Green Card Application Process

A Few Important Points to Remember

The Online Application Process

There is no charge to apply for the Diversity Visa program on the official website www.dvlottery.state.gov.

  • You have to log into the website above after the lottery officially opens and fill out an online application form by answering the given questions correctly.
  • The DV program requires you to provide digital photographs along with the application.

You will find the details of the photograph quality, composition & dimensions in this chapter.

Once you have successfully completed the online application process, you will receive a unique identification number from the U.S Department of State which will allow you track the status of your application. Make sure you keep that record as you will need it to find out if you won.

Using the Online Application

You need to be careful when you fill out the online application form.

  • You SHOULD NOT provide any false facts or statements during the application process as you may be disqualified even after selection if your details are incorrect.
  • The U.S. Department of State requires strict compliance with technical rules & regulations.
  • Your basic details such as name, place of birth should be spelled correctly.
  • The details of your spouse and children should be correct and you must not omit any piece of information. (Some applicants forget to mention names / middle names of their children or fail to submit valid photographs in the application form, which can result in disqualification).
  • On your online DV application form, you must mention your spouse and all unmarried children under 21 years of age even if they no longer live with you or will not be travelling with you to the United States. If your children are U.S. citizens or have legal permanent resident status then you don’t need to mention them.
  • You should only submit one entry per person.

If you make multiple entries on your own or someone else files an application for you, all of your entries will be disqualified. You cannot increase your chance of winning the lottery by applying a number of times. Instead, you and your spouse should each apply for the visa once and include the other as their lawful spouse, which would double your chances of winning the lottery, by essentially submitting two entries instead of one.

This option is legal and gives you an extra chance to make a successful entry. If your spouse is eligible separately and gets selected in the process, you too will automatically qualify.

  • Remember the U.S. State Department no longer informs or notifies applicants of their results by mail or email. You should keep a track of your applications through the “Entrant Status Check available at www.dvlottery.state.gov.
  • YOU SHOULD NOT SEND ANY FEE or PAYMENTS when filling in US Government online application form.

There are ongoing discussions about the US starting to charge processing fees from applicants in the future, but this has not started yet. Any fee or payment which is applicable needs to be made solely after your selection.

You will have to pay the fee usually on the day of your immigrant interview. You may decide to pay additional fees for the services of an immigration attorney or a green card review & submission agency, but those fees are for their professional services and not US government fees.

Getting Help with Your Online Application

There are a number of visa consultants and visa agencies offering legitimate services to help you with the process of filling in the form. You can contact these agents to help you complete your application and prepare your photographs and documents in line with the requirements of the U.S. Department of State.

Auto Pilot Program

Some agencies also have an “auto pilot” program in which the agency submits your application to the diversity visa lottery automatically every year until you are successful. If there are any changes to the lottery (as is often the case), they will get in touch with you and let you know what additional information you have to provide in order to submit a valid application in line with the updated requirements. Although these services are very beneficial and save you a lot of time, you need to be cautious of scammers and fake visa agencies.

BEWARE OF FRADULENT WEBSITES.

You may come across a number of websites (with domain names not ending in “.gov”) which claim they are government agencies and charge you fees for the application itself and not for their services. If the website claims to be authorized by the government, or a government agency you can know it is a scam and be careful. If the website clearly says it is NOT a government agency, then you are most likely dealing with a legitimate company.