Beware of fake visa lottery websites, US Mission warns Nigerians - PUNCH
BY Gbenga Adeniji
The US Mission to Nigeria has said it is aware of websites and messages promoting fake US Diversity visa lottery.
In a statement on Friday by the mission, it stated that the sites were fake and provided websites where accurate information regarding the lottery could be obtained.
The statement indicated, “The US Mission to Nigeria is aware of websites and messages advertising the U.S. visa lottery. All of these sites are FAKE! The only accurate information on the visa lottery is available at ng.usembassy.gov and travel.state.gov. Addresses that have a .gov are the only accurate source of visa information.’’
Some of the fake messages which circulated online, especially on WhatsApp, announced online registration for the migrant lottery and urged Nigerians to take a chance of living in the US by applying for the US Green Card lottery. The message read, “The Green Card unlocks the door to the United States for thousands of USA fans every year. It allows the lucky Green Card winners permanent residence as well as unlimited work permit for the USA. Every year, the United States grants 55,000 Green Cards through the Green Card Lottery.’’
The Immigration Act of 1990 established the Diversity Visa programme, where 55,000 immigrant visas would be available in an annual lottery, starting in fiscal year 1995. The lottery was initiated to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants mostly from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States in the previous five years.
Earlier, the US consulate in Nigeria noted on its website that Nigerians were no longer eligible for the Diversity Visa Lottery.
It stated, “Only people that were born outside of Nigeria or have parents that were born outside of Nigeria are eligible for the Diversity Visa. If you were born in Nigeria to Nigerian born parents, you are not eligible for the visa lottery. Some websites and emails attempt to mislead customers, posing as providers of official U.S. government information.’’