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Green Card Diversity Lottery: Immigrant Visa Program

Green Card Diversity Lottery Immigrant Visa Program - Warren Law Firm

Also known as the green card lottery, DV Lottery and the Diversity Lottery, the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is a major United States program that helps thousands of people from countries with low immigration rates get green cards.  This program makes limited number immigrant visas available to eligible people from the specific countries every year.

Here we explain who is eligible for the Diversity Lottery program, how to apply, what to do if you’re selected, and other important details of this exciting immigrant visa program. If you are interested in this program, contact Warren Law Firm to figure out if this might be a good option for you as you start on your immigration journey.

The Diversity Lottery Process

The Diversity Visa Program is unique from all other U.S. visas and, therefore, has a unique process. 

    Here’s what you can expect:

    1. Eligibility
    2. Registration
    3. Selection
    4. Application
    5. Approval

      1. Diversity Lottery Eligibility

      Every year, the U.S. Department of State posts a list of countries from which they would like to see an increase in immigration to the United States. 

      The goal is to increase national diversity. So, to be eligible in any given year, you first must also be from a country that is listed that particular year. Whether you are eligible this year might not determine if you are eligible next year. The countries chosen will be countries that have a low immigration rate to the United States at that time.

      In addition to that, you also must have graduated from high school or its equivalent. Alternatively, you could be eligible if you have two years of qualifying work experience instead of a diploma.

      2. How To Register for the Diversity Lottery

      Once you’ve determined if you’re eligible for the Diversity Lottery, you can register on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website. There are no fees from the U.S. government to register for the Diversity Lottery.

      You will need to provide information about yourself, your education, your family and provide a photo of yourself, your spouse and all of your derivative children. 

      If you do not list your spouse and your children, they will not be eligible for a derivative visa if you are selected. You should be able to complete this step on your own, without the help of a lawyer.

      Once you’ve submitted the diversity lottery entry, you will get a unique confirmation number. It is critical that you keep this confirmation number because it’s the only way that you can check the status of your entry. 

      Plus, you will need this number to get more instructions and schedule your interview if your number is chosen.

      3. Getting Selected For The Diversity Lottery

      The Department of State will randomly select individuals based on the number of visas available to each country using a computer system. They will not call, email or mail notify you if you are selected. 

      You will need to check the status of your entry on the E-DV website using the confirmation number given to you when you registered.

      If your number is selected, we recommend contacting a reputable lawyer to guide you through the rest of the process.

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        Diversity Visa Program4. Applying For The Diversity Lottery

        If your number is chosen and you have all the necessary qualifications, you will be allowed to apply for an immigrant visa, bypassing the normal wait period.

        You and your lawyer would start the application process using the Immigrant/Diversity Visa Portal and submit the DS-260 form online. You will then be prompted to submit supporting documentation that prove your identity and eligibility. After that, you will be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country, or at your local USCIS if you are already in the United States.

        Most of the time, the selected numbers will be from immigrants that live outside the United States, but there are a small number of diversity lottery winners who are already living in the U.S. when they are chosen. People living in the United States will apply through USCIS with their attorney’s help, because USCIS is the agency that processes the adjustment of status applications for a green card.

        Your lawyer will help you prepare for your interview, you will be required to undergo a medical examination and bring certain documents with you.

        5. Diversity Visa Approval (Or Denial)

        At the end of your interview, the consular or USCIS officer will tell you whether your application is approved or denied. If your application is approved and you are outside the United States, you’ll be given a visa and instructions on entering the US. If you are already in the United States, your green card will be mailed to you.

        As a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you are free to work and live in the United States indefinitely and could eventually be eligible for U.S. citizenship!

        FAQs About The Diversity Lottery Immigrant Visa Program

        Unlike the normal lottery where you buy a ticket to win money, the Diversity Lottery only allows one entry per person. The DOS has very sophisticated tech that detects if you have tried to enter more than once. So, no matter what, do not attempt to enter more than once or you will be disqualified.

        Unlike the lottery where you win money, there is no cost to register for the DV Program. If you are selected, you will still have to pay the normal immigrant visa fees though.

        Just like the regular lottery that is played for cash, the Diversity Lottery requires you to check in to see if your number was chosen. Not only will the DOS not mail you a notification letter, they also will not provide a list of names of people who have been selected. There is a place on the Electronic Diversity Visa website where you can check your own status, and that is the only way that the DOS notifies you.

        The DOS suggests that you complete an online DS-260 application immediately after being selected to schedule an interview.

        If you don’t have a high school diploma or its equivalent, then you have to have qualifying work experience. The work experience that could qualify you is one the following:

        • Two years of experience in the last five years that requires at least two years of training
        • Two years of experience in the last five years that is designated as a Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation with a rating of 7.0 or more.

        You can find out exactly what is a qualifying occupation for the DV Program on the Department of Labor’s 0*Net Online Database.

        You shouldn’t enter the Diversity Lottery if you don’t meet the qualifications for either education or work experience because you won’t be eligible, it will result in a disappointment. I f you are selected and make it as far as the visa application, your visa application fees will not be refunded when your visa is denied.

        Experienced Immigration Lawyers in San Francisco

        Warren Law Firm has experience in all matters of immigration law, including helping people who are eligible for the Diversity Lottery. If you need assistance with an immigration legal matter, you’re not alone. Working with USCIS and the DOS is very complicated. Always choose an immigration law firm that you can trust. We are passionate about representing our clients with dignity and we always fight for our clients’ best interest, so contact us as soon as you’re ready to move forward.

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