Asylum and the DV Lottery (and DV Lottery Scams) ILW.COM Discussion Board (2023)

It's Autumn, which means that it's time again for the Diversity Visa Lottery. The Lottery was created by Congress to increase immigration from countries that have traditionally sent us few immigrants. Every year, 50,000 people "win" the lottery and are then (probably) able to immigrate to the U.S.

Asylum and the DV Lottery (and DV Lottery Scams) ILW.COM Discussion Board (1)
The only problem with winning the DV Lottery is that it's hard to fit the green card in your wallet.

Given the current state of affairs in the asylum world (delay, delay, delay), some people with asylum cases pending are wondering whether they can use the Lottery as an alternative to asylum. The answer: It depends.

First, not all countries are eligible for the Lottery. Countries that have sent us large numbers of immigrants in the past are not included in the Lottery. If you are from one of the following countries, you are not eligible for the DV Lottery:
(Video) DV Visa Lottery 2022 | DV Visa Interview | DV Visa Lottery 2022 Results

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

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For China, please note that persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan

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Even if you were born in one of the above-listed countries, you might be eligible for the Lottery if your spouse's country does not appear on the list, if your parents were not born in one of the countries on the list, or if your parents were not lawful residents of a listed country at the time you were born. You can lean more about these somewhat annoying requirements here.

Besides country-of-origin restrictions, the other requirement for eligibility is that applicants must have a high-school degree or the equivalent, or have "two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform."

If you meet these two requirements, you can apply for the DV Lottery. This is free and actually pretty easy. Video instructions are here and you can apply here. You must apply before November 3, 2015. Winners are selected starting in May 2016.

There are also a number (probably a large number) of websites that will "help" you apply for the Lottery, for a fee. In the best case, this is a waste of money (it is just as easy to apply yourself). In the worst case, it is a complete fraud. You can learn more about these fraudsters and report scams to the U.S. government here.

Unlike most applications, I recommend that people do not use a lawyer for the Lottery and do not use a service. It is best to do it yourself.

However, if you win the Lottery, it is very wise to hire a lawyer to guide you through the green card process. Winning the Lottery does not guarantee that you will get a green card, and whether you can successfully take advantage of winning the Lottery depends on many factors and can be complicated--especially for people with asylum cases pending.

So let's say you have an asylum case pending, should you try the Lottery? The easy answer here is "yes," there is no harm in trying the Lottery. If you happen to win, then things get complicated (the odds of winning are hard to come by, but appear to be less than 1%).

If you win the Lottery while your asylum cased is pending, you can potentially obtain your lawful permanent residency (your green card) and close out your asylum case. Your spouse and minor children can also get their green cards as your dependents. The problem is that not all asylum applicants will be eligible to "adjust status" and become residents of the United States, and this is where it gets tricky.

A DV Lottery winner who filed for asylum while she was still "in status," meaning she was lawfully present in the U.S. at the time of filing, and who is still lawfully present here, can "adjust status." "Adjusting status" means changing from a non-immigrant status to a lawful permanent resident without leaving the U.S.

Most asylum applicants will not be "in status" for long enough to take advantage of the Lottery. For example, if you came here on a B visa and filed for asylum, the B visa was probably valid for only six months, which means that you will be out of status after the six month period ends. The fact that you filed for asylum does not change the expiration date of your visa (the expiration date of your stay is not written on the visa itself; you can look it up on-line here). Since the Lottery process takes much more than six months, you will be out of status by the time your green card is available, which means you cannot "adjust status." Instead, you would have to leave the United States and get the green card overseas.

Certain asylum applicants--those with long term visas, like F-1 students or H1B workers, who do not violate the conditions of their visas--might be able to remain in status long enough to adjust status and become lawful permanent residents without leaving the United States.

So if you are an asylum seeker who is out of status, can you leave the U.S. and collect your residency overseas? Maybe.

The key here is something called "unlawful presence." Once your lawful stay in the U.S. expires, each day here is considered one day of unlawful presence. If you accrue more than 180 days of unlawful presence and then leave the U.S., you are barred from returning here for three years. If you accrue one year or more of unlawful presence and you leave, you cannot return for 10 years. This is known as the 3/10 year bar. A person who has an asylum case pending does not accrue unlawful presence. So for example, if you came on a B visa that was valid for six months, you overstayed your visa, and you filed for asylum four months after the visa expired (10 months after you arrived in the United States), you will have four months of unlawful presence. Once you file for asylum, you stop accruing unlawful presence, so even if your case takes two more years, you will still only have four months of unlawful presence, and you will not be subject to the 3/10 year bar if you leave (though you might be subject to other bars).

Assuming you are not subject to the 3/10 year bar, it may be possible to leave the U.S. and obtain your residency overseas based on the DV Lottery. However, for asylum seekers, this might mean returning to the country of feared persecution, which can be dangerous and might also raise suspicion at the U.S. consulate that your asylum case was not legitimate (if you can return to your country for the Lottery, maybe you never really feared persecution there). For asylum seekers (and others), it may be possible to leave the U.S. and pick up the green card in a third country, which would be the safer option.

If you are an asylum seeker who is subject to the 3/10 year bar and you leave to collect your residency, you will then need special permission to return (this is called a waiver). Such permission will be difficult--if not impossible--to obtain for most asylum seekers, and so people subject to the bar will most likely be unable to obtain their residency based on the DV Lottery.

Finally, asylum seekers who entered the United States without inspection are ineligible to adjust status and thus cannot take advantage of the DV Lottery (there may be a very narrow exception to this rule for people who meet certain conditions, including having been present in the U.S. since December 2000).

The bottom line here is that if you win the Lottery, you need to consult with a competent attorney. For asylum seekers, the ability to adjust status--or possibly leave the U.S. and return with residency--is crucial. It is very difficult to navigate these waters without the advice of someone who knows what he is doing. It makes sense to apply for the Lottery on your own, but if you win, it's time to hire a lawyer.

Originally posted on the Asylumist:

(Video) Panel Discussion 2: International Migration in the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects

(Video) Voice of Legal Immigrants||USCIS and Current scenario affecting H1b&F1&H4 Visa Holders||MANA TV||


Can an asylum seeker participate in the Green Card Lottery? ›

Can Asylum Applicants Apply for a Green Card? Once you have been granted asylee status and have been in the U.S. for one continuous year, you can adjust your status from asylee to lawful permanent resident and get a green card.

Is DV Lottery com an official website? › is powered by The American Dream - US GreenCard Service GmbH, a government-licensed immigration consultancy. We are not affiliated with the U.S. Government or any government agency. US DV Lottery -Are you eligible?

How do I withdraw my asylum case in the US? ›

You can email your local Asylum Office to ask, but if you do not have the form you can still make the request to withdraw your case. If the Asylum Office needs the Withdrawal Form, they can let you know. After you email the Asylum Office, most offices will send you an automated reply.

Is the US Green Card Lottery real? ›

The DV Lottery, also known as the Green Card Lottery, makes a limited number of immigrant visas available every year to people meeting certain eligibility requirements: You must be a foreign citizen from a country with a low immigration rate to the United States.

Do asylum seekers get Social Security card? ›

This means that when an individual granted asylum submits appropriate documentation with an SS-5, we will issue an unrestricted Social Security card.

How long after asylum do you get green card? ›

Refugees must have 1 year of physical presence in the United States at the time they file the application. Asylees may apply for a Permanent Resident Card 1 year after being granted asylum. Asylees must have 1 year of physical presence as an asylee in the United States at the time they file the application.

Can I trust The Lottery Office? ›

Is The Lottery Office legit? You're safe playing lottery with The Lottery Office. Global Players Network Pty Ltd, the parent company of The Lottery Office, has been operating worldwide for more than 17 years.

Is DV Lottery 2023 closed? ›

The entry submission period for Green Card Lottery 2023 is from 12:00PM EDT (GMT -4) on October 5, 2022 to 12:00PM EST (GMT -5) on November 8, 2022. Green Card Lottery 2023 Deadline is therefore November 8th, 2022.

Is DV Lottery 2023 open now? ›

Welcome. The U.S. Department of State Electronic Diversity Visa Entrant Status Check for DV-2023 applicants is available until September 30, 2023. The Entrant Status Check for DV-2022 applicants will remain open until September 30, 2022.

Can you be deported after asylum denied? ›

If the federal court still denies you asylum, you will be deported, especially if you didn't appeal the immigration judge's decision promptly.

Can an asylum seeker be deported? ›

People can be deported while seeking asylum if they do things that disqualify themselves. A person can be disqualified for committing a crime, such as an aggravated felony. In those cases, they can be detained and the case can be expedited, but may only be eligible for protection under the convention against torture.

What is a frivolous asylum case? ›

§ 1208.20 (2005). The Court may enter a finding that the respondent has submitted a frivolous asylum application if it determines that the respondent deliberately fabricated any material elements of his asylum application.

How can I increase my chances of winning the Green Card Lottery? ›

By having eligible spouses and children enter the DV lottery along with you, you can legally increase the chances of obtaining a U.S. green card this way. By Ilona Bray, J.D. The choice of winners of the U.S. diversity visa (DV) lottery is completely random.

How easy is it to win the Green Card Lottery? ›

According to our long-term in-house analyses, the chances of winning a Green Card are currently about 1:25 to 1:75 (depending on the region you live in) – for Europeans, most recently about 1:45. This means that approximately every 45th participant actually wins a Green Card.

Does immigration check text messages? ›

No, USCIS does not have the authority to go through a persons phone. USCIS is a service agency and only has the authority to assign immigration statuses and investigate if the paperwork is genuine and viable. They cannot go through your phone as such.

Do asylum seekers get free housing? ›

Most asylum seekers are unable to pay for their own housing. They are also unable to claim benefits. and they are not allowed to work. Asylum seekers can claim financial support and accommodation under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 if they are destitute or likely to become destitute.

How long can an asylum seeker stay in the US? ›

After one year, an asylee may apply for lawful permanent resident status (i.e., a green card). Once the individual becomes a permanent resident, he or she must wait four years to apply for citizenship.

Can asylum seekers get driving Licence in USA? ›

As an asylum seeker now residing in the United States, you will need to get a driver's license to go to work and visit friends and family. Prior to obtaining a driver's license, you will need to take classes, and pass the DMV/ DPS exams and driving test(s). This will ensure that you can legally operate on U.S roads.

What are the 2 types of asylum? ›

Forms of asylum

There are two paths to claim asylum in the U.S. The affirmative asylum process is for individuals who are not in removal proceedings and the defensive asylum process is for individuals who are in removal proceedings.

What is the asylum approval rate for 2022? ›

Those who were detained had the lowest grant rates in FY 2022: only 15 percent were granted asylum. This result was worse than in FY 2021 when 21 percent were granted asylum while they were detained.

Can I visit my home country after asylum green card? ›

It is essential that the asylee not return to her home country until she has become a U.S. citizen and can travel with a U.S. passport. If the asylee does return to her home country, DHS could refuse to allow her to reenter the United States on the grounds that she implicitly no longer fears persecution.

Who is not eligible for green card lottery? ›

To enter the DV2025 Lottery, you must be born in a country with a low immigration rate to the United States. If you are born in a country with a high immigration rate to the United States, you are excluded from entering the DV Lottery.

How to apply for green card through asylum? ›

If you are an asylee and you have been physically present in the United States for at least one year after being granted asylum, you may apply to become an LPR by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Can an asylee be denied green card? ›

Immigration officials will not readjudicate asylum status. However, the USCIS officer will likely deny adjustment of status and even move to terminate asylum status if there is new evidence that the asylee may not have met the definition of a refugee at the time of the asylum grant.

Can asylum seekers get green card without interview? ›

All adjustment of status applicants must be interviewed by an officer unless the interview is waived by USCIS. The decision to waive the interview should be made on a case-by-case basis. The interview enables USCIS to verify important information about the applicant to determine eligibility for adjustment.


1. USA Visa Lottery Application for 2024 (Pashto)
(Didar Yousufzay Official)
2. Voice of Legal Immigrants||USCIS and Current scenario affecting H1b&F1&H4 Visa Holders||MANA TV||
(mana tv)
3. Panel Discussion 2: International Migration in the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects
(St. Francis College)
4. Biden announces new immigration restrictions
(Washington Post)
5. 2NL and DV LOTTERY INTERVIEWS (Preparation, Questions, Documents and Answers)
6. Five Mistakes NOT to Make at your Immigration Interview
(Hacking Immigration Law, LLC)
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