The U.S. State Department is allowing entrants to the 2013 Diversity Visa green card lottery to begin checking their status online.
The entrant status check is open from May 1, 2012 until Sept. 30, 2013. Those who have entered the lottery are reminded to keep their confirmation numbers, since the government might select more DV 2013 applicants beginning on Oct. 1.
The State Department does not notify successful lottery entrants. Check the official government website to find out your status. The DV-2013 registration period was from Oct. 4, 2011 until Nov. 5, 2011.
The State Department is warning entrants about a "notable increase and reporting" of fraudulent emails and letters. Beware of scammers who try to solicit fees for services. Be sure you're dealing only with the U.S. government.
It's important for entrants to check their status carefully and keep their confirmation information because the diversity visa lottery has had its share of mistakes and glitches in the past. Keep checking until you're sure your result is correct and final.
The idea behind this green card lottery is to give foreigners who don't have family or prospective employers in the United States a chance to come here and help the country become more ethnically diverse. Entrants for DV-2013 and future lotteries should check with the government and follow its recommendations.
The odds of success are remote. The government received more than 19 million applicants in 2011 for the 50,000 spots. Congress began the diversity visa program in 1995 when it authorized the idea of randomly giving away 50,000 green cards each year.