US Diversity Visa Lottery Guide — Part One

Immigration processes can sometimes be outright confusing and that is why USAGreenCardLottery.org has put together an US Diversity Visa Lottery Guide to help our customers through the complicated phrasing of government forms.

Green Card Lottery Eligibility

In May (of Year One of the process), the State Department announces the countries that will be allowed to enter the lottery. The location requirement can be fulfilled if you, your spouse or one of your parents are from one of these countries.

You also must be able to meet an education requirement. This can be fulfilled with a high school diploma or two years of experience in a job that took at least two years to train for.

Lottery Application

Between early October and early November of the first year of the application process the registration period for the Green Card Lottery opens. Applications are only accepted online.

The short period of time that the registration period is open for is an excellent reason to use USAGreenCardLottery.org. Because we accept your application any time of the year, you can take your time filling out the forms and making sure that all of the information is correct, which will significantly decrease frustration when the registration period arrives.

When you register for the Green Card Lottery, you will be presented with a confirmation screen upon completion of the form. The confirmation number included in this screen is incredibly important to keep safe. Without this number it will be impossible to check whether or not you have won the Green Card Lottery.

Part Two Coming

By winning the Green Card Lottery, you are effectively given a chance to apply for Permanent Residency in the United States. This is the second part of the application process that takes place in the second year of the application process.

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Winning the Green Card before Getting Married

Many people are attracted to the Green Card Lottery because of its ability to help you move your family to the United States as well.

If you are already married you can put your spouse and any children you have on your application and they can come with you to America after you win the lottery and complete the required Green Card application.

You and your spouse can even file simultaneously for the Green Card Lottery to get a slightly better chance of winning the lottery.

However, if you have not married yet, but are engaged, this is a little more complicated. There are still options for you in how you wish to proceed in applying for the Green Card Lottery.

Getting married during the Green Card Lottery process can be somewhat difficult because you will have to inform the State Department and eventually Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of your marriage and provide extensive proof of your relationship.

Regardless of how you go about the process of helping your spouse immigrate, you will have to provide a significant amount of proof, but during the Green Card Lottery process the immigration officials may be particularly wary of marriages of convenience.

If, say, you remain single during the entire Green Card Lottery process and immigrate to the United States without your fiancé, there are ways to help them immigrate even though they did not come with you.

You have a choice of where to get married. If you get married outside of the United States you would then petition for your spouse to enter the country with Form I-130.

If you wish to get married in the United States you can have your spouse enter the United States under a fiancé visa, and then, when the marriage is complete, you can file your Form I-130.

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So I Won the Green Card Lottery

“So I won the Green Card Lottery. What now?”

You’re over the first real obstacle in immigrating to the United States. Once you have checked with the US State Department online (you’ll need your confirmation number), you will then wait for a reply from the State Department initiating your adjustment of status proceedings.

Immigrating to the United States from outside of the country will mean that you will be interacting mostly with the US consulate nearest to you, likely in your own country. You should receive a Green Card Lottery packet with all the necessary documentation you will need to file.

Now that you have won the Green Card Lottery, you effectively have your place saved for you in line.

If you haven’t registered for the Green Card Lottery yet, apply today!

“What will I need for the Adjustment of Status Process?”

When you apply for Permanent Residence in the United States you will be asked to provide a variety of information and documentation:

  • Birth Certificates,
  • Passport Pages,
  • Information about your spouse and children,
  • Your immigration history,
  • Identification documents,
  • Two passport-style photographs (the specifications are very detailed and you should view the consulate’s packet for more information).

You may be asked for additional information throughout the process. Submit only copies of documents unless otherwise stated.

“How Long Until I Get to Move to the US?”

A short answer is less than two years. Really, you’ll be given your Green Card two years after you registered for the Green Card Lottery.

However, you cannot immigrate to the United States until you have completed the Adjustment of Status paperwork.

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Top Five Ways to Come to the US

  1. Probably the most popular method for coming to the United States is through the Green Card Lottery. Every year millions of people apply for the lottery and its slightly competitive nature brings some excitement and strategy to the game.A limited set of requirements makes this one of the easiest immigration possibilities available.
  2. Tourist/Business Visa—A very popular way to come to the United States is as a visitor. The United States is a huge country and there are many excellent tourist destinations and the many large cities strewn across the landscape afford businesspeople the opportunity to work in a new and refreshing location.The down side to this visa type is that full immigration is not allowed and visitors must return home when their trip is finished.
  3. H-1b Visa—An extremely popular visa because of the opportunity to immigrate after arriving in the US as a non-immigrant is the H-1b visa. Skilled workers can get jobs in the United States on a temporary basis and, eventually, parlay this residence into permanent residency, also known as a green card.There are a limited number of these visas available and they often run out of spots in the summer.
  4. Fiancé—Oh to be young and in love in America. To be in love at any age! There’s no reason at all for you and your fiancé to be separated for very long at all. With fiancé visas you can marry your US citizen spouse as a non-immigrant and later file for adjustment of status to conditional permanent resident.After two years of marriage, the conditions are generally dropped.
  5. Family Visas—The United States believes strongly in family re-unification and by that token immediate relatives are given priority in the immigration system and are therefore a rather enviable relation.
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K-1 and the Green card Lottery

The K-1 visa and the Green Card Lottery are very different immigration devices in the United States:

K-1

The K-1 visa is a United States non-immigrant visa for the fiancées of United States citizens to come to the US in anticipation of their marriage.

People who are married to US citizens are eligible to apply for permanent residency within the United States and after a short period of a couple of years they can apply for citizenship as well.

If the happy couple decides that they want to be married in the United States and are currently engaged they can obtain a K-1 visa until the non-US spouse can apply for a Green Card.

K-2 visas are used for the children and dependents of the immigrating spouse and must be applied for separately.

Green Card Lottery

The Green Card Lottery is a yearly Green Card assignment scheme that gives out about 55,000 Green Cards all over the world.

Applications are typically accepted in October and the winners are announced in May. Anyone who can meet the two simple but strict education and location requirements can apply for this visa and include their spouses and dependents on the application as well.

The Green Card Lottery grants eligible winners with a Green Card which is an immigration status.

How are they Related?

Really, the two applications and statuses are not related at all, but that is perfectly fine. Because they do not interfere with each other you can apply for both at the same time and there will be no conflict in the USCIS.

However, if one has the chance to apply for a K-1 visa, it is advisable to pursue that path to a green card and citizenship than the Green Card Lottery.

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How Does One Become Eligible for the Green Card Lottery?

The eligibility requirements for the Green Card Lottery change a little bit every year, but unfortunately there is very little one can do to influence what they will be.

However, the eligibility requirements are very wide and lots of people can be eligible for entry into the lottery later this fall (spring in the southern hemisphere).

Education Requirement

The education requirement is one part of the Green Card Lottery that does not change from year to year. Regardless of where an applicant is from they must have either

  • A high school degree or diploma (some countries have equivalent education programs under other names, generally these are acceptable, but it may be a good idea to check with the State Department to see if it is acceptable.)
  • Two years of experience in a job which required at least two years to train in. (A list of acceptable trades and professions are available through the US State Department.)

Countries of Origin

This set of requirements is most variable in terms of which countries are allowed to enter. The list of acceptable countries changes on a yearly basis and is developed based on immigration information from the previous years, this makes it somewhat unpredictable.

Generally there are a set of countries that are excluded year after year because they traditionally send many immigrants to the United States. For example: Canada, China, Mexico, and the United Kingdom all have very high levels of immigration to the United States and are therefore excluded from the lottery.

However, even if you come from a country that is excluded from the lottery you can still have a chance to apply. By claiming either one of your parents’ or your spouse’s country of origin you can apply for the Green Card Lottery.

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We Answer Questions about the Green Card Lottery

The process of applying for the Green Card Lottery, just like any other immigration process can be difficult to navigate and you may find yourself needing some help or guidance in putting together your application.

Fortunately USAGreenCardLottery.org has the answers and guidance you seek!

We regularly update our blogs and articles to feature topics that are relevant to you. Help learning about the Green Card Lottery is as close as a click away. Find information on:

Green Card Lottery eligibility

  • Important dates
  • Photograph requirements
  • Explanations of the Green Card Lottery
  • Reasons why you should enter
  • Important documents you will need in the application process
  • And loads more information.

Everyone’s immigration experience is different, though, and we understand that. It is very possible that you may have a question that has not been addressed in one of our articles yet.

However, you have the opportunity to ask your question and to help future generations of applicants in the process.

At the bottom of each blog there is a comment section where you can type in your question (be sure to include your name and e-mail address in the appropriate fields of the submission). We will take your question and direct you to the appropriate article or blog.

If we haven’t written about it yet, we will post a brand new blog answering your question as soon as our experts have come up with the most appropriate and accurate answer possible for your situation.

A big part of immigrating is belonging to a new community and there certainly is a community for Green Card Lottery entrants, millions strong, in fact. By publishing this assistance we hope to help develop this community and aid it towards its goal of immigrating to the United States!

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A Successful Green Card Interview

During the process for applying for and getting a Green Card, there may be a point in time where an immigration officer wishes to talk to you personally, this is called the Green Card Interview.

While not always needed or appropriate, they are still rather regular occurrences and serve to ensure that people are not violating the system or committing immigration fraud, a serious offense.

Many immigrants ask what, if anything can they do to prepare for this interview. For job interviews people will sometimes practice questions that may be asked to gauge a person’s suitability for a position. Some people have to be interviewed for universities and they may practice vocabulary words to make the best impression they can on the recruiter.

However, in the case of a Green Card interview, what the immigration officer will be looking for is how truthful you were on your application. Generally, if you are able to communicate adequately with the officer and have all of the appropriate and original documentation with you for the interview, there should be no problem at all and you will effectively “pass” the interview.

Another part of the process that requires your presence at or near the USCIS office is the collection of biometric material. Biometrics is typically identifying features of you, such as a set of fingerprints.

After the immigration officer has collected all the necessary information, he or she will then begin the process of deciding whether or not the applying immigrant will receive a Green Card.

This decision can be made at the interview, but that hardly ever happens. Normally it takes a few months to make a decision on the application.

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