16 Green Card Lottery Myths
There are many misconceptions about everything that concerns the Green Card Lottery, which opened the way to the United States for a huge number of people. Because of the misconception about the lottery, many lose the opportunity to win. We offer you a selection of facts that will help you make the right steps towards the realization of your own American dream.
1. The lottery is called "Green Card"
Do not be misled by various sites where you can allegedly apply for participation in the “Green Card” lottery, warns Voice of America... If you independently search the Internet for an opportunity to register, most likely, you will search for these words - green card. But this will not give the desired result. The fact is that the real name of the lottery is Diversity Visa Lottery (DV Lottery), which translates as the immigrant visa lottery, or diversification lottery. The only place on the Internet where you can submit a formal application is American government website.
2. The green card is played in the lottery
As a lottery winner, you become an applicant for a US diversification immigrant visa. If after completing the necessary steps (the most important thing is passing an interview at the consulate) you receive this visa, then only after arriving in the United States you will be issued a permanent resident certificate, which is popularly called a green card (literally - “green card”).
3. If you are a winner, you are guaranteed to get a visa in the USA
Before obtaining a visa, it is necessary to collect and execute a number of documents, as well as to have an interview with the American consul. If it turns out that the registration rules were violated, the application may be disqualified. In addition, unsatisfactory moments arising during the interview may interfere with obtaining a visa.
In addition, 50 thousands of visas per year are allocated to the visa program for immigrants, and the number of selected applications is always more. It is assumed that not all of the first 50 thousands of selected applicants will receive visas (or even apply for them), so the winners are chosen “with a reserve” in order to issue all the visas allocated for the program. At the same time, this means that there will not be enough visas for all applicants whose applications will be selected immediately after the draw.
4. You can send an application for participation by mail
Applications are accepted exclusively through government site by filling out an online application form.
5. You can register at any time.
The electronic registration system is open to users for a strictly defined period - from early October to early November (this year, applications opened on October 7 at 12:00 am ET and will continue until 12:00 pm November 10, 2020).
6. You must pay for participation in the lottery
Participation is absolutely free. The costs will come later if you get a lucky ticket and decide to continue the process - apply for a visa. Then you will need to pay the consular fee and a number of other accompanying services.
7. Winners are selected according to certain criteria.
Winning entries are selected by computer at random according to the lottery principle. However, the visas themselves are distributed among the six geographic zones, and no country can claim more than 7% of the total annual number of visas for immigrants. In addition, there are certain requirements for those who wish to participate in the lottery: for example, the minimum level of education. If you do not meet the requirements, the application will be disqualified.
8. Anyone can apply to participate
The principal criterion for participating in the lottery is not place of residence or citizenship, but place of birth. Therefore, you need to check if your country of birth is allowed to participate in the lottery. If it turns out not, there are two other possibilities:
- indicate in the appropriate field the country of birth of your husband / wife, if they come from countries that are allowed to participate in the lottery (a prerequisite in case of winning is that you and your spouse must receive visas and leave for the United States at the same time);
- choose the country in which one of your parents was born, if none of your parents was born in the country that you were and did not live there permanently at the time of your birth.
9. People who are already in the US are not eligible to participate in the program
The applicant may be located in the United States or in any other country, and this will not prevent him from sending an application. Crucial will be the place of birth. Lottery participants who are already in the United States can, if they win, change their current status to permanent resident status in the US Immigration and Citizenship Service, if this does not contradict section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
10. You can submit only one application for participation, and all have equal chances.
This is not entirely true. Immigration law does allow only one application for each period. Applicants on behalf of whom more than one application is sent are disqualified. However, in some cases, a person gets a double or even triple chance of winning.
For example, if you are married, each spouse can apply separately (provided both meet the requirements for potential immigrants). In each of the applications, you provide the details of your partner, and if either of you wins, both will be eligible for a visa. A similar situation with children - they can (and should) be presented in the application of each parent.
An interesting situation with children who will soon be 21 year. If they have not yet entered into marriage, they can be served with both parents. If, in addition, they currently already meet the requirements of an education or training program, they can also submit individual applications. Thus, their chance of winning triples.
11. It is better to entrust the case filling the application "professionals"
Very often, turning to special agencies, firms or individual consultants on this issue, you harm yourself. Here are the main dangers that such a step brings:
- errors in the application, which will lead to disqualification;
- the possibility of using your data in subsequent years. If the agency decides to file an application on your behalf later, and you do not know about it, you risk being disqualified for filing more than one application. In addition, if the company does this without your knowledge, then its representatives will submit outdated information. If during the year you managed to get married, divorce or have a child, and these changes were not reflected in the questionnaire, then the chances of getting a visa are close to zero;
- After all, firms often keep a participant’s secret number confirmation after registration, without which you can’t find out about your victory or start the process of obtaining a visa. Thus, agencies achieve customer dependency on their services and force them to play by their own rules (demanding a financial reward that was not previously discussed).
The US State Department calls on all participants not to allow anyone to interfere in the diversification visa lottery process.
12. You can not specify in the application of the spouse / spouse with whom you are going to part, or children who do not intend to emigrate with you to the USA
You must provide spouse details if you are officially married at the time you fill out the application. If you do not live under the same roof, this must be officially confirmed by the court. You must include in your application all of your unmarried children under the age of 21, both relatives and adopted children, regardless of whether they live with you. For violation of these points you face disqualification.
The fact that you listed family members in your application does not mean that they all will have to go to the US with you. However, if you enter the list of persons in your dependency, the names of those not mentioned in the application, your case will be canceled during the interview. In this case, you and your family members indicated in the application will not be issued a visa.
13. If you have already applied for a different category of US immigration visas, then you are not eligible to participate in the lottery
No, you still have the right to register.
14. Winners are chosen only once a year.
Sometimes the US Embassy holds an extra draw.
15. Winning report comes by mail or email.
Both about your victory and about the fact that this time you did not win, it will be possible to find out only one way - on the same government site, if you go there at the appropriate time (usually from May 1, six months after registration) and enter your personal data (name, surname, year of birth and confirmation number received when applying in the fall). The State Department will not tell you personally about the results of the lottery - you will have to find out on your own.
Maintaining the confirmation number is critical, as the electronic status check system will not only be the only means of informing you about winning the lottery, but also the only source of instructions regarding further actions and messages about an interview for an immigration visa.
16. If a person wins the lottery, he is provided with housing and employment in the US
No, you will not receive any material or service assistance. On the contrary, if you have been chosen the winner of the lottery, then before you receive a visa, you will have to provide proof that you will not become a state dependent in the United States.
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