Virginia, US

Apr 28 2020

State Department Postpones FY 2021 Diversity Visa Lottery Results to June 6

United States

At a glance

  • The State Department has delayed the date Diversity Visa Lottery entrants can learn whether they have been chosen in the lottery to June 6, from the original date of May 5.
  • Lottery entrants may check the State Department’s official Diversity Visa Lottery website to learn whether they have been selected only upon the opening of the Entrant Status Check section of the site. 
  • The State Department does not send direct notification to lottery winners.  

A closer look

The U.S. State Department has postponed the date when entrants can check to learn whether they have been chosen in the Fiscal Year 2021 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery to June 6, 2020, from the original date of May 5, 2020. The agency attributes this delay to the COVID-19 pandemic and has stated that the delayed opening will not have a negative impact on the agency’s ability to pre-process and schedule DV interviews, which are set to begin on October 1, 2020.

Foreign nationals who entered the lottery may visit only the official Entrant Status Check website to learn whether they were selected to submit an application for permanent residence upon the opening of that site. The Entrant Status Check website currently states that entrants may check the site starting at noon EDT on June 6. However, given the fluid nature of all visa processing at this time, foreign nationals should be prepared for the possibility of further delays.

Impact of Presidential Proclamation

A presidential proclamation issued last week temporarily suspends the entry of certain immigrants and limits the issuance of immigrant visas by U.S. Consulates abroad until June 2020. The practical impact of the order is likely to be limited, as most routine immigrant visa services have been suspended at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad since mid-March as part of the State Department’s COVID-19 containment measures. Further, Diversity Visa lottery green card interviews will not be scheduled before October 1, 2020.

However, if the presidential proclamation is extended through this fall, the proclamation will prevent immigrant visa issuance to applicants who were outside the United States as of 11:59pm EDT on April 23, 2020, have not been issued an immigrant visa or similar U.S. travel document, and are not otherwise exempt. This could include DV entrants.

Protect yourself against DV lottery fraud

DV lottery scams are a common form of immigration fraud. Unscrupulous individuals set up deceptive web pages that pose as official government sites or purport to be authorized by the State Department to accept or administer lottery entries, sometimes for a very high fee. They also try to entice foreign nationals to provide personal information and money with promises of winning lottery entries.

Take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of lottery fraud. Though you may seek legal counsel or other assistance in preparing a lottery application, be wary of commercial enterprises that claim you have won the lottery, purport to register applicants outside the official registration period or claim to be authorized by the government. No fees or personal information should be sent to a questionable individual or entity. Detailed information on DV lottery fraud is available from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the State Department.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.