How to Get a Green Card with the Diversity Visa

ByPhillip Kim

How to Get a Green Card with the Diversity Visa

Each year, the U.S. State Department makes 50,000 visas available to visa applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to foster diversity in the U.S. The Diversity Immigrant Visa recipients are chosen using a lottery system, which you can enter each year through the U.S. Department of State. If you receive a visa, you are also eligible to apply for a change of status to permanent resident with the USCIS. While the USCIS does not process applicants to the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, you must file the correct USCIS forms to get a green card.

To be eligible to be a Diversity Visa recipient, you must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. If you do not have a high school education, you should have at least 2 years of work experience in a field that requires at least 2 years of training. If you are eligible to apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, you can enter yourself in the lottery online during the allotted entry time. If the window for applying has closed, you must wait until the following year to apply for a DV visa.

Once you enter the Diversity Immigrant visa Program and your entrance has been confirmed, you should follow usual procedure for getting a visa. This will mean filing the necessary forms, paying correct filing fees, undergoing a medical examination and submitting the documents with the results, and undergoing an interview at the U.S. Consulate or USCIS office near you. You must also submit passport-style photographs of you, your spouse, and unmarried children 21 years old or younger.

If you have a DV visa, you can file for a change of status to permanent resident with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. As long as there are not holds on your eligibility to be a permanent resident and you are admissible to the U.S., you can file your change of status as normal with the USCIS. You will need to provide proof of your acceptance to the DV program when changing your status.

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