Up to 50,000 immigrant visas are made available every year for purposes of immigrant diversity. They’re randomly drawn in a computerized lottery format from millions of applicants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. Nearly all diversity immigrant lottery winners reside outside of the U.S., and they’re automatically eligible for lawful permanent residence and be able to legally live and work in the United States. They can apply for U.S. citizenship three to five years after being issued permanent residence.
Applying for the Diversity Lottery
A person who wants to enter the diversity lottery need not pay anything for the opportunity. A simple form need only be completed and forwarded. If a person wins the diversity immigrant lottery, their immediate family members are eligible to follow them. The general rule is that applicants must have been born in a country that has sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years. Winners are typically notified seven months after they enter. After the visa is issued, winners have six months from the date of issuance to enter the U.S.
Spouses and Parents
If your husband or wife is from another country and his or her country was selected, but your country was not, you can still apply under your spouse’s country. If your parents were born in a different country than you were born in, you can use their country.
Aside from being a citizen of an eligible country, applicants must have a high school education or two years of work experience in the last five years. Work experience must be approved by U.S. Department of Labor regulations.
What Must I Do if I Win?
If you’ve been drawn as a winner, you should act as quickly as possible. You’ll be advised of when you should apply for your visa. Although the first visas are issued on October 1, you can still apply up to 90 days ahead of that date. Diversity immigrant lottery visas must be issued by the end of the fiscal year.
Steps You Must Take to Get Permanent Residence
The fact that you hit the diversity visa lottery doesn’t mean that you can get on a plane and immediately com to the United States. Certain preparatory steps must be taken. Here are some of the usual steps:
- Confirm educational qualifications or work experience in writing.
- Confirm that your passport is good for at least six months after your date of entry to the U.S.
- Submit Form DS-260.
- Submit all required documentation and paperwork like your birth certificate, police certificate, copy of passport and health exam certification.
- Provide wo 2×2 inch passport photos.
- Provide any other documentation or paperwork that might be required.
- Attend your visa interview with all required documents and paperwork.
If you’re seeking to immigrate to the United States, you’ll want the advice and counsel of an experienced, skilled and compassionate immigration law firm. You can contact us here at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers here in Bakersfield with your questions or legal issues. We’ve already helped clients from across the globe, and we want to be able to help you and your family too.
Contact A California Immigration Lawyer Today
The requirements for the drafting, filing and bringing effective and successful appeals are complex and confusing. Although the law permits it, don’t try to bring an AAO appeal on your own. Contact Maison Law Immigration Lawyers for a consultation on discussing the best course of action for you. We’re in Bakersfield and handle cases throughout the Central Valley. As strict deadlines for bringing appeals exist, it’s critical that you take action on bringing your appeal right away. We want to help you with your dream of living and working in the United States.