Winning the DV lottery is a dream for many people, and of course, wherever there are dreams to be handed out, there always seems to be someone trying to make a buck out of it. A DV lottery agent is an example of that. In several countries there has been an increase in entries, quite out of the “normal” ranges of entries within the region. Ghana is one such country so let us examine Ghana as an example. Not trying to pick on the good people of Ghana – but my intention is to open people’s eyes, in Ghana and in other countries.
If you look at the number of entries to the lottery in Ghana over the last few years you will see a dramatic rise in the lottery entries. In DV2007 there were 210k entries, and around 80k derivatives. That number increased sharply every year, so that by DV 2013 there were 909k entries from Ghana (plus 147k family). Two things come to mind from those numbers.
- Why the HUGE increase in interest in Ghana?
- Why did the selectee:family ratio go from 1:0.38 down to 1:0.16?
Well, both questions can be answered with the same cause – Unauthorized DV lottery “agents”. These agents have set up tents and for a small fee they will help someone fill in their details for the DV lottery. Sounds like a good service? Well read on.
The decrease in selectee:family ratio is not the result of more single people applying for the lottery. It is a result on unscrupulous agents entering people in the lottery, often without the persons knowledge. They obtain a photo from Facebook or similar, they enter the name and IF do the entry. They keep the entry number and if that person wins, they approach the “winner” and demand a huge fee to pass on the winning details, reassuring the selectee that all will be fine. However, the details such as name and birthdate may not be accurate. Family members such as spouses and children may have been left off the entry. These things will cause problems if the winner tries to proceed with their entry. Only by then, they will have paid the agent, spent money on the medicals and DV entry fees and so on. I have read first hand accounts of exactly that experience.
So – the US embassies all carry warnings to not use an agent as this will open you up to being defrauded. There are NO official DV lottery agents in the world. None. Not one. The only place where the entry is valid is via the official website (dvlottery.state.gov). Entry through that site is simple and totally free.
This is not just happening in Ghana and the embassies are well aware of this happening. I know in some countries (in Nepal for instance this is quite common) there are similar agents that charge a small fee (literally a few dollars) and give the entrant the entry number. Those agents are honest, and not looking to scam people, but they are not necessary. Why risk giving your personal details to someone and then be open to whatever scheme they dream up to steal your money.
There are also numerous websites that charge you a fee for the convenience of entering your details on their website instead of the real one. Often they want you to sign up for multi year agreements where they will keep submitting your entry. Some face to face agents do the same. However, doing that brings some risks:
- Do you know and trust they will enter on your behalf – once they have your money – what if they go out of business?
- What if your situation has changed for the second year of entry – not listing a newborn for instance is disqualification.
- If they make multiple entries by mistake on your behalf (through a system error for instance, you will be disqualified from that year and probably placed on a “red flag” list for future years.
- And let’s not forget, you are paying them money for what should be free.
Be wiser than that.
DV lottery agent
July 30, 2015 at 19:33
hello brit im from nepal and I just read your all articles and im really happy for such informative things. I have been playing edv lottery for 5 years but still not selected. if u have such a idea share us. im little confuse with my education coz I have passed PCL in health science course. its 3 years academic course after 10 class. now im planing to join batchlor degree. so where ti tick in 2017 edv lottery application? can I tick on high school?
July 30, 2015 at 19:57
The rules say you cannot count vocational courses – yours sounds vocational – but if you are sure it is academic then you can enter.
July 30, 2015 at 20:46
hi brit i alredy did my medicals n passed so im headed for the embassy on 10th august.i recieved an email telling me that my interview date has been changed to 14th august could it be true or someone could b playing games
July 30, 2015 at 21:22
It could be true – many August interviews have been rescheduled.
August 5, 2015 at 16:07
Pls I went to pure Technical school do I have a chance of getting visa
August 5, 2015 at 17:53
Yes, if you meet the requirements for education in your country….
August 5, 2015 at 18:19
Am in Ghana, so education background which one should it pick? because ours is Technical Examination but there is no technical Examination in the list.
August 5, 2015 at 19:05
They are interested in your primary and secondary education. The technical examination sounds “vocational” and if so, it will be excluded.
August 5, 2015 at 19:23
So pls when going for the interview must I include my primary certificate to my secondary certificate and sent all
September 24, 2015 at 12:02
Hello brit! it seems so very time i read your advices about dv lottery,so my question is that what time exactly we can apply in diversity visa lottery i ask this question ’cause a had apply for many year but i didn’t be selecteed.i from kinshasa
September 24, 2015 at 15:03
It is a lottery. In Africa your chances of being selected are less than 1 in 100 – nearer to 1 in 200 in fact. So – you should keep trying but you might never win, or you could win this next time.
July 6, 2017 at 01:47
Is it possible to stop my agent from accessing my application without my knowledge ?
July 6, 2017 at 22:59
October 10, 2019 at 16:44
Hi Simon, I listened to your videos on the DV Lottery and I must say they are very helpful and I wish I had listened sooner. I got a call from a Green card lottery association offering help with the application. I thought it was from the actual organization, by the time my friends told me that I could apply online for free and I do not need to pay I had already paid about $200 US then they contacted me again saying that I need to pay $3000 US for them to speed up my application. By then, I was wiser and said no but they stated that I had paid for submissions for 2 years. In your video you mentioned that sometimes these organizations do not submit your application, however, you are disqualified for multiple applications. So my question is what are my options right now? Can I now apply on my own? I do not recall receiving a number from them. I emailed them stating that I noticed that the lottery is open now, has my application been submitted and this is the response that I received – “Your application has been completed and will be submitted to the U.S State Department in October 2019. The actual program will take place in February 2020 afterwards, and the results will be out between May – July 2020.We will notify you once we have any updates. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.”
Looking forward to your advice.
October 11, 2019 at 03:53
Your only option is to leave it with them now as they say they have entered you.
March 5, 2020 at 01:49
A friend won the dv 2020 but she was being helped in filling the DS with the husband by a near by cafe.(neighbor)
The name of the cafe (the guy ) who helped have been stated in the DS.
He only paid him something small.
Can this cause disqualification?
March 5, 2020 at 02:42
July 1, 2020 at 12:11
Where I can to apply for the DV lottery can any one to direction for me
July 1, 2020 at 19:40
Opens in October.