Immigration Law

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Questions on DV-1 and DV-2 Visas

A DV-1 visa is an immigrant visa given to a Diversity Lottery winner while a DV-2 visa is an immigrant visa that can be given to a DV-1 applicant’s spouse and children. Applicants who are born in an ineligible country as per the conditions of the Diversity Lottery but who are married to someone born in an eligible country can apply for the DV lottery on their own. However, the applicant will not be issued a DV-1 visa unless the spouse is also deemed eligible and can be issued a DV-2. Also, both need to enter the U.S. together on their DV visas.

Listed below are a few questions answered by immigration lawyers on DV-1 and DV-2 visas.

I moved to the U.S. in 2007 on a DV-1 visa. Four years later, in trying to fill out my N-400 application, I realized I was supposed to register with the Selective Service System. The form now wants me to attach a statement that explains why I did not register. Am I required to get a “Status Information Letter” (SIL) from the Selective Service as well for the interview?

You would need to do both. You have to get the SIL from the Selective Service as well as write an affidavit that states why you failed to register and request a waiver. You could say that you are a good, law-abiding citizen and had you known about this requirement, you would have gladly registered for it and will defend the country if called upon to do so.

My friend won a Green Card lottery and entered the U.S. on a DV-1 visa. Her passport does not have any other stamp than the one that says DV-1. There were no alien numbers given. She wants to get her Social Security number but does she have to get a Green Card first?

Yes. Your friend should receive her Green Card at the address she gave in at immigration which will then allow her to apply for her social security number.

If I came to the U.S. on a DV-1 visa and my ex-wife came in on a DV-2 visa, and we got divorced after the visas were issued, does she still have the right to get U.S. citizenship?

As long as the two of you were married when the visas were issued, when you entered the country, and when you got immigrant status in the U.S., she can apply for citizenship in the U.S.

I won a DV lottery in 2010 and am now a Green Card holder. I want to marry a woman who has an illegal status as she entered the country three years ago with a passport but no visa. Can I marry her and petition for her to get a Green Card?

Since she entered the country illegally, you cannot get her a Green Card in the U.S. When it came time for her interview, she would have to leave the country. Once she leaves the U.S., she could face a 10-year bar because she stayed illegally for over a year. If she is not allowed to come back in, she could file a waiver of the 10-year bar, which would require her to prove her absence would cause extreme hardship to you. Also, since you are not a U.S. citizen, it’s very possible it would take about four years for her to get a Green Card through you. If the immigration laws change, you might have a better chance at working this out.

A year ago, my wife won the DV lottery and we moved to the U.S. with our Green Cards. My wife now wants to divorce me and I would like to know whether I would lose my permanent resident status since my Green Card says: DV2 - charged to spouse. It’s a card with 10-year validity.

Since there are a limited amount of visas available annually, the government has to keep track of which visas are charged to which category which is why your card says “charged to spouse”. However, since you have a 10 year non-conditional card, you should be able to get divorced without it affecting your status.

The list of eligible countries for a DV-1 and DV-2 visas could change each year. But within a particular region, no single country would generally be allowed to receive more than 7% of the available visas that same year. Also, usually, no visas would be given to citizens of countries that have already sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S., within the past five years, in the categories of immediate relative, family and employment preference. This would mean that people born in "high-admission" countries are usually not considered eligible for the DV lottery.
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