DUSHANBE, March 11, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- The Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe has become aware of fraudulent notices about Diversity Visas (DV)—a also known as ‘green card’ or ‘lottery’ immigrant visas—being sent by e-mail to citizens of Tajikistan and citizens of other countries resident in Tajikistan.

The U.S. Embassy notes that this type of fraud is not unique to Tajikistan and reminds citizens and residents to use caution when working with private entities to apply for visas to the United States, as fraudulent e-mails, websites, and print advertisements offering visa services are on the rise.

According to the U.S. Embassy, there have been instances of fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. Government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government seek money to "complete" lottery entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form.

The DV program offers up to 55,000 visa slots annually for people who wish to apply to immigrate to the United States.  Applicants selected in the random drawing are notified by the U.S. Department of State by letter and are provided with instructions on how to proceed to the next step in the process.  No other organization or private company is authorized by the U.S. Department of State to notify DV program applicants of their winning entries or of the next steps in the process of applying for their immigrant visas.

Successful DV-2011 applicants have already been notified by the Department of State’s Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) by letter, not by e-mail.  DV-2011 entrants also can check the status of their entries at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov until June 30, 2011. Entrants will not be asked to send money to the KCC or to any U.S. embassy or consulate.

Entrants who completed the online DV-2012 entries will not receive notification letters from KCC.  Rather, they must check the status of their entries themselves through the Entrant Status Check available at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov between May 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.

The U.S. Government employs no outside consultants or private services to operate the Diversity Visa program.  Any intermediaries or others who offer assistance to prepare DV entries do so without the authority or consent of the U.S. Government.  Use of any outside intermediary or assistance to prepare a DV entry is entirely at the entrant''s discretion.

All immigrant visas, including Diversity Visas, for Tajik citizens are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan.