Next Step After Winning the Green Card Lottery

Next Step After Winning the Green Card LotteryThe U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently released the results for the 2019 Green Card Lottery. Applicants can now check their results by visiting the website of the DOS. They will need to enter their full names and the confirmation numbers that they received when they registered for the lottery to get their results.

Consular Processing

Winners of the lottery program can now begin the immigrant visa application process. Those living outside the U.S. will need to file applications for immigrant visas at overseas U.S. Embassies or Consulates. Once their immigrant visa applications are approved, visa interviews will be scheduled. If their interviews go well and if they are eligible for legal permanent resident status in the U.S., immigrant visas will be issued to them. With these visas, they can travel to the U.S. as legal residents and get their Green Cards. This process is called consular processing.

Adjustment of Status

If the applicants who have won the lottery are in the U.S. on valid nonimmigrant status, the USCIS requires them to apply for adjustment of status and get their Green Cards. People who go through this process usually don’t need to return to their home countries to get immigrant visas. They can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and remain in the U.S. while their applications to adjust status are pending. If their applications are approved, they will be scheduled an interview with the USCIS. If they are found to be eligible for legal status in America, Green Cards will be issued to them. However, this applies only to the winners of the lottery program who are in the U.S. on valid nonimmigrant status and not to those who have overstayed their visas or who are undocumented.

Winners of the lottery are advised to file their applications for immigrant visas as soon as possible. That is because, if immigrant visas are not issued to them before the end of the fiscal year for which they are selected, they will not be able to get their Green Cards. Their registration will become void if they do not get their visas before September 30, 2019, the end of fiscal year (FY) 2019.

Applicants must remember that only 55,000 Green Cards will be issued under this program and if the year’s allotment is used up before they are scheduled for interviews, they will not get their Green Cards. The U.S. government selects more winners as it assumes that some winners will not qualify for Green Cards and some may not apply for visas. In case all the winners apply for visas and if all are eligible to file their applications for immigrant visas, immigrant visas will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Thousands of foreigners who aim at immigrating to the U.S. participate in this lottery program every year. However, not all the applicants are lucky enough to win the lottery and not all the winners qualify for Green Cards in the U.S.

Those who wish to participate in the Green Card Lottery this year may register for the 2020 Green Card Lottery. You can participate by registering directly with the DOS when the lottery is open, or at any time using a third party registration service and registering on their site and having them submit your application for you.


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