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Immigrant Visas

Diversity Visa Scam

A number of emails notifying recipients that they have won the diversity visa (DV) lottery have recently been circulating on the Internet. While these messages at first glance appear to be official U.S. Government communications, they come from a fraudulent source. The U.S. Embassy warns that these emails and similar scams are prevalent and the public should use extreme caution replying to or providing any information requested via email claiming to be from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

The only official way to apply for the DV lottery is directly through the official U.S. Department of State Website during the specified and limited-time registration period. Applicants selected in the Diversity Visa random drawing are notified by the Department of State by letter, not email, and are provided instructions on how to proceed to the next step in the process. No other organization or private company is authorized by the Department of State to notify Diversity Visa lottery applicants of their winning entry, or the next steps in the processing of applying for their visa.

The U.S. Embassy advises the public that only internet sites and email messages originating from the .gov domain are official U.S. Government websites, for our agency offices located in the United States and for the Embassies and Consulates in Saudi Arabia. While many other Embassy websites have the .gov indicator in their internet address, a number do not. If you doubt that a message originates from an official Department of State source, please visit and where you will find links to all official U.S. Embassy and Consulate websites abroad. Please contact the Embassy or Consulate in question directly from these official websites if you have any questions about the authenticity of communications you may receive about any type of visa.

Also note: There have been instances of fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. Government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to "complete" lottery entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form.

For more information on visa fraud and scams, please visit