The US State Department is apologizing for notifying 20,000 people in error that they had been selected as finalists in the Diversity Visa lottery. Officials say that a computer glitch caused 90% of those selected as finalists to have been drawn from only applications received on the first two days of the month-long entry process.
If you have any questions, contact your local Irish immigration center.
The following statement has been posted on the State Department’s DV Lottery website at www.dvlottery.state.gov:
**Important Notice Regarding the 2012 Diversity Visa Lottery Program**
We regret to inform you that, due to a computer programming problem, the results of the 2010 Diversity Visa Lottery that were previously posted on this website have been voided. They were not valid and were posted in error. The results were not valid because they did not represent a far, random selection of entrants as required by U.S. law.
If you checked this website during the first week in May and found a notice that you had been selected for further processing or a notice that you had not been selected, that notice has been rescinded and is no longer valid.
A new selection process will be conducted based on the original entries for the 2012 program.
If you submitted a qualified entry from October 5, 2010 to November 3, 2010, your entry remains with us. It will be included in the new selection lottery. Your confirmation number to check results on this website is still valid.
We expect the results of the new selection process to be available on the DV Lottery website on or about July 15, 2011.
We regret any inconvenienced this might have caused.
Click to view a message from David T. Donahue, Deputy Assistance Secretary of State for Visa Services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why was it necessary to invalidate the names that were selected?
U.S. law requires that Diversity Immigrant visas be made available through a strictly random process. A computer programming error resulted in a selection that was not truly random.
Since the computer programming error caused an error that was not random, the outcome did not meet the requirements of the law, and would have been unfair to many DV entrants.
Q. Is the 2012 Diversity Visa Program cancelled?
No. The 2010 program will continue. The computer programming error has been identified and corrected. The Department of State will run a new selection using all the qualified entries (ones received between October 5, 2010 and November 3, 2010) it received for the 2012 program.
Q. Do I have to submit a new application?
No. You may not submit a new application. We will use all qualified entries received during the October 5 to November 3, 2010 registration period.
Q. Will you open a new entry period?
New entries will not be accepted.
Q. I checked the Entry Status Check website after May 1 and it said I had been selected. Can I apply for a DV visa?
Unfortunately, results previously posted on this website were not valid because the selection process was not fair or random. We will take the entries of all individuals who sent in their registration during the original October 5 to November 3, 2010 time period and run a new lottery. We regret any inconvenience or disappointment this has caused. We expect new results to be available on the DV Lottery website on or about July 15, 2011.
Q. How can I check the results of the new selection?
The new results should be available on this website or about July 15, 2011. This confirmation code you received when you registered is still valid for use on the website.
Q. Was the Department of State hacked? Was my personal information at risk?
We have no evidence that this problem was caused by any intentional act. No unauthorized party accessed data related to the DV program.
Related news article: voanews.com – US Apologizes for Visa Lottery Error