Won the DV Lottery, How Can I File For DV-Based Adjustment of Status?

9 min. read
Published: Jul 5, 2024
Last Updated: July 08, 2024
  • The information provided on this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed attorney. For personalized guidance, please consult with our attorneys.

If you have been selected for the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery and you’re already in the United States, you may have the option to pursue DV-based Adjustment of Status. Adjusting your status while you are in the United States gives the opportunity to obtain your DV-Based Green Card without having to leave the United States. However not everyone is eligible to adjust status within the United States, particularly the ones without lawful status. 

What is the DV Lottery?

The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, also known as the Green Card Lottery is a program administered by the United States government to diversify the immigrant population in the United States by granting residency permits to individuals from historically low rates of immigration to the United States. The program allows 55,000 visas each year. The selection process is made randomly and the winners of the lottery have the opportunity to become green card owners (lawful permanent residents) in the United States and they eventually can become United States citizens. 

Won the DV Lottery, Now What?

If you are selected for the DV lottery and are eligible to process an adjustment of status, you will be able to file your application starting from later this year until mid-next year, depending on your selection number. The Adjustment of Status process typically involves mailing your paperwork to USCIS and attending an interview without needing to leave the United States.

What Should You Do If You are Selected in the DV Lottery?

If you’re selected in the DV Lottery and wish to adjust your status in the United States, you must maintain lawful status since your lawful admission into the country. If you entered the United States illegally or overstayed your visa, you are likely ineligible for adjustment of status. Exceptions exist, but generally, individuals in these circumstances cannot adjust status in the United States.

There are some important steps you need to follow to make the application. You will need to pay the DV Adjustment of Status fee in accordance with the instructions of the U.S. Department of State. You need to include the payment receipt in your Adjustment of Status application. You need to collect the required evidence, and complete the medical examination before sending your forms to the USCIS. To determine when to file the necessary forms, check the visa availability through the current visa bulletin and confirm your eligibility to adjust status. It’s important to follow deadlines and requirements to ensure your application is processed efficiently. Filing early, missing a deadline or requirement could result in delays or denial of your application. 

After you file your application you will be in authorized stay until your application is decided, you will be able to concurrently file for employment authorization and advance parole applications with your Adjustment of Status application.  It will take several months for USCIS to make a decision on your application. USCIS prioritizes DV Lottery based Adjustment of Status applications so the processing takes shorter time than typical Adjustment of Status processing. 

What is Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of status is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status while you are in the United States. This process allows you to get a Green Card without having to return to your home country to go through the visa process. Adjustment of status is available to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria, such as being eligible through the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery.

What are the Eligibility Requirements For Adjustment of Status?

To apply for a Green Card through Adjustment of Status, the applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements. Applicants must be eligible under one of the immigrant categories that allows for adjustment of status, such as the Diversity Visa Lottery winner.  In order to be eligible to adjust status within the US the applicants must have entered the United States legally, either with a valid visa or under parole status and must have continuously maintained lawful status since their entry into the United States. Applicants must not be ineligible for a green card due to reasons such as criminal history, health issues, security concerns, or immigration violations.

Who is Not Eligible For Adjustment of Status?

There are several reasons you may be ineligible to adjust status in the US, with the most common reasons as follows. However, it should be noted that there may be exemptions to these rules depending on your individual circumstances. You may not be eligible to adjust status if:

  • You entered the United States without being inspected and admitted or paroled.
  • You failed to continuously maintain a lawful status since entry into the United States.
  • You have been employed in the United States without authorization.
  • You have violated the terms of your nonimmigrant status.
  • You have or had the status of an exchange visitor under section and subject to 2 year rule, unless you have complied with the foreign residence requirement or have been granted a waiver of that requirement.

The Adjustment of Status Process: How Can I File For DV-Based Adjustment of Status?

After you checked your DV-Lottery Results and found out you won the DV Lottery  and you are eligible to adjust status in the United States there are several steps you need to take to be able to file for DV-Based Adjustment of Status. It is important to remain eligible and not violate your valid status until you get your green card.

Firstly, you will need to pay the DV Adjustment of Status fee in accordance with the instructions of the U.S. Department of State as soon as possible. Later, you will need to include the payment receipt you will receive in your Adjustment of Status application. 

Before filing Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), ensure that a visa is available for your DV category. You can check the Visa Bulletin issued by the US Department of State to determine if your priority date is current.

As a DV applicant, you’ll need to submit evidence showing that you meet the requirements of the DV immigrant category. You should start gathering all necessary documents for your application including your medical examination. 

Once a visa is available and you paid the required fees outlined on the Department of State website you can file Form I-485 with USCIS. This form is the main application for Adjustment of Status and should be accompanied by the necessary supporting documents and fees.

USCIS can waive interviews in some of the DV Lottery-based Adjustment of Status cases. However, if required, you need to attend any interviews scheduled by USCIS and follow all instructions provided by USCIS or DOS throughout the Adjustment of Status process.

How Can I Check the Status of My Adjustment of Status Application?

Once you receive a receipt notice you can check the status of your application from the USCIS case status website, you can call USCIS Contact Center or chat with Emma

How Long Does Adjustment of Status Take?

It can take up to 14 months for the USCIS to schedule an interview and issue you a visa. 

What Happens If My Adjustment of Status Application is Denied?

If your Adjustment of Status application is denied, you may appeal the decision in the case of a wrongful denial.

What’s Next After the Adjustment of Status (I-485) Petition is Approved?

Upon approval, USCIS produces the Green Card and mails the Green Card to your address which serves as proof of lawful permanent resident status in the United States.

Work with Oguz Law’s Immigration Attorneys

As Oguz Law, we offer extensive legal services to our clients for their DV-Based Adjustment of Status applications, supported by our experienced team. We assist clients throughout the entire process, from the initial stages to the issuance of their green card. Our dedicated team prepares comprehensive application packages and guides you through every step of the process.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Can I Check the Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery Results?

You can check the results for the DV Lottery by entering your Confirmation Number. Remember to check the lottery results yourself online using your confirmation number since the Department of State will not send you any letter or email to inform you about the results. 

Can I Stay in the US While Waiting for an Adjustment of Status?

Yes, you are allowed to remain in the United States while waiting for an adjustment of status even if your previous visa or status has expired after filing the Adjustment of Status. 

Can I Leave the U.S. After Filing I-485?

You should not leave the US unless you have a valid advance parole that allows you to travel abroad. If you leave the country without a valid advance parole USCIS considers that you abandoned your application. 

How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card After I-485 is Approved?

It will only take a few weeks to receive your green card once your I-485 is approved. 

What is the 90 Day Rule For Adjustment of Status?

The “90-day rule” was a guideline previously used by the U.S. Department of State and referenced by USCIS to determine visa fraud. It focused on actions taken by nonimmigrants within 90 days of entering the U.S. that contradicted their visa intentions, such as marrying a U.S. citizen or applying for a green card. Engaging in activities like unauthorized employment or enrolling in school without the correct visa could suggest misrepresentation. On July 16, 2021, USCIS removed references to the 90-day rule, indicating a shift in evaluating misrepresentation and fraud, though officers still consider the timing and nature of actions taken after entry when assessing cases.

How Much is the Fee For Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of Status fee is currently $1440. 

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