Up to 55,000 foreign nationals and their families from around the world now have the chance to legally immigrate to the United States and achieve the American Dream with a green card in hand in 2021, thanks to the popular Diversity Visa program also known as green card lottery.
The winners are selected randomly from listed of qualified entries. There is a 55,000 visa slot available annually for immigrants from countries that have historically low rates of immigration to United States.
Note: 55,000 visa slot is only for principal applicant winners, family members are not counted in this visa limit. This is like SIV program limit.
Where to check winning results?
Participants in the DV-2021 lottery can go to the Entrant Status Check page on the internet to learn if their entry was selected, using the confirmation number issued to them when they completed their electronic entry last year during 2019 registration time.
The Entrant Status Check feature will be available on Department of State’s website until September 30, 2021 for DV-2021 applicants.
How to check if you won the green card visa lottery?
To check your winning status, following items are required:
- The confirmation number obtained during registration for the lottery.
- Your family or last name, spelled exactly like you wrote when you registered.
- Your birth year.
- The authentication security code as shown on website.
What happens next for lottery winners?
If you are selected as winner, then the website will redirect you a confirmation page that provides more information for next steps to take, including the visa fees.
It is very important to note that to qualify for Diversity Visa, you should be able to financially support yourself after arrival to United States and not likely to become a burden on US government to support you.
Diversity visa applicants are not eligible for refugee benefits, welfare, food stamps, rent or housing assistance, IOM flights or welcome money. The US government and refugee agencies “will not” help you.
After the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) processes your Form DS-260, you will be contacted to scan and upload your civil documents such as original tazkiras with translation (birth certificates), nikha khat with translation, electronic Afghan passports, etc.
After submitting DS-260 application, you will be scheduled for visa interview at the nearest US Embassy in your location.
The interview Process
Once your civil documents are processed, the visa lottery winners will receive visa interview appointment email notification from KCC.
What to bring for visa interview?
Bring following times to the interview:
- US Embassy interview appointment letter
- Form DS-260 confirmation page
- Afghan electronic passport (for everyone)
- 2 Passport sized color photos, 51 x 51 mm in size (for everyone)
- Medical Exam Results
- Original tazkiras with translation
- Original nikah khat (marriage certificate) with translation
- Visa fee of $330 for each person, including children.
Note: Medical exam process is different for the SIV program. For diversity visa, the medical exams are done before interview. For SIV program, medical exams are done after “administrative processing” is finished.
If you are SIV applicant, DO NOT do medical exam before embassy interview!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How much are the visa fees?
- Diversity Visa fees are $330 US dollars per person, including children.
- I have two wives or more. Is that a problem?
- Yes, it is a big problem. Under US laws, practicing polygamy (having multiple wives at same time) is strictly forbidden. Your case will be denied from being issued visa.
- I have a SIV case under process. What happens to it?
- You are legally allowed to have both Diversity visa and SIV case at the same time. However, please do note that the US embassy processing your case might ask you to decide which case you would like to keep continue processing.
- What about my children? Are there age or other limitations?
- Married children and children who are already aged 21 or older when you submit your entry are not eligible for the Diversity Visa program.
- However, the Child Status Protection Act protects children from “aging out” in certain circumstances. If you submit your DV entry before your unmarried child turns 21, and the child turns 21 before visa issuance, it is possible that he or she may be treated as though he or she were under 21 for visa processing purposes.
- Will IOM arrange our flights?
- No! Diversity Visa cases are not eligible for IOM flights. You will need to purchase your own flight tickets from your own money.
- Will refugee agencies or US government help us?
- No! Diversity Visa cases are not eligible and will not receive help from refugee agencies or US government.
- You will not get welcome money, no food stamps, no housing assistance or rent money, no welfare programs.
- Will US government or refugee agencies arrange housing for us?
- No. You will not get housing help or rent money. You will need find and arrange your own housing situation. You will need to pay for housing rent from your own money.
- I don’t speak English or I don’t have job skills. How will I afford living in United States?
- Since you don’t get any welfare or government assistance after arrival, you should consider whether immigrating to United States under Diversity visa is the right choice for you and your family.
- Also, the US government requires that you should be self-sufficient and able to financially support yourself in United States under the Diversity Visa program. If US government suspects you will likely become a public charge (government financial burden) and will require public assistance to live in United States, then you risk having your case denied on public charge grounds.
- I don’t know anyone in USA. Who will come to airport for us?
- Nobody will come to greet you or pick you up from airport, if you have not made arrangements. You will be alone and on your own.
- Can I sleep or stay in mosque for few nights until I can arrange to rent a place?
- No. Mosques (masjid) in United States do not work like in Afghanistan. Most mosques do not have place, permission or ability to support you spending the night in the mosque, even for one night.
- This situation actually happened to a diversity visa family in Virginia. Luckily, the Afghan community in Virginia came to their rescue and gave them place to stay.
- Can I stay in hotels for few nights while searching for place to rent?
- Depending on your financial ability, you might able to afford renting hotel room for few nights until you can find a permanent place to live. Cheapest hotels will cost you about $60 or more per night to stay.
- What is the biggest obstacle renting a place?
- Most places will require you to have good credit history and show financial income history or proof of employment. You will not have both of these when you arrive.
- To get around this requirement, you will be required to provide a co-signer that will sign your lease. Co-signer is a person that agrees to take financial responsibility to pay the rent if you fail to pay it.
- Co-signer can not be a newly arrived person. He or she must have established a good credit history and have proof of financial income.
Most important point:
Do not arrive to United States under the Diversity Visa program without making proper arrangements and financial preparations. No agency or government office will support you. You will be completely on your own. You will need to find and rent your own place. Pay for your expenses using your own money.
Do not expect or hope US government or refugee agencies to help you. You will be not eligible for help.
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