us-state-departmentNOTICE: The information contained on this page site is intended to educate the general public and is not intended to provide legal advice. To ensure proper handling of your individual situation, please call +1-703-527-1779.

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 or what happens after your DV 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?

At the end of your Diversity Visa (DV) interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the consular office will inform you whether your visa application is approved or denied. The consulate may also ask you to provide additional information.

If your visa is approved, you will be informed how and when your passport and visa will be returned to you.

If your visa is denied, you will be informed why you are not eligible to receive a visa.

If the consulate asks you to provide additional documents, you will need to make sure to deliver the required documents to the consulate as soon as possible. Keep in mind that all visas for a fiscal year must be issued before September 30 of that fiscal year.

1) What If My Diversity Visa is Approved?

When your Diversity Visa (DV) is approved, you will be informed how and when your passport and visa will be returned to you.

a) What Should I Do When I Receive My Diversity Visa? 

When you receive your visa, you must follow the six instructions listed below:

  • Passport with Visa: Your diversity visa will be placed on a page in your passport. You must review the printed information right away to make sure there are no errors. If there are any spelling errors, you must contact the embassy or consulate promptly.
  • Sealed Immigrant Packet: You will also receive a sealed (closed) packet containing documents that you must present to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a port-of-entry (often an airport) upon your arrival in the United States. It is important to remember that you must not open the sealed packet.
  • When You Should Travel: You must arrive and apply for admission in the United States no later than the visa expiration date printed on your visa. It is important to note that a diversity visa is usually valid for up to six months from the date of issuance unless your medical examination expires sooner, which may make your visa valid for less than six months.
  • USCIS Immigrant Fee: You must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after you receive your immigrant visa. It is important to note that USCIS will not issue a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551 or Green Card) until you have paid the fee.
  • Vaccination Records: Your children are required to have certain vaccinations before they can enroll in school in the United States. Therefore, it is recommended that your child have complete vaccination records before immigrating. For more information about Vaccination Requirements, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/laws/state-reqs.html.
  • X-rays: You must hand-carry your X-rays with you. It is important to remember that you do not pack them in your luggage.

b) What Should I Do When I Enter the United States with My Diversity Visa? 

With your diversity visa (before it expires), and your sealed packet, you will travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (often an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. You, as the primary (or principal) applicant, must enter before or at the same time as your family members with visas.

It is important to remember that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to grant or deny your admission.

If you are admitted, you will enter as a Lawful Permanent Resident, also called a green card holder, and you will be permitted to work and live permanently in the United States. As a Lawful Permanent Resident, you will learn that there are benefits available to you and your family. For example, you will be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number. For more information, please visit the Social Security Administration website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnvisa/Handout_11_1.html.

2) What If My Diversity Visa is Denied?

If your diversity visa is denied, you will be informed why you are not eligible to receive a visa.

You may want to know the reasons of your visa denial.

In some situations, the consular officer does not have sufficient information needed to process your application to conclusion, or you may be missing some supporting documentation. The consular officer will inform you if information or documents are missing and how to provide it.

It is important to note that some visa applications are denied because they require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after your interview by a consular office. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview, but timing can vary based on individual circumstances of each case.

It is important to remember that not everyone who applies for a diversity visa is eligible for a visa to come to the United States. Under U.S. law, many factors could make you ineligible to receive a visa. In some instances, the law might allow you to apply for a waiver for the ineligibility. If you are able to apply for such a waiver, the consular officer will advise you on the steps to take. It is also recommended that you consult with an experienced U.S. immigration attorney well in advance of your interview to assess any potential issues in your case.

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].