Can participation in a Green Card Lottery make you suspicious when applying for a U.S. visa? Let's discuss it in this article.
Have you participated in the Green Card Lottery and are now planning to apply for a U.S. visa? You might have a logical question: "Can my DV Lottery entry somehow affect the visa decision?" After all, there is an essential condition for obtaining a tourist visa to America: you mustn’t have immigration intentions. Can participation in a Green Card drawing make you suspicious as a potential immigrant? We'll take a closer look at the answer to this question below!
There is a common opinion that participation in the Diversity Visa Lottery may be a reason to deny a nonimmigrant visa to the U.S. (especially the tourist visa B1/B2). After all, for the visa officer, every applicant is a potential immigrant. Trying to win a Green Card is like highlighting your immigration plans, isn’t it?
But, in fact, for visa officers, the mere fact of participating in the lottery is not an immigration intent in itself. Many people who constantly try their luck in the lottery have no problem getting tourist visas and traveling around the United States.
Of course, many of those who are rejected U.S. visas often attribute the failure to their lottery entry. However, the main reason for a visa refusal is the lack of strong ties to their home country. In this case, past participation in the Green Card lottery may become the "last straw", but it has little effect separately.
How to answer the questions about DV Lottery when applying for a U.S. visa?
U.S. visa application form (DS-160) does not contain an explicit question about participation in the green card lottery. But there is another question: "Has anyone ever filled out an immigration petition on your behalf?". It is important to answer "No" in this field.
An immigration petition is, for example, an application for family reunification or political asylum. The Diversity Visa Lottery does not fall into “immigration intents” category, and you do not have to mention it on your visa application form.
At the interview, not all applicants are asked about lottery participation. The consulate database does not directly synchronize the immigration and non-immigration records. If you participated in the lottery before applying, the officer would not automatically see it in the system. They can only do this manually.
But if, after all, you are asked if you participated in the DV Lottery, you must answer the truth. You cannot hide this fact from the visa officer: they have access to the lottery participants' data. And any deliberate distortion of the truth is a direct path to a visa denial.
What to tell if you are asked this question? A standard option: "Why not? Participation is free, and I was interested in trying".
How to improve your chances of getting a U.S. visa?
Whether you participated in the DV Lottery or not, the success rules are the same for everyone: (*) Be sure to demonstrate that you have ties to your home country. Do you have your own real estate or business? That's great! Bring proof of that to the interview. Are you working at a good job and going to America on vacation? Be sure to provide a reference letter from your employer stating your job title, salary, and the dates you expect to take holidays. Do you have a family? Be prepared to show certificates of marriage and birth of children. (*) The more you travel, the better. It's rare to get an American visa with a blank passport. Remember to bring all expired passports to show your travel history. (*) Be prepared to provide your bank statement to prove that you can afford to travel to America. (*) Prepare a detailed description of your travel plans. The officer will most likely ask you which cities you want to visit in America and why. Answer the questions confidently.
Tourists who meet the above requirements have a good chance of obtaining a U.S. visa — even if they have previously participated in the lottery.
Good luck both with the Lottery and visa application!