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Green Card Lottery Scam: Truth and Lies in simple words

An easy to understand, easy to translate explanation of the US Government's FREE Diversity Lottery truth and lies

"Green Card" (scam term) / Visa Lottery: FREE Diversity Lottery


The State Department Web site for the Diversity Visa Program opens in the Fall or Winter of each year.

It is open for 60 days.


  • Winners are notified by the US Government by surface mail only.  NOT EMAIL.

  • You MUST complete the application form to win. 

  • Registration is FREE.

  • YOU DO NOT have to pay anyone to help you with your application.

  • US Government notification DOES NOT SEND NOTIFICATION BY EMAIL.

  • Beware of false Green Card Lottery email and web sites!

  • There is no such thing as the 2009, 2010, 2011 or any year "Green Card Lottery."   It is called the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.

  • SCHEDULE: The DV Lottery is numbered by the [fiscal] year in which visas are issued to the qualified winners.


    DV Lottery Program Application Period Results Issued Visas Issued
    DV2009 During the Fall/Winter of 2007 2009 by September 30th, 2009
    DV2010 during the Fall/Winter of 2008 2010 by September 30th, 2010
    DV2011 During the Fall/Winter of 2009 2011 September 30th, 2011
  • You may only apply once per year, but you may apply every year.


"Green Card" Lottery Scam Letters.  Read it here


How to recognize a fraudulent Green Card Lottery / Diversity Visa Program web site

How Can I Find Out If I Won?

How Can I Find Out More Information?


  1. The real US Diversity Visa Lottery Program takes place every year.

  2. It is  FREE.

  3. Green Cards are issued to 50,000 winners every year.

  4. You can only apply online HERE.

  5. For your convenience, instructions are available in several languages, but the only official version is the English version.  Go here for current translations of the instructions:

  6. DVLottery instructions in English are available HERE.

  7. You can tell you have a real US Government web site for the Diversity Visa Lottery Program if the web site address ends in .gov (Example:  The US Government does not review or state that anything on any other kind of web site is okay for Diversity Lottery information - including Fraud Aid.  These pages are written to provide you with an easy to understand, plain-spoken explanation of the DV Lottery process.  For absolute, up-to-date information, we urge you to go to at the beginning of each DV Lottery registration period.

  8. The US Government will help you understand the application form FOR FREE - call your local US Embassy or Consulate, or go visit your local US Embassy or Consulate if there is anything you do not understand.  (See #19 and #20 below).  For quick, online translations, please see this page at the US State Department web site:  DO NOT RELY 100% on Internet translation tools.  They make mistakes. 

  9. You DO NOT need an attorney or an agent to fill out the form for you.  The application form only asks for

    • your name
    • date of birth
    • sex (male or female)
    • the name of the town where you were born
    • the name of the country where you were born
    • your photograph
    • your street address
    • your email address (you don't have to give it)
    • your phone number (you don't have to give it)
    • your husband's or wife's Name, Date of Birth, Gender, City/Town of Birth, Country of Birth, Photograph
    • each of your children's Name, Date of Birth, Gender, City/Town of Birth, Country of Birth, Photograph

    That's all.  See the application form here: and look for the application link.

  10. Diversity Visa Lottery Program lotteries are numbered.  The DV-2005 Lottery took place from November 1, 2003 until December 30, 2003.  The Diversity Visa Lottery Program for 2006 took place between November 2004 and January of 2005.

  11. This year's Diversity Visa Lottery Program will open sometime in October or November of this year.  You will know it is open when you an access the web site,  It is a good idea to start checking the web site as early as September.

  12. The only time you can fill out an application form is when the web site is available.  The web site is  When the lottery is not running, the web site is closed; it is not available unless the lottery is open.  It is a good idea to start checking the web site as early as September.

  13. Go here to read the instructions:  Come back here to read the same thing, written in a simpler manner or arranged on the page differently for easier reading.

  14. Your country of birth must be eligible: people from all countries must have a chance to live in the United States.  Only 50,000 people win the lottery every year. 

    Some countries have more people who enter the lottery than other countries.  If many people from your country have won in previous years, then you are not eligible for another one to five years. 

    The instructions contain a list the countries that are eligible and that are not eligible for any current year:

    EXAMPLE ONLY: "For DV-2006, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because they sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous five years:


    Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible."

  15. There are education requirements: You must have a high school education or the equivalent amount of education, meaning you have completed 12 years of school. 

    If you do not have 12 years of schooling, then you must have been working for at least 2 years at a job that requires at least 2 years of training, and you had to have worked at this job sometime during the last 5 years: 

    "Education or Training: An applicant must have EITHER a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The U.S. Department of Labor's O*Net OnLine database will be used to determine qualifying work experience."  

    What does all that mean?  It means that you must go to school from the time you are a small child until you are 17 or 18 years old.  Twelve (12) years of school,

    OR if that was not possible for you, then ...

    You must have an equivalent education and be able to prove that you can pass the same tests as someone who did go to school for all those years,

    OR if that is not possible for you, then ...

    You must you must have a job where you spent at least 2 years learning the job before you were allowed to work unsupervised.  If you had to pass tests before you could work, this is even better.  What they are talking about is a job that requires training, not one that you can just walk into on Monday and start working on Tuesday.

    To see if you already qualify, go here:

    To see what is good to train for so you can enter the DV Lottery Program at a later date, go here:  You will see file folders that say Knowledge, Skills, Ability.  Explore, and take your time.  Learn how to use the site to find what you need. 

    Please do not decide on training just because it sounds really fine.  Choose something that fits who you are right now.  You can always go to school for more training once you are in the US.

    The winners are not chosen because a person is a doctor instead of a plumber.  The US only wants to make certain you can get a good job and support yourself once you get there.

  16. If you have the schooling and / or the work time, you qualify to enter the lottery. 

    If you do not have the schooling and / or work time, then you do not qualify.  There is nothing more to it.  If you have questions about this, please see go to number 19 below.

  17. All applications are selected at random.  This means that, just like any other lottery, nobody can predict who will win.  There are no guarantees. 

    If your name is chosen, but you do not have the schooling that's asked for, or the time spent on a job - if you do not have one of those two requirements, you will not receive a Green Card.

  18. You do not have to fill out the whole form at once.  Once you have registered, you can go back as many times as you need to make changes and corrections and additions.  But you can only complete ONE application.  This is not like a regular lottery where you can buy lots and lots of tickets.  There are no tickets, nothing to buy.

  19. A photograph is required.  The photograph must be just right.  The requirements for the photograph are listed in the instructions.  Go to

    and scroll down to the section about photographs.  You will find it under the Education section

  20. The instructions answer all your questions

    If you do not understand the instructions, contact your local American Embassy or Consulate.  That is their entire purpose for being in your country - to help you with questions about the United States and to help you with anything that concerns the United States. 

    Find the address and phone number of the US Embassy or Consulate closest to you here:  You can also ask them about other ways to come and live in America, and about your legal rights once you get here.

  21. If you cannot reach or telephone a US Embassy or Consulate, then try going to the largest bank you can find that has an International Department.  Ask the manager of the International Department to lead you to a bank employee  who speaks English or American who can explain the instructions to you.

  22. DO NOT LIE about anything on the form.  Your lie will be discovered.  Nothing will happen to you if you lie - nothing at all.  What will happen is that even if your name is among the winners, when the lie is discovered your name will be removed and you will not receive a Green Card.

  23. To see samples of "Green Card Lottery" scam letters, use the search engine at the top of the page to enter the search words Green Card.  The results will give you all the Green Card Lottery scam letters in the database.

  24. How Can I Find Out If I Won?
    Only the winners will be notified by mail [STANDARD POST, NOT EMAIL] at the addresses listed on their applications. Winners will be sent instructions and information on fees.

    Being selected as a winner in the diversity visa lottery does not automatically guarantee that you will be issued a visa, even if you are qualified.

    The number of entries selected is greater than the number of immigrant visas available, because not everyone selected will be qualified for the visa or will choose to complete the processing. Once all 50,000 visas have been issued, the diversity visa program for the year will end.

  25. How Can I Find Out More Information?
    Please watch the State Department Website for more information on the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. You may also call the State Department's Visa Lottery Information Center at 1-900-884-8840 for more information.

    Please note: There is a charge for each call. You may also contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A listing of U.S. Embassies and Consulates can be found at the State Department Website.