The lucky ones who see their data on the page already feel like citizens of America. However, the joy is a little premature. Every year, the United States government raffles off 55,000 immigrant visas, but notifies a larger number of applicants about winnings, due to the fact that not everyone reaches the finish line. Someone is cut off for an interview, someone is not accepted for health reasons, improperly prepared documents are also a path to failure. So the cherished barcode is only the first step to obtaining a residence permit in the United States, there are a number of other necessary conditions.
Green Card Lottery participants are not sent letters announcing their victory. The result must be found out on the official website. By registering your participation in the lottery, you received a number, and you must enter it on the site. Having found a barcode and your data on the page that opens, postpone the joy and be patient, it will be very useful to you in the coming year. That’s about as long as it takes to get ready. Now move on to the next steps.
1. Fill out the form
The Immigrant Visa Application Form (DS-260) must be completed in English. It must indicate any changes in family composition or marital status that have occurred since registration in the lottery in order to avoid disqualification. Important! For each family member, a separately completed questionnaire is required! Optimization is not welcome here. A form filled out for the whole family will reduce your chances of success to zero.
After completing the DS-260 form, you will receive a confirmation page. Save it in your electronic documents. A printed version of the confirmation page will be required at the interview.
In response to the completed form, you usually receive an email confirming receipt of your visa application. About a week later, you will receive another email informing you that your applications are being processed. The text received may vary, you may be told that the questionnaires have not been received and are still pending, or about inaccuracies in the questionnaires that need to be corrected, or that the date of the interview will be announced soon.
2. Start collecting documents
The review process sometimes takes several months. This time can be devoted to the collection and translation into English of the documents you need, requiring a certified translation. You will need originals and translated copies of the following documents:
– birth certificates
– work books
– marriage/divorce certificates
– military ID for those liable for military service
– bank statements
– certificates from work confirming your position
– documents evaluating real estate
– certificates of absence or presence of a criminal record from each country of your residence. Applicants with a criminal record can get a green card if they provide a certificate of punishment already incurred.
3. Pass a medical examination
When the date of the interview is already known, proceed to the medical examination. It takes place in special certified centers. Each family member will need about $250 plus vaccination costs.
The list of diseases that restrict entry into the United States includes mental illness, an open form of tuberculosis, and a number of other diseases.
After passing the medical examination, you will be given an envelope, you cannot print it. This will be done by the consul during the interview.
4. The last stage – the interview
If someone else completed the DS-260 for you, you do not need to provide this information. Such applicants are immediately rejected.
Taking fingerprints, reviewing the results of the medical examination, checking the correctness of the necessary documents – all this takes place at the embassy. In addition, during a personal conversation, they try to understand how much you want to become an American citizen and whether your marriage is fictitious.
Upon successful completion of the interview, you will receive a sealed envelope for the customs officer at the airport and a visa valid for six months. During these six months, all family members or only the main applicant must enter the United States. Important! Without the main applicant, the family is not allowed to enter the country!