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GREEN CARD THROUGH DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM (VISA LOTTERY)

If you are citizen of countries with low rates of immigration to the United States (less than 50,000 annually for the past five years), otherwise known as participating countries, you may be eligible to participate in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the Visa Lottery. There are 50,000 available visas each year to eligible participants of the Visa Lottery. The selection of the lottery winners is done randomly by the United States Department of State.

The term “50,000 immigrants” includes only immigrants that came to the United States via family based immigration categories visas and employment based immigration categories (EB 1 through EB 5). It does not include other immigration categories such as asylum, refuge, or previous winners of the Visa Lottery program. Therefore, although some countries, such as Russia, Cuba, Ukraine, etc. have sent more than 50,000 immigrants in the previous five years, citizens of those countries are eligible for the Visa Lottery Program.

Citizens of the following countries are NOT eligible for the Visa Lottery program:

  • Bangladesh;
  • Brazil;
  • Canada;
  • China (mainland born. Individuals born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, or Taiwan are eligible to participate the Visa Lottery program);
  • Colombia;
  • Dominican Republic;
  • Ecuador;
  • El Salvador;
  • Guatemala;
  • Haiti;
  • India;
  • Jamaica;
  • Mexico; Pakistan;
  • Peru;
  • Philippines;
  • South Korea;
  • United Kingdom and its territories (individuals from Northern Ireland are eligible to participate in the Visa Lottery program);

The winners of the Visa Lottery may apply for their Green Card through the consular process if they reside outside of the United States, or directly through the USCIS adjustment of status process if they reside inside the United States.

For availability of visas, please check the Department of State Visa Bulletin. Section B contains a chart of visa availability for the current month. It will also show you the cut-off date. Section C contains a chart that will show you the visa availability of next month.

Anyone with a rank number lower than the cut-off number shown in Section C is eligible to apply for adjustment of status as soon as the Visa Bulletin is updated. Tracking the Visa Bulletin on a monthly basis is important because it will give you enough time to file your application should a visa become available to you.

Contact Kristy Qiu, Esq., a knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Immigration Attorney to discuss acquiring a Green Card Through Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (Visa Lottery).

 

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