Do I need to apply for the Diversity Visa every year?
Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, and Washington D.C. In today's video we're going to talk about the Diversity Visa. So the Diversity Visa is a lottery system set up by Congress many years ago to allow people from underrepresented countries to come to the United States. So if you're from Mexico or India or China, you can't apply for the Diversity Visa, but if you are from less populated and popular countries, and which we have a lot of those people in the United States, then you can apply for the Diversity Visa.
The Diversity Visa application process works like this. You apply in October and you have about a month there where you can apply. You can apply online and it's the government's website. Don't go to a company that says they'll file for you. Make sure you go to a .gov website for that and make sure that you're not paying someone to do this for you. You can do it all yourself.
So you've made that application in October and then the people that get selected in the lottery find out in May. And then they begin processing the following fiscal year, which would be October 1st. When you get selected you're given a line number. Your line number might be one. Your line number might be 12,000, depending on your region. Then that number will become current at some point during the next fiscal year. And that is when you can apply for adjustment of status, if you are in the United States in legal status, or if you are overseas and you could do it through consular processing.
So the question then is, and it actually came up on our Immigration Answers Show, is do I need to apply for that every year or does one registration roll over into the next year? And the answer to that question is no, that you should apply every single year. They do not save your information. They did not throw you in next year's lottery. You need to apply every single year. Of course, if you're married and you and your spouse are both eligible, you should both apply because you can go with each other if they get selected, and you can bring your children as well.
So the Diversity Visa is a great way to get a Green Card, great way to get lawful permanent resident status in the United States, especially if you don't have other options, but it's not a cure-all for everyone and it doesn't last for more than one year. So make sure that if you're going to apply for the Green Card for the Diversity Visa and you want to do that, make sure you do it every year. Make sure you do it on time, so pay attention in the next few weeks, we'll be talking about the Diversity Visa more as we get closer to the October start date for the next application process.
If you have questions about the Diversity Visa or any questions about the immigration process in general, feel free to give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you liked this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Thanks a lot and have a great day.