Kurczaba & Associates, Immigration Attorneys, Chicago Immigration Law | DV Lottery
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DV Lottery

For the coming visa year, Poles qualify for the US Government's Diversity Visa Lottery Program.  Under the Diversity Visa Lottery Law, the US State Department establishes a lottery based program in which it will randomly select applicants for 50,000 immigrant visas to citizens from countries from which there is less immigration.   

WHO SHOULD FILE  

PERSONS LIVING ABROAD who meet the program requirements should file a DV Visa Application if they want to immigrate to the USA. This includes persons who are sponsored for permanent residency through an employer (labor certification) or family member and are waiting for processing of their applications. If they are selected, they will be able to immigrate to the US during the specified period.  There are no other sponsorship requirements. 

However, there are many complicated requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for a DV Visa.   

 ERSONS IN THE US WITH A VALID VISA (F-1 Student, H-1B/H-2 Workers, R-1 Religious Workers) should also file for the DV Visa Program if they meet the program requirements and want to stay permanently in the USA.   In these circumstances, once selected, a person legally in the US would file an application for adjustment of status with the US Citizenship & Immigration Service.  

Once an application is granted, the applicant and their eligible family members would receive permanent residence.  As with all applicants for adjustment of status, generally it is suggested that they keep to the terms of their original visas (remaining in school for F-1 students, continuing to work for H-1/H-2 workers) until they receive their permanent residency/ adjustment of status is granted.  

Applicants must ensure that US Citizenship & Immigration Services can complete action on their cases, including processing of any overseas derivative family members, BEFORE September 30 of the following year, since on that date your eligibility for the DV program expires. 

PERSONS ILLEGALLY IN THE USA should also generally file an application under the DV Program.  Applicants illegally in the USA would only receive their permanent residency IF the immigration laws change or if they are eligible for a Provisional Waiver under President Obama's Executive Action on Immigration.  

If one doesn't apply, they will never have this chance.  Given that there is no cost in filing an application, and a person otherwise illegally in the US may be selected in the DV Lottery, they should at least enter and see how the Immigration Laws develop in the future.   The only persons who should not file a DV application are those who have been ordered deported from the United States.   

EVEN IF YOU ARE ALREADY SPONSORED FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY through another application, by an employer or family member, you can apply for the DV Visa.   If chosen, you may decide by which application you would like to obtain permanent residency faster.    

REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY  
To enter the DV program, you must:
Be a native of one of the eligible listed countries (including Poland).  In most cases, this means the country in which you were born. 
Meet either the education or work experience requirement You must have either a high school education or equivalent.  Two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation (determined by the US Department of Labor) requiring at least two years of training or experience.   

SELECTION OF WINNERS  
A computer will randomly select  winners individuals from among qualified entries.  You must check yourself whether you have been selected for the Diversity Visa Lottery by entering your confirmation number on the State Department Website after May 1.    If you do not have your confirmation number, you cannot check the status of your application. Those selected will NOT be notified by US mail or e-mail. 

A selected applicant will be able to apply for their immigrant visas between October 1, and September 30 of the next year.

In order to be receive permanent residency, the application must be fully approved by September 30 or by the next fiscal year. Under no circumstances can DVs be issued or adjustments approved after this date, nor can family members obtain DVs to follow-to-join the principal applicant after this date.  Family members must also immigrate by that date. 

Each year, millions of people apply for the program during the registration period. Persons should definitely apply as early as possible to ensure that the system is available for them.  

CONCLUSION

Although there are many requirements in the DV Program, Poles inclusion in the program will give many persons a chance to Immigrate to the USA or speed up the time that they were waiting to be able to obtain their permanent residency.  Please be sure to consult as to all of the program requirements before making any decisions based on the DV Program.

We are here to serve you and answer any questions that you may have.  Please feel free to contact our office at (773) 774-0000 for more information.