1. Both Spouses, If Eligible, Should Enter the Diversity Visa Lottery Drawing
The best way to increase your family’s chances of success is to have all eligible family members register for the lottery. A winning applicant can bring both spouse and unmarried children under age 21.
For example, let’s say you and your spouse are both citizens of New Zealand, you both work in skilled jobs, and both graduated from secondary school. As a family, you now have two numbers that may win the lottery. You can file one application under your name, and your spouse can file one application under his or her name. You will each receive a confirmation number. If one of you wins, the other enters as a derivative spouse.
It is important to remember that each person applying for a diversity visa must meet the eligibility requirements. Therefore, if your spouse does not meet the employment, country, or education requirements, he or she is not eligible to apply on his or her own.
2. Eligible Children Should Also Apply
There is no limit on how many eligible members of the same family may apply. If you have any children who have met the educational or work experience requirements (which usually requires them to be at least 16 to 18 years of age), those children should also enter the lottery. They won’t, if they win, be able to bring you to the U.S. immediately; but they will start a path to helping you and other family members immigrate in the future.
For example: You and your 20-year-old son are eligible for diversity visas, and you both apply. Your son wins, but you do not. Your son enters the United States and becomes a lawful permanent resident. After five years of living in the U.S., your son can become a U.S. citizen. As a U.S. citizen, he can petition for you (considered his “immediate relative”) to become a resident of the United States.
3. Do Not Submit More Than One Lottery Application in the Same Registration Period
If you submit more than one application for the diversity lottery during one open-registration period, your applications will all be rejected.
While you cannot submit two applications under your name, spouses can each submit their own application and list their spouse as a derivative. This will increase each spouse’s chances of being selected, even though each person can apply only once.
4. Submit a Valid Photograph
You must submit a recent (taken within the last six months) photograph of yourself and your co-applicants. The photographs you submit must be taken facing forward and in front of a plain background. You cannot wear any hair covering unless it is for a religious purpose. Failure to submit a photograph that meets these regulations could result in the disqualification of your application. It’s usually easiest to find a professional to take the photo for you.
5. Pay attention to details.
The smallest typos, omissions, and associated errors in data input can and will disqualify you from participating in the Diversity Visa Lottery.