U.S. Embassy Reminds Diversity Visa Applicants to Check Status on Official Website

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo reminds citizens and residents of Japan who have applied for the 2012 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery that the only official way to receive status updates is through the DV program website at dvlottery.state.gov. DV-2012 applicants will never receive correspondence containing information on an applicant's status, but must check the status of their entries themselves through the Entrant Status Check available at dvlottery.state.gov between May 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. Successful DV-2011 applicants already have been notified by letter, not by e-mail. DV-2011 entrants also can check the status of their entries at dvlottery.state.gov until June 30, 2011.

The only official way to register for the DV program is directly through the official U.S. Department of State website during the specified, limited-time registration period. The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo reminds applicants to use caution when working with private entities to apply for visas to the United States, as reports of fraudulent e-mails, websites, and advertisements offering visa services are on the rise. Under no circumstances should money be sent to any address for participation in the DV Lottery.

Some illegitimate entities and private websites claim to provide "visa services" as a cover for scams or identity theft and sometimes attempt to charge a fee for providing information. In particular, one widespread Diversity Visa (DV) scam e-mail instructs recipients to send money via Western Union to a fictitious person at the U.S. Embassy in London. If you have received this e-mail, you have been targeted by con artists. Please note that visa information is available to the public at no charge on the Department of State (www.state.gov and travel.state.gov) and the U.S. Embassy’s website. A domain name of ".gov" indicates that a website is a legitimate U.S. Government site.

The DV program offers up to 55,000 visa slots annually for people who wish to apply for immigration to the United States. No organization or private company is authorized by the U.S. Department of State to notify DV program applicants of their winning entries or the next steps in the process of applying for their immigrant visas.

To report incidences that may be scams please contact the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov.