Winning the DV lottery is just the first step in the process for a DV visa. It does not mean that you will be issued a visa. To be eligible you must demonstrate to the Consular Officer (CO) that you meet the requirements of the DV Rules.
The US Code of Federal Regulations provides that though COs are authorized to grant to a beneficiary the status accorded in an approved petition, the approval of a petition does not relieve the person of the burden of establishing to the satisfaction of the CO that he or she is eligible in all respects to receive a visa. This means that despite being selected for further processing, you still bear the burden to satisfy the CO that you meet the requirements for the visa.
Education Requirements and Evaluation
The DV lottery program requires that you have completed a high school education or its equivalent. You need not prove that you meet this requirement at the time of filing your entry. You must, however, meet this requirement by the end of the fiscal year in which you were selected and present evidence of completion to be found eligible for a visa. If you are unable to do so at the time of your interview, your visa will be refused.
The phrase “at least a high school education or its equivalent” is interpreted to apply only to formal courses of study. Equivalency certificates (such as the G.E.D.) are not acceptable. To qualify, you must have completed a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education in the United States or a comparable course of study in another country. Evidence might consist of a certificate of completion equivalent to a United States diploma, school transcripts, or other evidence issued by the person or organization responsible for maintaining such records, which specify the completed course of study.
In assessing whether you meet the education requirement, the CO is not required to administer an exam, either oral or written, to test your basic knowledge in order to determine whether you have the equivalent of a U.S. high school education. Again the CO may not refuse your DV application solely on the basis of his or her analysis of your basic knowledge. If the CO has any doubts about your claimed education level raised by your interview, this may lead him or her to investigate the authenticity of the educational credentials provided by you; however they cannot refuse you solely on the basis of his analysis of your basic knowledge.
Work Experience Requirements and Evaluation
If you do not meet the education requirement, you may present evidence that you meet the work experience requirement of two years of experience in an occupation which requires at least two years training or experience within the five-year period immediately prior to application. Whether the type of work you’ve been doing for two years qualifies will be determined based on a U.S. Department of Labor database at www.onecenter.org. If you are unable to meet this requirement at the time of the interview, your visa will be refused.
What if you fail to show that you qualify at the time of your interview?
For both the education and work experience qualification, you must show that you meet the requirement at the time of the interview. If you fail to do so, your visa will be refused. However, you are allowed to provide further evidence to disprove the basis of your refusal.
The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations provide that you may within one year of the refusal of an immigrant visa provide further evidence tending to overcome the ground of refusal. If you failed to prove that you possessed the required education or work qualification at the time of your interview, you may within one year from the time of your refusal file a request for reconsideration at the consulate with further evidence to prove your qualification. However, unlike other immigrant visa categories, this is subject to the fiscal year in which you were selected having not ended, and visas being still available for your region.
To be continued…
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 consultant and a practicing law attorney in Ghana. He advises on U.S., UK, and Schengen immigration law. He works part-time for Acheampong & Associates Ltd, an immigration law firm in Accra.
Source: Emmanuel Opoku Acheampong/[email protected]
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