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Have You Ever Heard of the Diversity Lottery System?

Everyone is familiar with marriage-based, work, and education visas. But have you heard about the diversity lottery system? Since the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1990, this visa lottery has allowed random applicants from eligible countries to win a green card and become permanent U.S. residents.

How the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Works

Every year, the United States approves about 45,000 diversity visas for applicants who meet certain eligibility criteria. The diversity lottery system aims to increase diversity in the U.S. by granting more visa slots to countries where fewer immigrants originated in the past few years.

If you enter and win a diversity visa, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 may also gain permanent residency along with you.

Diversity visa entries must pass through the EDV (Electronic Diversity Visa) website during the open registration period.

Does Everyone Have an Equal Chance of Winning a Diversity Visa?

Typically, 13 to 20 million qualifying people apply for the 45,000 or so available visas through the diversity lottery system. While the selection of applicants is completely random, people from certain countries may have a better chance of winning a diversity visa.

For example, Morocco usually gets more available visa slots in the diversity lottery than other countries because few immigrants come from Morocco. That’s why Moroccan citizens applying for a U.S. visa through the diversity lottery may enjoy higher success rates.

How To Improve Your Odds of Success When Applying for a Diversity Immigrant Visa

If you and your spouse are eligible to apply for a diversity visa, you may enter the green card lottery separately and list each other as derivatives to improve your chances of success. Eligible adult children may also apply. While adult children who win the diversity lottery can’t bring parents along, after gaining U.S. citizenship, they could petition for residency for their parents as immediate relatives.

Keep in mind that even if you win the diversity visa lottery, USCIS may still deny your application if you fail to comply with other eligibility requirements or have a criminal background or history of unlawful presence in the U.S. Make sure you:

  • Include any required information about your family (e.g., list your spouse and all your children)
  • Show you have the necessary education or work experience (a high school diploma or two years of experience in a qualifying field)
  • Submit recent photographs that meet application requirements
  • Give evidence of financial security, like a job offer, proof of your assets, or an Affidavit of Support (Form I-134) from a family member

American Dream® Law Office: Legal Help for Building a New Life in the U.S.

Whether you apply for a visa through the diversity lottery system or use another visa channel, working with an experienced immigration lawyer will boost your chance of success and help you avoid frustrating delays or denials. Attorney Ahmad Yakzan and the American Dream® Law Office legal team have helped many prospective immigrants like you establish a future in the U.S.

Call (888) 991-3336 or schedule a strategy session through Calendly today and start pursuing your American dream.

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