This is about the journey of a diversity visa winner entering the United States and more so at the point of entry. This guide is important for you, even if you are among those who are not selected because there are still preparation for the application in the upcoming DV lottery.
So for those who are preparing to enter into the United States after the successful interview, what are you expecting? As the diversity visa winner, and you have gotten your visa after a successful interview, what are you supposed to do?
The Journey of a Diversity Visa Winner to U.S for the first time
Below are the next steps:
Preparation for the relocation itself i.e preparing the departure from your country to the United States.
Before embarking on your journey to the U.S, there are several things that you should take care:
- You need to book a flight
The key point here is depending on your ability, you can decide to book for your flight earlier. Remember, you have six months to relocate. Therefore, you can book for your flights two months before, and by so doing, the flights become cheaper.
The flight ticket depends on the time from when you book and when you intend to travel. So if you book the flight today and you set it two months away, definitely that flight will be cheaper than booking the flight today and you want to travel tomorrow or some three days after.
- Gather your required documents
There are several documents that you will need to carry with you and these documents includes the envelope that you received via the courier service or from the embassy after the interview.
The document that contains your passport stamped with the visa, plus the sealed envelope that is inside there that is supposed to be handed over at the point of entry. That is the passport and it will be stamped, the diversity visa and the sealed envelope. Those are the documents that you are required to carry with you for the whole trip.
- Packing your bag
Packing it smart. If it is in the winter season, you just pack the warm clothes. If it is the normal seasons, you just pack smart. Pack it smart. Don’t over pack.
- Arrival in the United States
What happens when you arrive in the United States? So the point where you land with your plane, that is what you call the point of entry, because you’ll need to go through the custom and border protection. This is where they do a recheck of you to verify your identity, to verify your validity.
The point of entry Procedures: The officer will ask you a series of questions. Here are just some few examples questions, they vary from one person to the other. They are just overall questions just to verify the identity, nothing more.
- What is the purpose of your trip to the U.S?
- How long do you plan to stay in the U.S?
- Where will you be staying in the U.S?
- Do you have any relatives or friends in the U.S? And so on.
Such type of questions. Just the overall question to confirm the validity, and what you’re supposed to do is to be truthful.
They will take your biometrics, of course, take a photo of you, you’ll undergo some checking, your luggage will be checked for anything and so on.
Once your documents are verified, then they’ll tell you, Welcome to the United States.
What are the documents that are contained in the sealed envelope?
It simply contains the following documents:
- Sealed envelope with “To be opened by a DHS(Department of Homeland Security) officer only” written on it.
- Sealed medical exam results in a brown envelope.
- Original civil certificate/documents (the birth, the marriage, etc) whatever you had provided during time of the visa interview.
That’s what is contained in that sealed envelope that you’re requested to hand it over at the point of entry without unsealing it, without breaking the seal.
Entering the U.S for the first time can be an exciting and nerve-wrecking experience. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure a smooth journey from start to finish. Remember to carry all necessary documents with you and answer all questions truthfully.
Some frequently asked question
Can I travel to the United States after the expiration of the visa?
No, you cannot travel to the United States after the visa that has been stamped on the passport gets expired and it only has six months to expire since the time of your interview or to be so precise, since the time of your medical examination. So after that, you cannot travel to that.
What happens if I forget to bring any of the required documents?
If you fail to carry, for example, the sealed envelope with you to the United States, then you’re not get through that point. If you don’t bring any required documents, then you don’t get through that point.
Can I extend my stay in the U.S after entering on a diversity visa?
After entering the United States, the visa is stamped on your passport. That is the diversity visa that gives you a stay of up to one year. So at the point of entry, there is a visa that will be stamped that gives you a stay for about one year.
During that stay, you are supposed to have taken your green card. The green card expires after 10 years, and after 10 years, you are supposed to renew that green card.
What should I do if I face any issue at the point of entry?
If you face any issue, just be calm and respectful and if you need any consultation, ask for the supervisor to clarify on those issues.
Can I travel within the United States after entering on a diversity visa?
Of course, yes. Once you land to the United States, you can move or you can relocate, or you can stay, or you can go to whichever location you want. You are not restricted to a certain jurisdiction.
You are not confined within any boundaries. You can relocate and move to whichever state you want, to whichever city you want, to whichever location you want, you are free to move around.
DISCLAIMER: This post and content is designed for general information only and is NOT legal advice. This site is not offering any Diversity Visa and is not the official site for DV Lottery program. The information presented in this post should not be construed to be formal legal advice.
If you have any questions about the DV lottery, please contact an immigration professional/officer or a licensed attorney.
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