Error forces to redo 2012 visa lottery drawing

Due to a computer error, the results of the 2012 Diversity Lottery have been voided, affecting and disappointing thousands of people who thought they had won a visa through the lottery.

It appears that the computer program conducting the drawing erroneously caused the 90% of winners to be from applications submitted in the first 2 days - and not from the 30-day application intake period at the National Visa Center. The law states that the selection must be random and fair. The authorities emphasized that the results are invalid because they do not meet this requirement.

The U.S. Department of State today announced that it will excused to all applicants for the error, announced that the problem has been corrected, and that it will conduct a new lottery based on the applications submitted from October 5 to November 3, 2010 through its website. No new applications will be accepted. New results are expected to be published by July 15, 2011.

Approximately 15 million people submitted applications for the visa lottery. Only 50,000 visas are available.