Adjustment of Status

Adjusting your status refers to the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States (i.e., getting a Green Card) without having to leave the U.S. We cover some general guidelines to determine if you are eligible to adjust your status based on the diversity visa lottery here.

I won the diversity lottery, can I adjust my status?

If you won the diversity lottery and are legally in the United States, you might be able to adjust your status to a green card without departing the United States. We cover some general guidelines to determine if you are eligible to adjust your status based on the diversity visa lottery here:

  1. Physical presence in the U.S. – To adjust your status, you must already be in the United States legally. If you are outside the U.S., you will need to go through consular processing in your home country.
  2. Legal entry – You must have entered the U.S. legally. This means you were inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States.
  3. Visa availability – Even if you win the DV Lottery, you can only initiate the process of adjusting your status when a visa becomes immediately accessible. For individuals selected in the Diversity Visa program, this implies that your case number must be up-to-date according to the Visa Bulletin issued by the Department of State. To find out about visa availability, refer to the most recent month’s DOS Visa Bulletin. Section B provides a chart displaying the current month’s availability of visas in the Diversity Immigrant category. The chart indicates when the Diversity Immigrant cut-off is satisfied. Once the cut-off is met, visas become accessible in that month for applicants who possess Diversity Immigrant lottery rank numbers lower than the specified cut-off numbers for their respective geographical regions. Section C presents a chart revealing the Diversity Immigrant category rank cut-offs for the subsequent month, serving as early notification of visa availability for Diversity Immigrants. When a monthly Visa Bulletin is published, individuals with rank numbers lower than the rank cut-off number shown in Section C are eligible to apply for adjustment of status. This allows lottery winners to file for adjustment of status up to six or seven weeks prior to the actual allocation of a visa number. This grants the USCIS additional time to assess your eligibility for adjustment of status before the fiscal year concludes. An adjustment application based on Diversity Immigrant status cannot be processed until a visa can be allocated, as indicated by the current Diversity Immigrant rank cut-offs for a specific month in the Visa Bulletin.
  4. No status violations – You must not have violated the terms of your current visa status, and you should not be inadmissible (there are numerous grounds for inadmissibility, including certain criminal activity, health-related reasons, etc.).
  5. Application – You must submit the adjustment of status application (Form I-485) to USCIS.

Remember, every case is unique, and it’s important to consult with an immigration attorney or expert to get advice based on your specific situation. The process can be complex and requires careful attention to detail, so professional guidance is always recommended.

I was selected in the Diversity Visa Lottery, now What?

How do you find your rank number for the diversity visa lottery?

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