I Am Out of Status and I Want to Submit DV Lottery Entry

I am often asked the question whether someone who is out of status can submit a DV lottery entry. I think the real question should be if someone wins will they be able to actually obtain the green card? Well that depends. If someone is out of status they are generally not able to apply for a green card through adjustment of status from within the United States. There are a few exceptions but DV lottery is not one of them. However, certain people who had petitions filed on their behalf or on their family’s behalf prior to certain dates, the latest of which was April 30, 2001, may be able to apply for the green card even if they are currently out of status. Of course there are other eligibility criteria which they must meet such as any criminal convictions, prior deportation orders, any misrepresentation or fraud in procuring a visa in the past, so it is definitely a good idea to consult an immigration counsel prior to applying for any immigration benefit. Therefore, if someone is currently out of status and they have never had a petition filed on their behalf, even if they win in the DV lottery they will most likely be unable to obtain a green card or to even apply for one. They should, then, carefully weigh the potential risks of submitting their personal information into the Department of State database when the chances of actually getting something in return are slim.

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