Are you dreaming of living and working in the United States?
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) could be the perfect solution for you. Every year, the DV Program makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and the winners are selected through a random drawing.
If you are a lottery winner and reside outside the United States, you can immigrate through consular processing and issuance of an immigrant visa. However, if you are one of the few lottery winners who already reside in the United States, you can apply for an adjustment of status through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In this article, we will provide you with all the necessary information on the eligibility criteria and application process for adjusting your status under the DV Program.
To be eligible for an adjustment of status under the DV Program, you must meet the following criteria:
- You have been selected for a diversity visa by DOS’s lottery;
- You have an immigrant visa immediately available at the time of filing an adjustment application (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status); and
- You are admissible to the United States.
For visa availability, you should check the latest month’s DOS Visa Bulletin. The chart in Section B shows the current month’s visa availability in the Diversity Immigrant category. The chart also shows when the Diversity Immigrant cut-off is met. When the cut-off is met, visas will be available in that month for the applicants with Diversity Immigrant lottery rank numbers below the specified cut-off numbers for their geographic areas.
Section C contains a chart showing the Diversity Immigrant category rank cut-offs for the following month, which represents the advance notification of Diversity Immigrant visa availability. As soon as a monthly Visa Bulletin is published, anyone with a lower rank number than the rank cut-off number shown in Section C is eligible to file for adjustment of status. This provides lottery winners the opportunity to file for adjustment of status up to six or seven weeks before a visa number can actually be allocated. This gives USCIS additional time to determine your eligibility for adjustment of status before the end of the fiscal year.
Please note that a Diversity Immigrant-based adjustment application cannot be adjudicated until a visa can be allocated, as indicated in the Visa Bulletin’s current Diversity Immigrant rank cut-offs for a particular month.
Application Process and Supporting Evidence
To obtain a Green Card through the DV Program, you must file Form I-485. You should submit the following evidence with your Form I-485:
- Two passport-style photos;
- Copy of birth certificate;
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record;
- Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable);
- Copy of passport page with admission (entry) or parole stamp (if applicable);
- Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record;
- Certified copies of court records (if the individual has been arrested);
- Copy of the principal applicant’s selection letter for the diversity visa lottery from DOS;
- Copy of the receipt from DOS for the diversity visa lottery processing fee;
- Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (if applicable); and
- Applicable fees.
The adjustment of status process for diversity visa winners must be completed by September 30 of the fiscal year the lottery pertains to. Visas cannot be carried over to the next fiscal year.
It is also important to be aware of fraudsters who may send you emails claiming you have won the Diversity Visa Lottery and requesting personal information or payment. It is important to only submit your application through the official U.S. government website and to be cautious of any unsolicited emails or requests for payment.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program offers a unique opportunity for individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States to obtain a Green Card through a lottery system. If you are a lottery winner and meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to adjust your status to become a permanent resident of the United States.
However, the application process can be complex, and it is important to follow the instructions carefully and provide all the required supporting evidence. If you have any questions or concerns, it is recommended to seek the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney.
Remember, obtaining a Green Card is a significant milestone, and it opens up a range of opportunities for living and working in the United States. With careful planning and preparation, you can maximize your chances of success in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.
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