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Claim: Viral WhatsApp messages claim “American Visa Lottery Online Registration 2021 Now Open”.
There is no US Visa Lottery registration process going on at the moment.
Social Media platforms with special reference to WhatsApp have seen the vigorous circulation of a claim that the American Visa lottery registration process for 2021 is ongoing. The caption claiming that the registration process is now open comes along with captivating and enticing messages asking people to take advantage of the chance to live in the United States by clicking the link attached to the message and standing a chance to earn a United States Green Card which offers endless opportunities if lucky enough to win one.
The message has been consistently shared on WhatsApp groups and as compelling as the United States Electronic diversity Visa program may be to a large number of people, the message of American Visa Lottery registration has been forwarded to groups several times and people have manifested interest to apply for it on some WhatsApp groups.
In verifying the claim, we noticed, first, that the very link attached to the message asking people to click it and register could not pass Dubawa’s website test approach. With some people having already clicked the attached link and complaining they could not find what they were looking for, we adopted the ScamDoc platform that analyzes websites to check whether they are legit or not.
Scam Doc maintained from its analysis that the domain of the links for registration needs some more investigation done on it. The link after being clicked will take you to the section that seeks personal information. The possible end result will be to ask you to share multiple times to various WhatsApp groups to stand a chance of winning.
The US Diversity Visa Program is not an automatic selection process that assures a GreenCard by simply forwarding messages to groups, there are set criteria.
Secondly, apart from the very lucid red flags on the domain link, Dubawa did some checks on the social media handles of the United State Embassy and the body in charge of the Diversity Visa Lottery Program under the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. What was noticeably glaring is that the United State DV program has specific timelines as to when application resumes and closes. Based on data gathered from the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs website on the last registration process which took place in 2020, it is boldly stated that “The DV-2022 Diversity Visa program registration period was between October 7, 2020 and November 10, 2020.” The information on the website further states that “Since 1994 the DV program has already been executed three times in February, once in November and several times in October”. Whilst we acknowledge that there could be possible changes to timelines, we can authoritatively state that such changes have not occurred at this particular time as the 2021 and 2022 registration processes have been closed as stated on the Website.
Lastly, Dubawa checked the United States Embassy Twitter and Facebook pages in Sierra Leone as they are known for informing the public on the start of registration and guiding people through the process. The registration process maintains a two years interval wherein applications for 2021 lottery can be done in 2019 and 2022 done in 2020 as can be found on the website. So what is expected to start in October 2021 is for the 2023 lottery process. The deadline for the 2021 process had elapsed long ago and what is going on right now is Status check.
Further, the US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs has warned prospective applicants to be mindful of such scams.
The viral message claiming that there is an ongoing American Visa Lottery is false. What the Bureau of Consular Affairs presents yearly is the US Diversity Visa Lottery and it is a process that spans from October to November, not an America Visa Lottery.