Steps After Winning Green Card Lottery

Winning the Green card lottery will not get you a green card. Instead, you get a chance to apply for the Green card. Please make sure you are eligible for the green card first and then apply; if you are not eligible do not apply for it.

After winning the lottery you will have to file the immigrant visa application. Your application will be approved only if you meet the requirements for a green card. So make sure that you meet the educational or work experience requirements so that your application does not get rejected. Also, if rejected, any fees you paid will not be refunded.

Many would think that they may get exception regarding their poor family status and so can apply for the visa but truly, only the eligible people can get the immigrant visa. Please do not continue with your application and waste your money.

After winning the green card lottery and finding that you are eligible for green card , you must see what application has to be submitted.


Green Card Lottery winning a dream


If you are legally in the U.S on a non-immigrant visa at the time of winning the lottery, then you can file an adjustment of status application. To adjust status under DV program you must establish that:

  • you have been selected for a diversity visa by DOS’s lottery.
  • an immigrant visa is available at the time of applying for Adjustment of Status and
  • you are admissible to the U.S

Visa Availability

The Visa Bulletin has information about visa availability. Section B of the bulletin will provide the cut-off numbers for the current month according to each geographic region. If your rank number is below the notified cut-off numbers for your region then you can apply for Adjustment of Status.

Section C of the Visa Bulletin will provide cut-off numbers for the next month in advance, so if your rank number is below that cut-off number you can apply for adjustment of Status. This gives an advantage to the USCIS to process your eligibility 6 or 7 weeks even before your visa number is allocated.

You must apply for Adjustment Of Status as soon as your rank number is below the cut-off number for a particular month; it may be the current month or the next month. Please do not make mistakes in the Adjustment Of Status (I-485) application. This will delay your application or even get rejected, which could end your dreams of becoming a permanent resident. So fill your Adjustment Of status form, and seek help from service providers if required so you don’t make any mistakes. Follow the instructions that the customer support provide you to file the I-485 properly. This above information is only for lottery winners residing in the U.S legally.


If you are not in the U.S at the time of winning the lottery then you must immediately apply for the immigrant visa using the online form DS-260. Here you need to enter your case number first and then fill up the details which are asked. If you, as the primary applicant, have included your family in the DV entry when applying for the lottery you must update their details too when applying the DS-260.

If your family circumstances have changed after applying for the lottery, such as “Got married” or “Got a child after applying,” the details of new family members must be added to your case.  (“Family members” refers to a spouse (husband/wife) and/or unmarried children who had not reached age 21 when you entered the lottery).

IMPORTANT: If you had family members (spouse and/or children) before applying for the lottery, but did not include them in the green card lottery application, then your case will be disqualified at the time of visa interview. Neither you nor any of your family members will receive visas.

After submitting the online form DS-260, print the confirmation page.Printing

Important: You must bring your confirmation page to the Visa interview so do not lose it.

The Kentucky Consular Centre (KCC) will review your application and let you know if there are any problems with the data that you have provided. If there are problems with data then KCC may request you to go back to CEAC to update the information on your DS-260.

Please note: KCC can only tell you if your form is complete or not. They cannot tell whether you or your family members are qualified for the diversity visa. Only the consular officer who interviews you can make that decision.


After submitting your online DS-260 you think that you would have time to relax but honestly, there’s more work to be done. You have to prepare your supporting documents that have to be submitted at the time of interview. It is best to be prepared before itself so that you don’t miss any important documents before attending the interview.

The primary applicant and family members who will accompany them to the United States will need to submit original documents or certified copies of the documents at the interview. You should bring photo copies of these documents and certified translated documents (if any).

The documents to be submitted should be in English. If not, it must be translated and submitted with the certified translated copy and the original document. The translated copy must include the statements that:

  1. the translation is accurate and
  2. the translator is competent to make the translation.

The documents to be brought to the interview are:

  1. Educational certificates which are equivalent to the higher secondary course in the U.S.
  2. Documents proving work experience.
  3. Birth certificate in long form of every individual on the application.  Short form birth certificates are not accepted.
  4. Court and prison records if convicted for some crime.
  5. Deportation document if you have been removed or deported from the U.S by the Government on it’s own expenses.
  6. Marriage certificate if married. Original certificate or a certified copy bearing a stamp or seal from the issuing authority.
  7. If married more than once, then provide documents supporting the termination of each marriage which includes final divorce decree, death certificate (if applicable) and annulment papers.
  8. Military records if you have served in the military for your country.
  9. Police certificate for those who are above 16 years old.
  10. If have an adopted child then certificates regarding that, such as adoption decree, etc.Documents

Please note that the Immigration office where your interview is to be conducted may request other documents or originals of documents other than what is listed above.


Meanwhile KCC would have reviewed your completed DS-260 and may send a mail to let you know that an interview has been scheduled at the U.S embassy or consulate denoted by you in the DS-260. The email would instruct you to login to the ENTRANT STATUS CHECK using confirmation number to check place, date, time of interview, etc. You must print the information and take it to the consulate when attending the interview. Make it a point to keep checking the status regularly.Checking internet

Things needed to be taken to the interview and things to be done before the interview

One must be prepared for the interview:

  • Schedule and complete a medical examination and take any vaccines, if needed, before interview (doctor fees may apply).
  • Bring photos which are identical and are in par with the standards that the government require. Check photo requirements here
  • Appointment information downloaded from E-DV website.
  • DS-260 confirmation page.
  • Passport for each family member which is valid for more than 6 months even after stepping into the U.S.
  • The applicant must pay 330 dollar before the interview. If family members are also there each must pay 330 dollars. It is non-refundable.Passport


At the end of the interview the consular officer will inform you whether your visa is approved or denied. If approved, further instructions will be given. If not approved, the reason for denial will be informed to you.

When the passport is given, your diversity visa will be on a page in your passport. You must check it and if any errors are found inform the consulate immediately.

You will get a sealed packet which contains documents. It must not be opened by you. It must be submitted to the U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when you go to the U.S., at the port of entry (mostly the airport where you enter the U.S.).

You must travel to the U.S. before your visa expires. Usually, it is valid for 6 months but sometimes, if your medical examination expires sooner than the validity of your visa then the validity will be less than 6 months.

You must pay an immigrant fee of 165 dollars to the government through their website or you can pay at the point of arrival after you get that sealed packet. If you pay online before going to U.S. then you will get your green card earlier. If you go to U.S. and pay, it may take some time to get the green card. The link provided here is the government site explaining about where to pay the immigrant fee (USCIS Electronic Immigration System). Do not pay somewhere to a scam or to someone who says that he/she is an immigration officer, etc.  If you don’t pay online then pay when you arrive at the U.S. at the port of entry to the U.S. Customs and Border protection.

When you enter the U.S., you and your family must go to the port of entry with the sealed packet and the CBP will review it. The CBP has the authority to grant or deny you permission into the U.S. After being granted entry into the  U.S.,  you and your family(if applicable) will be entering the U.S. as Green Card holders (permanent residents). You can apply for naturalization to become an American citizen after 5 years, if you meet some requirements.U.S. Citizenship




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