FAKE: America Visa Lottery Message Circulating on WhatsApp

A message that is doing rounds in WhatsApp groups supposedly announces the “America Visa Lottery 2023/2024”, claiming that the “form is open”. A link is then provided in the message which is fronted as the application link. 


The America Diversity Visa (DV) lottery program is a program that allows people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States to apply for a chance to get an immigrant visa, also known as a green card. The program is run by the U.S. Department of State and awards up to 55,000 visas every year. The program was established by the Immigration Act in 1990 and the first green cards issued in 1995.

The entry period for the program is usually between October and November of every year and applicants can check their application status from May of the subsequent year. The applications for 2025 were opened on October 4, 2023.


The first red flag when you read the WhatsApp message is in the link. The domain name extension ends in .com, which is not the case for a government website. Government websites usually have .gov as the domain name extension or a domain name extension with a code representing the country such as .ke (for Kenya), .ca (for Canada), .ug (for Uganda) etc. 

The link, once you click it also does not have a SSL certificate – a digital identifier (certificate) that authenticates a website’s identity. This is denoted by a padlock icon in the address bar. 

When you click the link, a warning comes up indicating the site is not secure. 

Moreover, Whoisdomaintools – a tool for investigating websites – indicates that the website is less than two years old. This is suspicious since the DV program has been running since 1995. Conversely, the actual DV lottery website is over 19 years old, according to the tool. The suspicious website was updated on October 5, 2023, just a day after the DV lottery was announced, which is suspicious.

The American Visa Lottery (DV lottery) can only be applied through the U.S. State Department website

To apply for the program, you need to follow these steps:

  • Check if you are eligible for the program based on your country of birth and education or work experience. You can find the eligibility criteria on the official website.
  • Register online for the program during the entry period, which is usually between October and November of each year. You will need to provide your personal information, upload a digital photo, and get a confirmation number. You can only submit one entry per person.
  • Check your entry status online using your confirmation number starting from May of the following year. You will be notified if you have been selected for further processing or not. You can check your status on the entrant status check page.
  • If you are selected, follow the instructions on how to apply for an immigrant visa. You will need to fill out an online application form, pay the required fees, submit supporting documents, and attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.


The link fronted through WhatsApp messages as advertising the American Visa Lottery is FAKE.

This fact check was published by Piga Firimbi with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck and African Fact-Checking Alliance.

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