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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
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Questions on Visa Lottery Requirements

One of the ways to legally immigrate to the United States is to depend wholly on luck and enter the congressionally mandated visa lottery. This lottery offers 50,000 Green Cards to individuals from selected countries. This is a part of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program and is open to countries that generally have low rates of immigration to the United States. Individuals born in countries with already high rates of immigration would not be eligible to apply. Participation in the lottery is available through the State Department’s website at www.dvlottery.state.gov.

Listed below are a few questions answered by immigration lawyers on visa lottery related issues.

I came to the U.S. after winning a visa lottery. I did not include my son at that time since I didn’t have a photo of his to scan. After I received the USCIS forms, I was told that I couldn’t get the visa if I included him. Now what can I do to make him join me?

If your son was not put on the application, all you can do now is to file an I-130 petition for him and wait for it to be processed. You will not be able to go back to your DV application and re-open it to include him. In addition, your DV number would no longer be available since it is a different fiscal year now so you can only go the I-130 route.

A man from the Ivory Coast won the immigration visa lottery and has been residing in the U.S. for over a year. He wants to visit the Ivory Coast and is worried he may not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. He has a Green Card with 10-year validity. Are there any restrictions on an immigration visa?

He should have no problem re-entering the country as long as he does so within 180 days. If he wants to stay out of the country for a longer period of time, he would need to file for a re-entry permit before he leaves. This would give him up to two years to stay out of the country without losing his residency status. This form can be located at www.uscis.gov/forms/

I am a Bangladeshi and my husband won the DV (Diversity Visa lottery) three years ago. I received my Green Card along with him, as his spouse, and we have been staying in the U.S. ever since. Does my Green Card still remain valid if we divorce? Will I still be eligible to apply for citizenship after five years as a divorcée?

Yes, your Green Card would be secure even after you divorce your husband. And yes, you can also apply for citizenship after five years.

Are there any educational or other qualifying criteria to enter the diversity visa lottery? How many times can I enter the lottery?

No. The requirement of the Diversity Visa lottery is that you can show you will not be a public charge when you are a Green Card holder in the U.S. As far as applying, while you may not apply more than one time for the same lottery, you can reapply each year if you are not picked.

There are several websites that claim to help applicants win the visa lottery. The Department of State has recognized this and has issued several warnings about these fraudulent websites that masquerade as government sites. Some of them even use seals and official flags to promote a legitimate look and charge for their services. These should be looked at as warning signs since participation in the Diversity Visa Lottery is absolutely free and the Department of State’s official website is the only place where you can fill out a legitimate entry form.

Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 34579
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
9200179
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
characters left:
6 Immigration Lawyers are Online Now

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Recent Visa Lottery Questions

  • Hi I was an au pair and I'm in my last week of vacation that

    Hi I was an au pair and I'm in my last week of vacation that the DS1091 permit, but my J1 visa is for 4 years. I went to my embassy and they said that I don't have any trouble to go and back to my country... I know that all au pairs have just one year of J1 and DS1091...
    I also got married two days ago... He is in the army, we already have the marriage certificate and we are going to move together this weekend...
    Everything came so fast that I don't know what to do first I didn't plan to get married nor stay here in USA, but I love him so much. I don't want to have any trouble here.
    I want to see my family and I don't know how many months the paperwork are gonna take.
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  • My fiance who is a divorced woman has 3 children aged 2.7and9.

    My fiance who is a divorced woman has 3 children aged 2.7and9. If i apply for her immigration,children can accompany her or not and possible hinderences due to them.How long it may take. I am a widow and u.s. citizen having annual income 54000.please answere in detail, it is a single time question.
  • I am a US Citizen and I married a

    I am a US Citizen and I married a guy from Mexico, I did all of his paper work to get him his residence, but while doing all of the paper work they told me that he did not need a I-601 so he went to Juarez on the 7th for his first interview and then they told him they wanted me there so I went on the 27th and now they are asking for the I-601 but my husband is now stuck in Mexico and I don't know what I need to do to get him back.
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