How do I know if I won the FY 2021 visa lottery?

In this week's Consulta Migratoria® column I answer a question from a reader who wants to know if she was selected in the visa lottery.

Each case is different and the answers vary depending on each person's immigration history.

Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.

Last year I registered for the visa lottery drawing, how can I find out the results of the drawing and what should I do to claim my visa if I won it? -Olivia R.

Olivia, the results of the diversity visa program lottery for fiscal year 2021. All information is available on the U.S. Department of State website.

Where to find visa lottery results

To see if you are among the winners of the raffle, please visit the web page "DV Incoming Status Check. Click the "Continue" button and follow the instructions.

You need the following information to verify if you were selected:

1. Confirmation number given to you by the Department of State after completing the application. The format of the number is: 2021xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

2. Your last name, as it appears on the visa lottery lottery entry.

Your year of birth.

If you lost your confirmation number, you have to go to the following website "Verify Entrant" to get it. You will need to verify your identity by entering your first and last name, date of birth and the email address you used to enter the sweepstakes.

Results for fiscal year 2021 will only be available on the website. "DV Incoming Status Check" until September 30, 2020.

What to do if you are selected

If you were selected and are eligible, you must apply for and obtain a diversity visa before the end of fiscal year 2021 (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021). Visa lottery benefits cannot be carried over to the following year. There are no exceptions.

Even if you have been selected in the lottery, if you do not apply within the specified time, you may lose your right to the diversity visa.

After complying with all the instructions on the web site "DV Incoming Status Check"will begin processing your case. You will have to formally apply for your diversity visa and then you will be interviewed by a federal government official as part of the process.

If you live outside the United States, you will be sent a notice with the date on which you must attend your visa interview at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your country.

If you plan to apply for a diversity visa within the United States, you will be scheduled for an appointment at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office.

Additional information for 2021 Visa Lottery Winners

* You must make sure that you have registered correctly for the visa lottery. Many people who are not eligible for the visa lottery register for the program and are not eligible.

For example, individuals who do not have the education or work experience required by the program, are not citizens of a country eligible for the lottery, or do not include a spouse when married, may not be eligible to participate in the visa lottery.

If the federal government discovers that a person did not follow program enrollment instructionsIf you were not eligible and won the lottery, they will disqualify your application and will not process your diversity visa.

* Winning the visa lottery does not guarantee that you will be approved for permanent residence. To claim your diversity visa you must meet all the eligibility requirements stipulated by U.S. immigration law. One of those requirements is to be admissible to the country.

* Individuals who are currently or have previously been undocumented in the United States, or have criminal records or immigration arrests, should consult with an immigration attorney to ensure that they meet all requirements and are eligible to apply for a diversity visa. If they do not qualify, undocumented individuals within the United States could be targeted by immigration authorities.

*Do not apply for a diversity visa if you are not eligible. It is a waste of time and money, because the federal government does not refund fees paid if the person is not eligible.

Olivia, please consult with an immigration attorney before beginning any immigration proceedings.

For more information and immigration tips, visit my website at Immigration Today.

Send your questions to Include detailed information about your situation to better answer your questions.

Nelson A. Castillo, Esq. is an immigration attorney and author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo Obtener la Residencia Permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States). He is a former President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Westlake South Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. For information on how to consult with Dr. Castillo, click here. click here.

The purpose of this column is to provide general information. There can be no guarantee or prediction as to what will be the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. This column may be considered an advertisement under the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys in several states, including California and New York. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.