Our Seattle immigration attorney frequently gets asked about the Diversity (DV) Lottery program. To many immigrant hopefuls, it seems like an easy shortcut to getting a Visa. The unfortunate truth is that this program truly is little more than a “lottery”, and unscrupulous individuals take advantage of many unsuspecting immigrants every year by pretending that it is anything otherwise. Get the facts about the DV Lottery to make sure you don’t fall victim to the Green Card Lottery scam.
The purpose of the DV Lottery is to increase diversity by granting Visas to randomly selected immigrants from countries that have been underrepresented recently (with fewer than 50,000 immigrants in the past five years). There are fewer random Visas to distribute than there are applicants, so it pays to not put all your eggs in this basket.
Should you ever receive a message from someone stating that you are to receive a Visa from this program, check for the signs of a fraud. If the email address does not end in “.gov”, it doesn’t represent a government official. If they ask you to send money or fax any personal information, don’t; report these emails to a government official immediately.
(Sources: http://immigration.findlaw.com/immigration-overview/immigration-faqs.html, http://blog.uscis.gov/2011/03/e-mail-scam-avoid-green-card-lottery.html)
Our country values our men and women in the armed forces. Military service affords many benefits, even to those who are not yet citizens. Our Seattle immigration attorney applauds those immigrants who are willing to so serve the country they hope to be a part of, and to these people we offer this reminder of the many immigration-related perks available to the military.
If you serve in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or certain extensions of the National Guard or Reserve forces, your immigration requirements are far simpler than those of civilians. Some criteria are reduced, while others are eliminated entirely. You will still be expected to demonstrate good moral character, though you could hardly expect to find a better way to do so than in the armed forces.
Military benefits include the following:
After a year of honorable service (or less, during wartime), you may apply for citizenship immediately after acquiring your green card.
Your application fee and biometrics fee is waived when you apply for naturalization.
You will not be required to demonstrate a physical presence in the US.
All aspects of your naturalization process can be conducted overseas.
Your qualifying children and family members can go through naturalization while abroad.
During designated periods of hostilities, you may not be required to be a lawful permanent resident.
If you are killed in duty, you may receive posthumous citizenship in order to help your family members acquire their green cards.
Contact our immigration attorney in Seattle for more on military benefits for immigrants, or to get the ball rolling on your naturalization process today.
(Sources: http://immigration.findlaw.com/immigration-overview/military-immigration.html, http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=858921e54dc3f110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD&vgnextchannel=8a2f6d26d17df110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD)
Many immigration proceedings will require you to go through an interview with a USCIS agent. Our Seattle immigration attorney advises that you take special care with such interviews, and these play an important role in your future with this country. Whether you are seeking a green card, asylum, or citizenship, keep the following advice in mind when your interview appointment comes up.
First and foremost, do not be late! The USCIS can be difficult to work with, and missing your appointment time could jeopardize your entire application. Remember, you will likely be expected to make many appointments and meet many important deadlines in the years to come, so you would be well advised to start out on the right foot.
Be prepared for your interview. Know the kinds of questions you will likely be asked, and ready yourself to address them in an open, honest way. If you’re being interviewed along with a spouse, make sure that you don’t end up arguing on the day of your interview. If you’re in disagreement about certain facts, it could throw up a red flag for your evaluator.
During your interview, it is very important that you never lie. Remember that you are being judged on your character, and a lie could be a severe mark against you. If you find yourself unable to answer a question, it is better to admit this than to try to make something up. If you fear that certain information may sound condemning, be open with it and try to explain it as reasonably as you can. An immigration attorney can be present to help you through some of your trickier concerns, so call the Seattle Law Group to secure a lawyer for your interview if you feel the need.