US State Department Selects FY 2017 Diversity Lottery Winners
- May 28, 2016
- Richard Newman
Each year the US State Department makes 50,000 immigrant visas (green Cards) available through the DV lottery. Foreign nationals apply for the lottery online usually in the fall. The filing period for the fiscal year (FY) 2017 ran from Oct 2, 2015 to Nov 3, 2015.
The State Department recently made their random selection, and now foreign nationals who entered the diversity lottery can visit the official Entrant Status Check website to learn whether they were selected. This website is the only reliable way to learn if you have been selected. You must enter the confirmation number plus your last name or date of birth and a randomly generated authentication code. The State Department does not send direct notification to lottery winners.
Therefore, beware of emails, letters or other communications that claim you have won the lottery, since they are likely to be fraudulent. They may say that they are authorized by the State Dept. and often request a high fee. They will try to get applicants to provide personal information and money with promises of a green card. No fees or information should be provided. If there is any question, check with an attorney.
If your lottery entry was selected, only the official website will confirm that fact, and will also provide information on how to proceed with your application for the green card. If you were not selected, the official website will state that as well. Applications for the green card can be made during the government’s 2017 fiscal year which starts on Oct 1, 2016 and ends on Sept. 30, 2017.
Green card applications are filed in one of 2 ways:
Adjustment of status in the United States:
this type of application (Form I-485) requires that the lottery winner be residing in the United States in legal visa status. Individual winners who have been out of status cannot apply for adjustment of status even though they were selected as a lottery winner.
Immigrant visa processing at the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan:
if you are living outside the United States, you can process your green card through the US Embassy in Tokyo. The procedure is different than the adjustment of status, but the result is the same – i.e. receiving the green card to live as a permanent resident of the United States. In this case, processing the paperwork takes place through an intermediate office known as the National Visa Center.