significant legislative changes to the DV Lottery program.


We at the Murthy Law Firm have helped many individuals become permanent residents (“green card” holders) under the DV Lottery program. The DV Lottery provides the ability for a fortunate few, who originate from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States, to immigrate. This adds to the diversity within the United States.

Unfortunately, the lottery also provides opportunities for unscrupulous individuals who would prey upon the dreams of immigrants. Fraud does occur during each lottery season. The best protection against such fraud is to be informed and carefully check into any questionable communications regarding the DV lottery program. One may always consult with an attorney for guidance on how to proceed.

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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.