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Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600


58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 500, Joliet, IL 60432

Phone: 815-727-4500


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Visa Waiver Program

Posted on in Immigration

immigration status, F1 visa,  Chicago immigration attorneys, obtain legal status, Visa Waiver ProgramIn today’s fraught immigration climate, more and more immigrants who come to the U.S. want to be able to adjust from a nonimmigrant visa to an immigrant visa or status which will allow them to remain in the country. Normally, adjusting one’s immigration status is a fairly low-key affair. However, during the current administration, the procedure has become more intimidating. Understanding what is required can make it less so. 

Are You in the U.S.?

It may seem like splitting hairs, but one important factor is that if you are not currently located in the United States, any attempt to change to an immigrant visa or green card is not called adjustment of status. Rather, it is called consular processing, because technically, a putative immigrant who is not in the United States has no status to change. Anyone abroad would simply go through normal consular processing, just for a much longer-term visa than the more common B1/B2.

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DuPage County immigration attorneys, Visa Waiver ProgramWhile efforts are not always successful, the United States does its best to adapt its immigration policies and requirements to reflect world events. It was in this spirit that the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act was passed into law as part of an omnibus bill in December 2015. The Act has created both approval and controversy; still, it is imperative that those planning immigration or travel to the United States be aware of its tenets.

The Act

The Act, signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015, went into effect immediately. The main provision of the act makes changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) dealing with those who have spent time in, or are citizens of, countries designated as “of concern” or as terrorism supporters in the past. Therefore, people who have spent time in countries such as Iran, Syria or Iraq, at any time since March 2011, are barred under this Act from using the VWP, regardless of citizenship. A British citizen, for example, could be refused entry to the U.S. if he or she attempted to travel on the VWP after visiting Syria the previous year. It is possible to obtain a waiver; however, only specific classes are able to apply for them, such as workers at law enforcement agencies or those dealing with national security.

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Posted on in Immigration

Diversity Visa Lottery, Immigration Act of 1990, US immigration law, Visa Waiver Program, deportationThe Immigration Act of 1990 had a huge impact on immigration law in the United States. It revised policies regarding deportation, authorized temporary protected status to non-citizens of certain countries, changed the Visa Waiver Program, and – maybe most importantly – established the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

The Diversity Visa Lottery Program makes about 55,000 permanent resident visas available every year to natives of countries who have low rates of immigration to the United States. The lottery is administered by the U.S. Department of State. From an operational standpoint, people from most countries are allowed to apply for the visa program. The list of non-qualifying countries is much shorter, and as of last year included people from Brazil, Bangladesh, Mexico, Canada, and Vietnam. Non-qualifying countries can change year to year, depending on immigration rates. For example, Nigerians were added to the non-qualifying list last year.

In addition to being from a qualifying country, applicants must also either have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or have at least two year of job experience within the last five years. Although having a job already set up in the United States is not a requirement, the individual must show that he or she has a means of support.

The Application Process

Unfortunately, the application much different than the lottery we play in the U.S. to win money. First and foremost, the application process is free. If an applicant is asked to pay a fee for the application through a third party or asked to pay a fee for special help, the third party is probably running a scam. An applicant can apply once per year, and must submit an application called a DV-2015. The application period is usually in the fall of each year. More information on how to fill out the DV-2015 and the types of paper work that are needed can be found here.

Finally, even if an applicant “wins” the lottery, it does not necessarily mean that the applicant will actually receive a visa. The State Department typically announces more winners than there are spots, so applicants must quickly get in touch with the State Department and USCIS to follow up about their application. If the applicant does not do this, he or she may be out of luck, as the U.S. could run out of cards for that year.

If you happen to win the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery, or if you know someone who has, you should contact an experienced DuPage immigration attorney immediately. Working with USCIS and the State Department, and showing that the applicant should not be disqualified is a complex process. Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help navigate this process with applicants to help ensure the proper outcome.

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