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Being selected in Diversity Visa Lottery (DV Lottery) is random. DV Lottery, also known as Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, makes 50,000 diversity visas available annually to people who wish to immigrate to the United States. For more information on DV Lottery, please see our related article, “Diversity Visa Lottery.”
This article will help answering some of the basic questions you may have if you would like to know what to expect during your DV Lottery interview. However, we encourage you to talk to an experienced lawyer about your specific case in order to avoid any potential problems and complications.
If you are selected for the DV Lottery, and you submit the required online visa application, you will be notified of your scheduled interview by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will be applying and be interviewed. After you have been notified of your scheduled interview, there are six important steps that you will need to take in advance of the interview date. To follow the six steps, please see our related article, “How to Prepare for Diversity Visa Interview?”
Prior to your interview, you must follow the U.S. Embassy or Consulate interview preparation instructions. On the scheduled date and time of your interview appointment, you must go to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
A consular officer will interview you (and your accompanying family members) and determine whether or not you can receive an immigrant visa. As part of the interview process, ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken.
1) Who Must Attend the Interview?
You, your spouse, and any qualifying unmarried children immigrating with you must participate in the interview.
If your spouse and/or qualified unmarried children will immigrate at a later date and travel separately from you, they are not required to participate in your interview. They will be scheduled for a separate interview appointment. If needed, you should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate directly to arrange separate interviews.
2) What Do You Need to Bring to the Interview?
You must bring the following items to your DV interview:
- Appointment Letter: Your appointment from the Entrant Status Check on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website.
- DS-260 Confirmation Page: You can print this from the Consular Electronic Application Center any time after you complete your DS-260 application.
- Passport: You and each member applying for a visa must have unexpired passports valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the United States.
- Photographs: You and each family member applying for a visa must have two identical passport-style color photographs. Your photos must meet the standards explained in the Photograph Requirements, available at http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/general/photos.html.
- Medical Exam Results: If the panel physician gave you and each family member applying for a visa sealed envelopes containing medical examination results, please bring those “unopened” envelopes. Some physicians send the medical examination results directly to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Original and Supporting Documents: You and each family member applying for a visa are required to bring original documents or certified copies, and one photocopy of each document (with the exception of your passport and photographs).
- English Translations: If documents require English translation, you must obtain certified translations and present them on the day of your interview.
- Visa Fees: If you did not pay your visa fees prior to your interview, you will need to pay them before speaking with a consular officer.
It is important to note that you should not make permanent financial commitments, such as selling your house, car or property, resigning from your job, or making non-refundable flight or other travel arrangements until you have received your immigrant visa.
3) What If I Need to Reschedule My DV Interview?
If you cannot appear at your scheduled interview, you must contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible.
Under U.S. law, all diversity visas for a fiscal year must be issued prior to September 30 (the end of the fiscal year). Available visas for some countries and regions may be used up prior to that date. So, if you delay your appointment, you may lose your opportunity to immigrate on the basis of your DV application.
4) Can My Spouse and/or Children Follow Me to the United States After I Immigrate?
Your spouse and/or children can follow you to the United States after you immigrate, but remember that all diversity visas for a fiscal year must be issued by September 30. Available visas for some countries and regions may be used up prior to that date.
If your spouse and children delay obtaining their visas, they may lose their opportunity to immigrate on the basis of their DV applications. If this happens, you will need to file a petition to bring your family to the United States at a later date.
If you do not obtain diversity visas prior to September 30, your spouse and/or children may have to wait several years to join you.
5) Can My Spouse or Children Receive Diversity Visas, Even If They Were Not on My Original Entry?
If you were married, or your child was born or adopted after you submitted your entry to the DV program, you can add them to your case and they may be eligible to receive diversity visas.
If you were married or had children prior to entering the DV program, and you failed to include your family members on your original entry, you case will be disqualified. You and your family members will not receive visas. Your fees will not be refunded.
6) What If My Child Will Turn 21 Years Old Soon?
Generally, your children must be unmarried and under age 21 to qualify as derivative applicants. Also, they generally must use their visas to enter the United States while still under age 21.
If you have a child who will be turning 21 soon, you should immediately contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your interview is scheduled. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will determine whether an earlier appointment is needed.
If your child no longer qualifies to immigrate with you based on age, then a separate petition must be filed for the child after you immigrate. It is important to note that there may be a significant delay before your child becomes qualified for a visa.
Preparing for the interview is a thorough process. For that reason, it is recommended that you talk to an experienced lawyer about your specific case in order to avoid any potential problems and complications, including avoiding any delays or denials of your visa applications.
Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm have helped many people from different countries immigrate to the United States. To explore your immigration options, please contact us at +1-703-527-1779 or via e-mail: [email protected].