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Green Card Lottery: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Tomorrow, on October 2, the acceptance of applications for the Green Card 2021 lottery will be open. US Embassy in Ukraine gave answers to the most common questions regarding participation, drawing and obtaining a DV-visa.

Фото: Depositphotos

Do you need photos for all family members, or only for the person who is applying?

For the electronic registration form, it is necessary to provide recent personal photographs of the person who is applying, his husband / wife and all their children under the age of 21. Group and family photos are not accepted. Photos must be taken no later than six months before applying for participation in the green card lottery.

When are applications for participation in the lottery accepted?

Applications for participation in the drawing of the green card lottery are accepted annually, usually during October-November. The exact dates are determined and published on the program website in September. This year applications will be accepted from October 2 to September 5. During the registration period, applications for participation in the program are submitted by millions of people. A huge number of applications determines the enormous amount of work on the selection of applicants who have won and the processing of their documents. The opening of the registration period during October-November allows timely processing and notification of those who have passed the selection. This will also enable our embassies and consulates to prepare and process visa application forms. It is strongly recommended that you submit your applications as early as possible during registration. Increased demand at the end of the registration period can significantly slow down the system. No application can be accepted after the official registration deadline.

Can people in the US take part in the lottery?

Yes, the applicant can be both in the USA and in another country, and the application can be sent both from the USA and from any other country.

Is the number of applications of each applicant submitted for participation in the lottery limited during the annual registration period?

Yes, the law allows you to submit only one application per period. Applicants on behalf of whom there will be more than one application will be disqualified. The State Department will use advanced technical and other means to identify individuals who have submitted more than one application. Filing more than one application will be disqualified, and information about them will be constantly stored in the State Department. Individuals may apply annually during the established registration time.

On the subject: How long do I need to wait for the green card for family reunification: data for October

Can spouses apply separately from each other?

Yes, spouses can apply if they meet the requirements for potential immigrants. If one of them wins the lottery, the second receives the status of a close relative.

О which family members need to provide information in the registration form?

The application must provide information about the wife / husband and all children under 21 years unmarried. It is necessary to provide information about the wife / husband, even if you do not live with her / him. If you are divorced or live separately (there is a written agreement recognized by the court or a court decision), then you do not need to indicate the former spouse. You must indicate all your children up to 21 years who are not married at the time of filing an electronic application for participation in DV, both relatives and children of the spouse from the previous marriage and children adopted in the prescribed manner by the legislation of the country. This requirement does not apply only to children who are already US citizens or are eligible to reside in the United States. The list of children should include all children under the age of 21, even if they do not live with you and you do not intend to apply for a visa for them.

The fact that you noted your family members in the application does not mean that they will all have to go to the USA with you. They may stay at home. However, if during the visa application you add to the list of persons who are dependent on you, the names of those you did not mention in the application, your case will be canceled. (This provision applies only to those who were at the time of application, and does not apply to those who became them later). A wife / husband may submit a separate application, even if the spouse's application has been submitted about him / her, provided that both applications contain information about family members.

It is mandatory for the applicant to fill out his application with his own hand, and can not another person act on his behalf and on his behalf?

Applicants can fill out and send their applications on their own, however, others can do this for them. Regardless of whether the application was submitted directly by a person, or if he was assisted by a lawyer, friend, relative, etc., only one application should be received on behalf of each person. Responsibility for the accuracy of the information in the application lies only with the applicant. Everyone will have the opportunity to independently check the status of their application with Electronic Status Check Systemby clicking on the link Entry Status Check. It is extremely important to maintain a confirmation number, as the Electronic Status Verification System will be the only means of independent reporting of winnings, instructions on further actions and notification of an interview for an immigrant visa.

What are the requirements for the education and training of the applicant?

The law and regulations require that each applicant must have at least completed secondary education or its equivalent, and during the last five years at least two years of work in the profession. By “secondary education or its equivalent” is meant the successful completion of a twelve-year primary and secondary school course in the United States or the successful completion in another country of a primary and secondary education course comparable to high school in the United States. Only formal training courses meet these requirements; distance education or certificates of equivalence (such as GED) are not accepted. Documentary evidence of education or professional experience does not need to be attached to the registration application, but it will need to be provided to the consulate employee during an interview for a visa.

How will the winning entries be selected?

At the Kentucky Consular Center, everyone sent from each region will be assigned an individual number. After the end of the registration period, the computer will randomly select among the applications sent from different geographic regions. In each region, the first bid will randomly correspond to the first case, the second bid will correspond to the second case, and so on. All applications will have an equal chance of being selected within each region. Applicants will be able to independently check the status of their application using Electronic Status Check Systemby clicking on the link Entry Status Check. The Kentucky Consular Center continues to process cases until all individuals whose applications are successful receive a notification about the need to apply to the US consulates for visas, or until all who can do this contact the Service US immigration and citizenship in order to change their status.

On the subject: A few days before the DV-2021 green card lottery opens: what you need to know to increase your chances of winning

Attention: the message about the winnings is not sent by e-mail. Checking the status of the Application will be possible only with the help of the Electronic Status Check System starting from May 1. The Kentucky Consular Center will no longer mail instructions. Notification letters of winning electronic visa applications sent by mail or e-mail are not legitimate. Only after your application has become a winning one, you will receive a response confirmation of the winnings through the Electronic Status Check System, the process of processing the case will begin. The Kentucky Consular Center may email you details about your immigrant visa interview.

Can lottery participants change their status in the US Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS)?

Yes, provided that they are entitled to change their status according to other criteria provided for in Section 245 of the Immigration and Citizenship Act (INA). Applicants who are physically located in the United States may apply to the US Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) to change their status to permanent resident status. Applicants should keep in mind that the USCIS USA must have time to complete the consideration of their applications, including their close relatives living abroad, by the 30 of September of the particular year of the lottery, since this is the date on which the green card lottery expires. Visas after 30 September will not be issued under any circumstances.

Will a message be sent to applicants whose applications have not won the lottery?

All participants, including those who did not win, will be able to check the status of their applications using the electronic Status Check system and check whether their application won. Participants of the drawing must save their confirmation page from the moment of submission to the moment of obtaining a visa for (for applicants who were selected as winning). Information on the status of the DV application will be available from May 1 through June 30 on 2020.

How many applicants will be selected?

50 000 visas are allocated annually for drawing in the green card lottery, but the number of selected applications is greater. Since it is likely that not all of the first 50000 selected applicants will receive visas or apply for a visa, more than 50 000 applications will be selected at the Kentucky Consular Center. This also means that visas are not enough for all applicants whose applications will be selected immediately after the drawing. All selected applicants will be informed of their place in the list via electronic Status Check System (Entry Status Check).

Interviews with selected applicants begin in early October. 4-6 weeks before the scheduled interviews with consular staff, the Kentucky Consular Center through the Electronic Status Verification System informs applicants who have already provided the necessary information about a visa interview for an immigrant visa. Visas, if their number is sufficient, will be issued monthly to those applicants who will be ready to receive them during this month. As soon as 50000 visas are issued, the program will end. In principle, the number of visas can be exhausted even before 30 September.

Is there a minimum age for green card lottery participants?

The minimum age for applicants is not established, but the requirements for graduating from high school and vocational training at the time of application, presented to each main applicant, practically do not allow people up to 18 years to participate in the lottery.

Do I have to pay for participation in the green card lottery?

There is no need to pay for filing an application. Those applicants whose applications will be selected and whose cases will be considered will pay all necessary visa fees at the consular departments. Details of the amount of these fees will be contained in the instructions sent by the Kentucky Consular Center to all selected applicants.

On the subject: Which of the relatives can be transported to the US by a green card holder

Can people who have already applied for immigrant visas of other categories participate in the green card lottery?

Yes, these persons are allowed to participate in the green card lottery.

How long do selected applicants have the right to apply for visas allocated for the DV program?

Selected applicants in the DV lottery are entitled to apply for visas only during the financial year of the program, that is, from October 1 to September 30. Applicants must obtain a DV visa or change their status by the end of the fiscal year, that is, before 30 September. For those people who were selected but did not receive a visa, the right to a DV is not transferred to the next year. Similarly, a wife / husband and children who are granted close relatives status at the time of registration to participate in the DV draw can only get visas from October 1 to September 30. Applicants who apply for a DV program outside the United States, 4-6 weeks before the interview date, will receive a message from the Consular Center stating that information about an interview for an immigrant visa is already available.

What happens to the DV case in the event of the death of the winner of the rally?

In the event of the death of the winner of the draw, the case is automatically canceled. Wife / husband / children cannot apply for a DV visa on this application.

Is it possible to download and save an E-DV application form (electronic) in Microsoft Word (or in another suitable program) and then fill it out?

No, you cannot save the form in another program for filling out and submitting later. The electronic application form for participation is only a web form. This makes it more “universal” than forms for the Word editor. In addition, there is a requirement that the information must be filled in online.

If I don’t have a scanner, can I send PHOTOS to a relative in the USA so that he can scan them, save them to an online disk and send me a link to the disk by mail?

Yes, you can act in this way if the photo meets the requirements provided in the instructions and provide this photo in electronic form along with the application in electronic form. The applicant must have a scanned photo when submitting the electronic application form. A photograph cannot be sent separately from an electronic application. Only one application can be submitted per person or by one person. Several applications will result in disqualification of the application for that person that year. A complete application (photo and form) can be sent from the United States.

Is it possible to save the application form in such a way as to fill out a part, and then come back and fill in the rest?

No, this cannot be done. The electronic application form for participation in DV is designed in such a way that it can be completed and submitted immediately. But, given the fact that the form consists of two parts, and due to possible disruptions and delays, the system is designed in such a way that 1 hour is allowed between downloading the form and receiving the application for the DV website after submitting online. If at the end of the 60-minute period the application was not received electronically, the information that has been submitted so far is destroyed. This is done so that a completely filled out form is not perceived as a duplicate of the previous incomplete form.

For example, the applicant with his wife and child sends the completed first part then the second part, but faces the problem of sending the second part, because there was a problem with the photograph of the child. If the time during which the second part sent by the applicant and received by the site is filled out is longer than the allowed 60 minutes, then the applicant will be informed that he needs to submit the application again. The instruction manual for the program clearly and specifically explains what information must be collected to fill out the form. Thus, you need to fully prepare, make sure that you have all the necessary information before you start filling out the form online.

If the submitted digital image files do not meet the specifications, the procedure indicates that the system will not automatically accept the electronic registration form of the application and notify the applicant. Does this mean that you can submit a new application?

Yes, you can submit a new application. Due to the fact that the application was automatically rejected, it is not considered as submitted. It is not considered as the submitted electronic registration form of the application and confirmation of the received application is not sent. If there are problems with the sent digital photos, because they do not meet the requirements, it will not be automatically accepted.

On the subject: Rights and obligations of the green card holder

If the applicant can solve the problems and send the first and second parts within an hour, then there is no problem. Otherwise, you must start the feed process again. The applicant may try to submit the form as many times as he needs for the fully completed form to be received and confirmation sent. However, if you have received confirmation of the application, you do not need to re-submit it.

How can I verify that the received win message is real? How can I confirm that I really won / won the lottery?

Keep your confirmation page. It is extremely important to keep a confirmation number, because the Electronic Status Verification System will be the only means of informing you about the lottery winnings, instructions on how to proceed, and reporting an immigrant visa interview.

If the information from the confirmation page is lost, then it will be impossible to verify the status of the application yourself. Visa interview interview instructions will be available only to applicants whose applications will be randomly selected by computer. Applicants whose applications did not turn out to be successful will be able to verify this by entering a unique confirmation number in the Electronic Status Verification System, but no additional instructions will be provided to them. US embassies and consulates will not be able to provide a list of selected applicants.

Applicants whose applications turn out to be winning will be sent to the confirmation page, where they will receive additional instructions, including information on the costs of immigration. The instructions indicate that applicants pay the visa fee in person only at the US Embassy or Consulate on the day of the interview. The cashier of the Consular Section or consular officer will immediately issue the applicant a receipt for payment. Do not send money by mail, through Western Union or any other delivery service. Applicants who are physically located in the United States, and have begun the process of changing their status, will receive instructions on the list of US banks where they can pay the fee for processing immigration documents.

Applications for participation in the DV-lottery must be submitted electronically on the official government site of the lottery. KCC will not send out instructions by mail. KCC employees, consular officers, or the US Government will never send a message to the winners of the lottery by email and do not plan to do so in the future. The only e-mail to applicants from the CCC will be a message that the details of the interview for an immigrant visa are available at the link Checking the Status of the Application, after the applicants have sent all the necessary information.

The Visa Section of the US Department of State advises citizens that the suffix “.gov” is used for official government websites. Many other nongovernmental websites (for example, those ending in “.com”, “.org”, or “.net”) provide reliable and useful information on immigration and visa issues. However, regardless of the content of nongovernmental sites, the Department of State is not responsible for the information provided on them.

On the subject: US will not issue green cards to immigrants who benefit from social assistance

Some websites that impersonate official websites mislead users by sending them an e-mail and offering their services. In particular, they may demand money for services that are free on official sites. In addition, as an attempt to get money fraudulently, through such unofficial sites may require payment of services that you do not receive, including visa fees. If you send money using one of the above scam schemes, you will never be able to return it. You should also be careful not to send any personal information that can also be used for the purpose of electronic fraud.

If I successfully receive a visa through the DV program, will the US Government help me purchase airline tickets, help me find a rental residence and work, provide medical assistance or any subsidies until I get a full job?

No, applicants who are granted visas do not receive any assistance, such as funds for airline tickets, rental housing or subsidies. If you are selected to obtain a visa, before the visa is issued, you will need to provide evidence that you will not become a state dependent in the United States.

Read also on ForumDaily:

How long do I need to wait for the green card for family reunification: data for October

10 reasons for refusing a US visa: what to do next

How to apply for US citizenship and a green card online

How to change your status in the US on immigration

Other green card lottery green card lottery Immigration in the USA DV-2021
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