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US VISAS: Who can apply for a DV lottery?   
 
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08-Jun-2016  
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Introduction

You may file a DV lottery for consideration if you are a native of qualifying country. In addition, you must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or must have within five years of the date of application for a DV visa at least two years of work experience in an occupation, which requires at least two years of training or experience.

You need not show that you possess the requisite educational or work experience at the time of making the entry. Provided that you are a native of a qualifying country, you may file your entry for consideration. However, if you win the lottery, you must prove to the satisfaction of the consular officer at the time of your visa interview that you meet the educational or work experience requirement. Whether the type of work you have been doing for two years qualifies will be determined based on a U.S. Department of Labour database at www.onetcenter.org.

 Who can enter the lottery?

Almost every person from a qualifying country may file an entry for consideration. There is no minimum age requirement for entering the lottery. However, the requirement of a high school diploma or two years’ work experience usually keeps out persons under the age of 16.

 If you are a spouse, you may file your entry as the principal entrant and include details of your spouse and all your unmarried children under 21. It is only the lottery winner (not your spouse or children) who need to meet the educational or work requirement. However, to maximize your family’s chances of being selected, your spouse or child must file separate entries. If you are a child, it does not matter that you have been listed on your parents’ entry; you can file a separate entry nonetheless.

Can someone increase your chances of being selected?

There are reports of persons who claim that they can get special attention for your lottery registration if you pay them to handle it. There are also reports of persons who claim that your chances of being selected will be greater if your entry is filed on your behalf in the US by someone resident there. All such claims are false. There may be nothing wrong with paying an agent in helping you complete the registration according to instructions. However, that is the only help they can offer; but no more.

What are some of the key features of a DV lottery?

The DV lottery endears itself to millions across the globe because of some factors. First, the initial registration is free and requires no form of payment. Entering the lottery is fairly simple and doesn’t usually require another person’s help. You may however, need to pay someone for help with some of the technological parts of completing the application, which requires internet access and digital photos.

Second, the minimum entry requirements help people who may otherwise not qualify on other immigrant visa categories to obtain a U.S. Green Card. To generally qualify for a green card, you must have a qualifying US citizen or lawful permanent resident relative. For example, you may only be able to obtain a green card if you are the spouse or unmarried child under 21 of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. You may also qualify for a green card if you are a parent of a US citizen.

Other means of obtaining a green card is through the investor route or other employment. These requirements are not easy to meet and therefore shut out a lot of people. The DV lottery therefore serves as a route for persons who will otherwise not qualify under any of the other categories to settle permanently in the US without the need of a qualifying relative or employment.

Furthermore, if you win, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 has the opportunity to settle with you permanently in the U.S. if they were named in your entry. You may settle with all of your unmarried children under 21 (irrespective of their number) and whether they are your legally adopted children or stepchildren.

Disclaimer: This article only provides general information and guidance on U.S. immigration law. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. The writer will not accept any liability for any claims or inconvenience as a result of the use of this information. The writer is an immigration law advisor and a practicing law attorney in Ghana. He advises on U.S., UK, and Schengen immigration law. He works part-time as a consultant for Acheampong & Associates Ltd, an immigration law firm in Accra. 
 
 
Source: Emmanuel Opoku Acheampong/[email protected]
 
 

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