Tomorrow we will see the results of the DV-2017 Green Card lottery. It’s an exciting time for those thousands of people that will get the good news they have been hoping for. Many many more people will see the “dreaded” message that says “not selected”.

OK – so a few bullet points to make that will cover some of the questions I will get…

  • The system will allow checking of the results from noon (EDT – East coast USA) on May 3. It is not based on your timezone.
  • The system opens for everyone at the same time. This means the system is normally very busy for a few hours, and this can mean the website is slow. If you have problems – wait a few hours and check again.
  • Not selected means not selected. The winning chance per entry is quite low – so out of over 10 million entries, only 50,000 or 60,000 people will be seeing the selected letter.
  • In some earlier years, there has been a small “2nd draw” (actually just revealing the next cases in case number order). This is the reason that people are advised to keep their confirmation codes and check again in a few months time.
  • Each winning case can include family members (spouse and children only), so total number of “selectees” will be 80,000 to 140,000 people.
  • Winners (selectees) will see a letter saying they have been selected for further processing.
  • That “selected” letter (called the 1NL) shows a case number in the form of YEAR, Region, Number – for instance 2017AF000012345.
  • Keep your case number private. When discussing that case number in an internet forum or even with me, hide the last 2 or 3 digits, so 2017AF000012345 would be quoted as 2017AF12XXX.
  • The first indication we will have of the number of selectees is on the letter that will be displayed for winners. It will give an estimate of how many selectees there are (this number includes family). This number is typically inaccurate. Last year, the letter said 84,000 but when results were published there were over 91,000 selectees. In previous years even more selectees have been notified as being winners.
  • Being selected does not guarantee a Green Card. You have to follow an application process, and wait to be processed. Cases are processed in an order, based on the case number.
  • The earliest interviews (for the lowest case numbers) start in October 2016. Case processing is spread out over the following 12 months, finishing by September 30, 2017.
  • Selectees must complete and submit a DS260 form online to apply for further processing. Delaying the submission of that form could delay your interview, but filling that form in badly could RUIN your interview (and could get you disqualified). So – take some time to learn how to complete the form correctly. I have produced a guide to the process, instructions on completing the DS260, and have a series of answers to frequently asked questions. PLEASE take some time to read those things to understand the process before rushing to complete your DS260!

Congratulations to the winners, and for the ones not selected – better luck next year.