Diversity Visa Lottery: Next Steps for Winners Inside the United States
Congratulations to all the winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery for 2024! If you’re one of the lucky individuals selected for further processing through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program and currently residing in the United States, this guide is designed just for you. Within this blog, we will delve into the complexities of the process and provide you with valuable insights.
First and foremost, Adjustment of Status is a vital step for those looking to transition from their current status to permanent residency, also known as a Green Card. To be eligible for Adjustment of Status, it is essential to maintain lawful status in the United States. If you are currently in the United States on a visitor status, ensure that you stay within the allowed duration of stay, as this could affect your eligibility. Once your priority date becomes current, you can apply for Adjustment of Status.
Let’s begin by clarifying the concept of a priority date. When you receive the notice of your Diversity Visa selection, you will find various numbers, including a case number that starts with 2024, followed by a region code (EU, AF, etc.), and a large number. This number represents your position in the queue for applying for Adjustment of Status in the United States. It does not indicate a specific date but signifies your place in line. To determine when you can apply based on these numbers, you can refer to the Visa Bulletin available on the State Department’s website. The Visa Bulletin specifies which numbers are eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status during particular months of the year.
The filing period for Adjustment of Status based on the 2024 Diversity Visa selection will begin on October 1st, 2023, and last until September 30th, 2024. It is crucial to submit your application well in advance to allow the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sufficient time to process your case. This includes reviewing forms, documents, scheduling interviews, and rendering decisions. Keep in mind that the USCIS is currently experiencing significant backlogs, and the processing time for many cases extends beyond one or two years.
However, the USCIS has formally announced that they consider Adjustment of Status cases as expedited cases. To benefit from this expedited processing, it is essential to inform the USCIS that your application pertains to a Diversity Visa Adjustment of Status case. Clearly mark the envelope and package with “Diversity Visa AOS” (Adjustment of Status case). While the USCIS will prioritize the processing, providing all the necessary documentation and completing the required forms is crucial. Without proper documentation and forms, the timely processing of your case may not be possible, even with expedited handling.
Before applying, there are several steps you must take. One such step is paying the Diversity Visa Adjustment of Status fee to the State Department, which involves completing a form and mailing the payment for each applicant. The State Department will send a receipt confirming the payment, which must be included in your Adjustment of Status package. Additionally, you will need to gather civil and biographical documents. Some of these documents may need to be more readily available or might require complex procedures to obtain, especially if they are from your home country. Therefore, planning ahead and addressing these document-related matters on time is advisable. While there are no guarantees, if you are already in the United States and applying for Adjustment of Status, your chances of success are higher if you carefully prepare and submit all required documentation accurately and timely.
To navigate this process smoothly, it is highly recommended to work with a professional immigration attorney who specializes in Diversity Visa Adjustment of Status cases. I.S. Law Firm has extensive experience handling such cases for over 16 years. Ismail Shahtakhtinski as a licensed immigration attorney and member of the Immigration Lawyers Association has helped countless individuals through the Diversity Visa Adjustment of Status process. If you wish to discuss the details of your case and seek assistance, you can schedule a consultation with the attorney by this link: Schedule a Consultation – I.S. Law Firm, PLLC. We will guide you through the entire process, providing support from beginning to end, including assistance with your interview.