Diversity Visa Lottery: Next Steps for Winners Outside the United States
The Diversity Visa (Green Card lottery) results have been released, and we are thrilled to see many winners among our clients. If you are one of the winners, congratulations on this achievement. If not, keep hope and consider applying again for the following year’s lottery, as the Diversity Visa Lottery presents an excellent opportunity to secure a Green Card.
After winning the Diversity Visa lottery, the next question is what steps to take and what documents to prepare. The first task is to review the selection notice and find your assigned number, which usually ranges between 1 and 55,000 or close to 100,000. This number indicates the approximate timeframe for your interview. However, in this blog, we will specifically address the steps for winners currently residing outside the United States and having been selected for the Diversity Visa Lottery 2024.
The designation DV2024 refers to the application and interview process occurring in the fiscal year of 2024, which starts in October, according to the U.S. Federal Government calendar. Interviews and application reviews for this year’s winners will commence on October 1st, 2023. To determine your interview timeline, visit the State Department website and refer to the Visa Bulletin. Scroll through the bulletin to locate the Diversity Visa priority numbers. If your number is higher than the number posted, you should proceed with the application process; however, you will likely be called for an interview later.
The next step for the Green Card winner through the Diversity Visa lottery is to file the DS-260 Online Immigrant Visa Application submitted to the Department of State. However, filing the DS-260 does not guarantee immediate issuance of the immigrant visa, but it ensures you can apply. The State Department will most likely schedule an interview for you. In the past two to three years, the State Department has faced challenges scheduling interviews for Diversity Visa winners due to backlogs and deprioritization after the pandemic. However, this year, they have successfully conducted interviews and granted immigrant visas. We hope such issues will not arise in the future, particularly now that the pandemic is officially over.
Remember to file the DS-260 for yourself and include all immediate family members, such as children under 21 years old and your spouse. Ensure you have included their information in the original electronic application filed for the Diversity Visa lottery. By including your family members, they will be able to file the DS-260 and receive their immigrant visas and permanent residency alongside you.
A crucial aspect to consider is the gathering of civil documents. The National Visa Center (NVC), specifically the Kentucky Counselor Center, which operates under the State Department, will email you requesting the necessary documents to schedule your interview. These documents will be forwarded to the U.S. Consulate, where your interview will take place. The civil documents include your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and, if applicable, your spouse’s death certificate for being a widow. Additionally, you will need your children’s birth certificates and a police clearance certificate.
To obtain specific details about the required documents for your country, visit the official “Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country” page on the State Department’s website. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to obtain a police clearance certificate from countries where you have resided for more than six months after turning 16. This certificate verifies that you do not have any criminal records. Obtaining these documents can be time-consuming, and it is advisable to start the process early. Some individuals may face challenges in obtaining birth certificates, especially in countries where they are not readily available. In such cases, alternative documents can be considered.
It is crucial to be aware of the deadline for issuing visas to Diversity Visa winners, which is September 30th of the following year, in this case, 2024. If your selected number is high, your interview will likely be scheduled closer to the deadline. On the other hand, if you have a lower number, such as below 10,000 or 20,000, your interview may be scheduled earlier based on the previous year’s data. Therefore, reviewing the last year’s Visa Bulletin is beneficial to estimate when your interview may take place.
To ensure a smooth and successful process, planning ahead is essential. Consider working with a professional and licensed immigration attorney or law firm in the United States. They can guide you through the process, help you avoid mistakes, and stay updated on changes in U.S. immigration laws. It is extremely important to note that working with unlicensed individuals or organizations abroad can have fateful consequences for your case. However, they can offer assistance, not bear the risks, and have no official authorization or responsibility.
With a long-standing history of successfully handling thousands of immigration cases, our esteemed I.S. Law Firm takes pride in our exceptional track record. Led by our founder, Ismail Shahtakhtinski, an experienced and licensed immigration attorney and a distinguished member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, we possess over 16 years of expertise in immigration law. To schedule a consultation with the attorney, we invite you to visit the following link: Schedule a Consultation – I.S. Law Firm, PLLC.
Once again, congratulations on your selection for the Diversity Visa lottery! Ensure that you have all your documents in order and plan ahead to meet the deadline successfully. This opportunity can be life-changing, and we are here to assist you in achieving your goal of obtaining permanent residency in the United States based on your Diversity Visa selection.