Registration for the Green Card Lottery is only the first step in the process to become a Permanent Resident through the very popular Diversity Visa program.
The next step, and arguably the most important, is the actual visa application.
Really, the only thing that the registration period does is give a foreign national the permission to apply for an immigration visa to the United States.
The visa application is much more complicated than registration and much more detail oriented.
The Visa Application
Winners of the Green Card Lottery are notified in May of the year following their registration in the program when they log on to the State Department’s status check system.
If they have won they can then begin the process of applying for an immigration visa.
This application will ask many of the same questions that the registration application asked, but it will also request extensive documentation that backs up the claims made on the form.
For example: national identification will be required to show that the immigrant is who they say they are. Also, educational credentials will need to be included.
The specifics of applying for the visa itself will be included in a visa package that will be sent to winners of the Green Card Lottery.
There are two different pathways by which a person may apply for immigration into the United States: either already inside of the U.S. or from a foreign country.
Immigrants can expect similar interviews independent of what pathway they take. Immigration officers will still need to see an immigrant’s application forms, supporting documentation and take their fingerprints for the Immigration database.
Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of Status is the process of becoming a permanent resident while in the U.S. temporarily.
This is only available within the United States and does require a temporary visa. Immigrants who apply for adjustment of status without a valid visa will be denied an immigration visa.
Consular processing is the pathway that most Green Card Lottery winners use because most registrants are not in the U.S.
Applicants for immigration visas outside of the United States will interact with immigration officers at the U.S. consulate nearest them.
This consulate will also be the location of their interview if their application is accepted.