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Obtaining U.S. residency through the DV program

It may be possible to come to Florida or another state through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, according to the Department of Homeland Security. This program makes 50,000 visas a year available to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. While most who get a visa through this program reside outside of the United States, it is possible for those already in the country to earn an adjustment to their residency status.

Those who "win" visas while in the United States will apply for an adjustment through the USICS. To do so, there must be a visa available when Form I-485 is turned in. In addition, the visa winner must certify that he or she is admissible to the United States and has actually won a visa.

Anyone seeking to adjust their status should keep an eye out for a new Department of State visa bulletin. Doing so may allow foreigners living in the United States to adjust their status several weeks before a visa becomes available. This gives the DOS time to verify whether a particular applicant is eligible for a visa. In some cases, individuals may be fraudulently told that they have won a visa and are asked to send money for the visa. The government strongly urges individuals to never send money to those sending emails or letters claiming that a person has won a visa.

Individuals who are looking to obtain permanent residency status in the United States may wish to speak with an immigration attorney. An attorney may be able to advise an individual as to the documents that may be needed to apply for a green card. It may also be possible for an attorney to talk about different programs that be available to those who are looking to become permanent U.S. residents.

Source: US CIS, "Green Card Through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program", January 05, 2015

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