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What is the diversity program and can I use it to get a visa?

Since it is a random drawing, whether you, residing in Kentucky, can secure a visa through this program will depend on more than just your diversity. The application process requires some planning and document gathering, as well as adhering to a deadline for the year in question.

However, here is some information that you may find useful.

50,000 visas available annually

About 50,000 visas issue each year through this Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the DV Program or the “lottery”. The Department of State is the entity that selects those for diversity visa.

The pool of applicants consists of individuals who hail from countries that have a relatively low number of citizens emigrating to the United States. As such, you first want to determine if you are from one of those countries the U.S. considers to be a low immigration country, to give you a better sense of whether you may be in the pool of possible candidates.

Check how many visas are available in a given month

Once you note that you are from an eligible country and you have your notice of selection, you will want to apply. Because your application for diversity visa cannot receive adjudication unless and until a visa is available for you, checking the numbers available is important. You can also check to see how many visas are available in any given month by going to the DOS’s Visa Bulletin and reviewing Section B.

If you are legally in U.S. and seek adjustment of status

If you are already in the U.S. with legal status, then the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services is the entity that will process your adjustment of status request based on the DV Program. There are remaining eligibility requirements, however. They include the following:

  • Prove you received selection notice for the program from the DOS
  • Prove you have an immigrant visa at the time of filing for a Green Card
  • Establish you are admissible to the U.S

Make sure that you prepare your Green Card application properly, with all of the necessary documentary evidence. You will also want to include a copy of your diversity program selection letter from the DOS as well as the receipt showing you paid your lottery processing fee.

Note also that the adjustment of status process under this program must complete by September 30 of the relevant year of that lottery and that the visa of that year cannot extend into the next year.

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