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I Was Selected in the Diversity Visa Lottery: What are the Next Steps?

A woman celebrating being selected for the DV Lottery

The Department of State recently informed applicants whose diversity visa applications were selected in the diversity visa lottery for FY2023. If you received a notification that your entry was selected in the lottery, you may be wondering what the next steps are and what you need to do to get the green card.

The important thing to realize here is that just because you were selected in the lottery does not mean that you will automatically get a green card. You will need to complete several steps, submit documents, attend an interview (if applying at a Consulate), and a decision on your application will need to be made by the end of August 2023.

Do you meet the necessary requirements?

A DV applicant will have to show that he/she has at least a high school education or two years of qualifying work experience. Please note that this criterion only applies to the DV selectee (the main applicant) – your spouse and/or children do not have to meet this requirement.

Prepare and submit the DS-260 form

The first thing in the DV application process is to submit a DS-260 form. This form needs to be submitted for you and any dependents who are applying with you. You will need to input information such as your employment, address history, or family information in the form. The DS-260 form needs to be submitted both if you are applying for the green card at a Consulate or if you are Adjusting your status in the U.S. You will need to keep a copy of the DS-260 confirmation pages for your records.

Decide if you want to apply for a Green Card at a Consulate or if you want to Adjust Status in the U.S.

If you are living outside the U.S., then you will be only able to apply for the green card at a Consulate. However, if you are living in the U.S. and you are currently on a valid non-immigrant visa status (e.g. H-1B, O, E-2, etc)., you may be able to adjust your status in the U.S.  The benefit of adjusting your status is that you can stay in the U.S. during the whole procedure and there are mechanisms how you can expedite your case if you are filing a DV Adjustment of Status petition.

Please see our blog post that discusses whether you should do Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status here.

Submit the supporting documentation to KCC

If you will be applying for a green card at a Consulate, you will need to submit certain documents such as a copy of your birth certificate, prison, police, military records (if applicable), copy of your passport, or marriage and birth certificates (if applicable) among other documents. If you will be adjusting your status in the U.S., you will be submitting these documents to USCIS.

Pay the Diversity Visa Fee

You will need to pay a diversity visa fee –  $330. This fee needs to be paid for you and your spouse and/or children if they are applying with you. This fee needs to be paid both when you are applying at a Consulate or when you are filing for an Adjustment of Status.

When will my interview be scheduled? When can I file the AOS?

If applying at a Consulate, the Consulate will schedule your interview once your visa number is current. If you are applying with USCIS, you may only file the Adjustment of Status petition once your visa number is current in the visa bulletin.

All diversity visa petitions must be adjudicated by the end of August of 2023. This means that if you have a higher visa number, you may be only able to file later in the fiscal year. There are mechanisms how to get the case expedited, but neither the Consulates nor USCIS can guarantee your case will be adjudicated in time. Due to the fact that all DV cases must be adjudicated within a year, we recommend hiring an experienced immigration attorney who will assist you with the DV petition.

Please see some Common Questions and Answers about the Diversity Visa lottery here.

You can read our blog post that analyzes Consular Processing versus an Adjustment of Status here

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