U.S. Visas – Green Card Lottery Articles https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles DV Lottery Resources Mon, 12 Sep 2016 09:14:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 Green Card Visa https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/green-card-visa/ https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/green-card-visa/#respond Mon, 13 May 2013 22:36:00 +0000 https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/?page_id=1121 The United States’ immigration system can sometimes prove to be tricky, so here we will present a brief summary of how visas and Green Cards work.

What is a Visa?

Visas are immigration documents that are used all over the world by nearly every country. In the United States they are effectively documents which grant the holder the right to come to a port of entry and apply for entry to the United States.

Visas do not come with the guarantee that you will be allowed to enter the United States, rather it is just permission to enter a port of entry.

When you arrive at one of these ports—which can be airports, seaports or even border crossings—an immigration officer will assess whether or not you can enter America. If you are accepted into the country, you will then receive a form I-94, which you should retain for your records.

In the US there are two general categories of visas, Non-Immigrant and Immigrant:

Non-Immigrant Visas

These visas are granted to people who are coming to the United States on a more-or-less temporary basis. Tourists, students, travelers and sometimes workers are granted these documents to do very specific things while in the US.

They are called non-immigrant visas because the people who hold them are not allowed to change their status to permanently immigrating to the country. They will first have to leave the US and then apply for immigration outside of the country.

There are a couple of notable exceptions to this rule (the Fiance and H-1B visas, specifically) and these are called dual-intent visas. However, most people will have to adhere to one or the other.

Immigrant Visas

Visas that allow their holders to live, work, study and travel in the United States freely are called most frequently called Green Cards and have a very different process than non-immigrant visas.

There are several different categories through which you can apply for a Green Card, and therefore immigration to the US:

  • Family Based Green Cards,
  • Employment Based Green Cards,
  • Diversity Visa Green Cards,
  • Asylum Green Cards.

You can learn a lot about the different kinds of Green Cards through our blog.

The Importance of Green Cards

Green Cards are absolutely necessary documents for immigrants living in the United States for a variety of reasons:

  • Without one you cannot access government services or legally apply for a job.
  • You cannot sponsor a family member without Permanent Residency or citizenship.
  • Not having a Green Card will put you into unlawful status which will make legal immigration much more difficult in the future.
  • In order to apply for citizenship, you must first obtain Permanent Residency through a Green Card.
  • You can be deported (forced to leave the United States) at any time without a Green Card.

Diversity Visa Green Cards vs. Other Green Cards

Green Cards are mostly all the same, the primary difference between them is the method by which you obtain one. Diversity Green Cards aren’t much different from any of the other Green Cards in physical appearance, but their justification can be much more complex.

Green Cards granted through the Green Card Lottery (DV program) don’t ask for a lot of requirements to register, very unlike the other Green Card programs which demand that you first obtain sponsorship.

It is for this reason that the Green Card Lottery is becoming more and more unpopular in the United States because they are viewed to be based on something aside from merit, a quality held in high esteem in American culture.

The upshot of this is that 2013 may be the very last year for the Green Card Lottery program and that if you want to come to the US you should apply sooner than later!

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US Green Card Priority Dates https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/green-card-priority-dates/ https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/green-card-priority-dates/#respond Tue, 08 Jan 2013 19:36:11 +0000 https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/?page_id=1025 Priority dates, as they are called by the United States Department of state, are the timeframes issued to visa applicants that indicate when they are able to actually get their Green Cards.

Fortunately for those who win the Green Card Lottery, diversity visa winners do not need to have a priority date and they can immigrate within two years of filing their application.

There are no priority dates do not exist for the Green Card Lottery because there is no wait time. There are only a certain number of visas issued per year and only a certain number of people have the opportunity to apply for them.

Green Card Priority dates

On the other hand, many of the other ways one can get a Green Card are high in demand and therefore develop a wait time because there are not enough Green Cards to go around.

Green Cards through employment and most categories of family based visas are in very high demand. Immediate relative visas are issued on an unlimited basis and therefore do not have a wait period.

The wait periods for some family category visas are 24 years old! That means that they have only just now, in January of 2013, started granting immigration visas that were applied for in 1987.

The other routes to getting a green card can take a long period of time.

In many circumstances it may make a great deal of sense to file for a family category and file for the Green Card Lottery.

If you have already filed once with the United States government they can get a good idea of how much you really want to immigrate to the United States. Additionally, there is no penalty for applying for the Green Card Lottery and another program.

Really, one could look at the Green Card Lottery as a lottery for a very fresh priority number, one that is current so that you don’t have to wait.

You can check whether or not you have won the Green Card Lottery in May with your confirmation number. Do not lose your confirmation number because without it you cannot find out your status with the lottery.

The chances of winning the Green Card Lottery are significantly better than winning a cash lottery by many thousands of times. However, it sometimes takes multiple submissions to finally win. By using USAGreenCardLottery.org, you can be sure that your application is filed properly and on time year after year.

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What is a Visa? https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/what-is-a-visa/ Fri, 06 Jan 2012 06:56:50 +0000 https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/ A foreign national who wishes to enter the US must first get a US visa, that will be placed in the foreign national’s passport or on the travel document issued by the foreign national’s country of citizenship. Some foreign nationals can enter the US without a visa if they fulfill the requirements for visa-free travel. US citizens don’t need a US visa for travel. However, when traveling abroad, they may require a visa issued by the embassy of the country they intend to visit. Under such circumstances know the visa requirements by checking the Country Specific Travel Information.

With a US visa, you can travel to a port of entry, airport or land border crossing, and you have to request permission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector to enter the US. Remember that having a visa does not mean that you can enter the US. It only means that a consular officer at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad found you to be eligible to enter the US for that specific purpose. The inspectors at the port of entry are responsible for your admission to the US, for a specified status and stipulated period of time.

The type of visa you require is defined by US immigration law. It depends on the intention of your travel. There are two main categories of US visas namely immigrant and non immigrant visas. An immigrant visa is to enter the US and live there permanently. Whereas the non immigrant visa is used to travel to the US for a temporary period. If you are neither a US citizen nor a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), there are many types of non immigrant visas that will facilitate your travel to the US. The main intention of your visit and other facts will determine what type of visa you have to get. Remember to gather information about the type of visa you will need to get into the US, and also familiarize yourself with the steps required to apply for the visa at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad.

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Getting a US Visa https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/getting-a-us-visa/ Tue, 19 Jul 2011 04:33:06 +0000 https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/ If you are an immediate relative of a US citizen, a visa is always available. If you are in a family or employment based preference classification, visa availability is generally determined by:

  • the priority date
  • the preference category you are immigrating under
  • the country the visa will be charged to (usually your country of citizenship)

The Department of State is the government agency and authority that has control over visa numbers. The annual limits for are decided by Congress and can be referenced in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Initially, a priority date will be assigned to you based on your immigrant petition filing date (the date that the petition was originally filed with USCIS). In certain employment-based cases, it is the date the application for a labor certification was accepted by the Department of Labor. Your priority date puts you in line for an immigrant visa.

The priority date, along with your country of nationality and preference category will determine how long you are required to wait for a visa to be immediately available. When the USCIS is ready to approve an applicant for permanent residency in a visa category that has limited numbers, they must first request a visa number from the Department of State.

When a visa is available, you are permitted to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (if you are in the United States) or apply for an immigrant visa outside the United States (consular processing). If you are going through consular processing, USCIS will forward your approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center who will then contact you when your priority date is about to become current. They will notify you on what your next steps are and when you may apply for an immigrant visa in your home country.

Admissibility to the United States on a visa:

All immigrant visa applicants or those applying for adjustment of status have to prove to the satisfaction of immigration or consular officials that they are admissible (eligible for admission) to the United States.

There are many grounds of inadmissibility that could potentially bar or cause someone to be ineligible to become a permanent resident (green card holder). Examples are health-related, criminal, security-related, and other grounds.

In some situations, if you are found inadmissible to the United States you can file a waiver on Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility, (the form required for most immigrants) or I-602, Application By Refugee For Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (the form is required for refugees and asylees) to excuse your inadmissibility.

The grounds of inadmissibility are determined by the particular classification through which you are immigrating. In case you are found inadmissible to the United States, your adjustment of status application or immigrant visa application will be denied outrightly. Congress has decided upon the grounds of inadmissibility and they may be found in Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

After the application package along with the supporting documents have been received and subsequently interviews conducted (if necessary), security checks completed, and other eligibility requirements reviewed, your application/petition will be ready for a decision by USCIS.

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Supporting Documents Needed While Filing the EAD Application https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/supporting-documents-needed-while-filing-the-ead-application/ Wed, 11 May 2011 11:13:24 +0000 https://www.usagreencardlottery.org/articles/ While mailing your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) application to the USCIS, you must also submit:

  • A copy of Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record (front and back), if available. If you are filing the EAD application under the(c)(9) category, an I-94 record need not submitted.
  • A copy of your last EAD. If no prior EAD has been issued, you have to submit a copy of a federal government issued identity document, such as a passport showing your picture, name, and date of birth; a birth certificate with photo ID, a visa issued by a foreign consulate; or a National ID document with photo and/or fingerprint. The identity document photocopy must clearly show the facial features of the applicant and the biographical information.
  • Two identical color photographs of yourself. It should have been taken within 30 days prior to filing of the I-765 application. The photos should be per the specifications mentioned by the USCIS. Lightly print your name and Alien Receipt Number on the back of the photo with a pencil or a felt pen.

If you are required to show economic necessity for your category, you have to submit a list of your assets, income and expenses.

Special Filing Instructions for Those With Pending Asylum Applications ((c)(8)):

Asylum Applicants (with a pending asylum application) who filed for asylum on or after January 4, 1995 have to wait at least 150 days following the filing of his/her asylum claim before he/she is eligible to apply for an EAD. Your EAD application will be denied if you file early. Along with the application, submit:

  • a copy of the USCIS acknowledgment notification that was mailed to you; or
  • evidence that you filed Form I-589 with USCIS; or
  • evidence that you filed Form I-589 with an Immigration Judge at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR); or
  • evidence that your asylum application is under administrative or judicial review.

Asylum applicants with a pending application who filed for Asylum and for Withholding of Deportation before January 4, 1995 and who are NOT in Exclusion or Deportation Proceedings may file the EAD application at any time. But note that it will be granted only if USCIS understands that the application is not frivolous. Along with your EAD application, submit:

  • a copy of your previously filed Form I-589; AND
  • a copy of your USCIS receipt notice; or
  • a copy of the USCIS acknowledgment notification; or
  • evidence that you filed Form I-589 with EOIR; or
  • evidence that your asylum application is under administrative or judicial review; or
  • a copy of the USCIS acknowledgment notification

Asylum applicants (with a pending asylum application) who filed an Initial Request for Asylum before January 4, 1995, and ARE IN Exclusion or Deportation Proceedings:

If you filed your Request for Asylum and Withholding of Deportation (Form I-589) before January 4, 1995 and you ARE IN exclusion or deportation proceedings, you have to send the following documents along with your EAD application:

  • a date-stamped copy of your previously filed Form I-589; or
  • a copy of Form I-221, Order to Show Cause and Notice of Hearing, or Form I-122, Notice to Applicant for Admission Detained for Hearing Before Immigration Judge; or
  • a copy of EOIR-26, Notice of Appeal, date stamped by the Office of the Immigration Judge; or
  • a date-stamped copy of a petition for judicial review or for habeas corpus issued to the asylum applicant; or
  • evidence that you filed an asylum application with EOIR.
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