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Green Card Lottery: Interview questions and answers
9 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

The Green Card Lottery, officially known as the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, is an incredible opportunity to become a permanent resident in the United States and embark on a new journey in life. Each year, the Diversity Visa Program grants immigrant visas to applicants from eligible countries, diversifying and enriching the cultural landscape of the U.S.

This article will guide you through the crucial stage of this journey: the DV Lottery interview. Understanding the interview process and preparing can significantly enhance your chances of success. Check the common DV lottery interview questions and answers below and be ready for a flawless application.

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What should I do before preparing for a visa interview?

Preparation is crucial for a successful interview under the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. After you apply and are selected to undergo the application process, there are a few steps before your interview. Here is a checklist to follow for a smooth journey:

1. Review your scheduling information

It all starts with carefully reviewing your scheduling information on the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website. Ensure you know the date, time, and location of your immigrant visa interview.

2. Review U.S. Embassy or Consulate interview instructions

Review any additional instructions provided by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you'll be interviewed. Each embassy or consulate may have specific requirements or procedures, so be well-versed in these details.

3. Schedule and complete a medical examination

You must schedule and complete a medical examination with an authorized physician. This exam, including any required vaccinations, must be done before your visa interview date. Whether the results are handed to you in a sealed envelope or sent directly to the embassy, ensure you have them ready for your interview.

4. Gather photographs and all required documents

Finally, gather all necessary documents. The list includes the following items:

  • Interview appointment confirmation: Retrieve your interview schedule details from the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website, where your appointment information is listed.

  • DS-260 confirmation: After completing your DS-260 application form, you can print the confirmation page from the Consular Electronic Application Center.

  • Valid passport: Each applicant must have a valid passport for at least six months beyond their planned entry date into the United States.

  • Photographs: Two identical color photos for each applicant, passport photo-size.

  • Results of medical examination: Bring the sealed envelopes provided by the panel physician containing medical exam results for each applicant.

  • Proof of eligibility: Documentation proving your eligibility for the DV Program based on education or work experience.

  • Reapplication permission, if applicable: For those previously deported or removed from the U.S. at government expense, Form I-212 from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is required.

  • Marital documents, if applicable: Include marriage certificates and legal documents regarding the termination of a marriage.

  • Custody documents, if applicable: Provide custody papers. In the case of adopted children, provide a certified copy of the adoption decree, legal custody decree (if applicable), and a statement detailing the child’s residency history with the adoptive parents. Evidence of adoption at ages 16 or 17, especially if it includes the adoption of a natural sibling under 16, is also necessary.

  • English translations: For any document not in English, certified translations are required.

  • Visa fees: If you haven’t paid your visa fees before the interview, be prepared to do so before meeting with the consular officer.

Do all the family members need to attend the interview for the Green Card?

Regarding the DV Lottery interview, you, your spouse, and any qualified unmarried children immigrating with you must participate in the interview. This is a family affair, and the presence of each member is crucial.

However, if your spouse and children plan to immigrate later and travel separately, they don’t need to attend your interview. In such cases, they’ll have their own, separate interview appointments. You must coordinate with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate directly to arrange these separate interviews if required.

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What type of questions will I be asked during the interview?

The US Diversity Visa Lottery interview is a comprehensive evaluation of your eligibility and intentions. Here, we'll explore typical questions you might face, delving into the nuances of each, along with key do's and don'ts, and providing comprehensive example answers.

Why do you want to immigrate to the United States?

This question assesses your motivation for applying. Express genuine reasons, focusing on positive aspects like better opportunities, education, or family reunification. Avoid mentioning financial gain as the sole reason.

  • Example answer: "My primary reason for immigrating is to pursue advanced career opportunities in the tech industry, which is more vibrant and offers greater growth potential in the United States. Additionally, I have family in California, and being closer to them is very important to me."

What is your educational qualification?

This question verifies your claims in the application. Clearly state your highest level of education (even if it’s a high school education) and any relevant qualifications that match your career plans in the U.S. Don't exaggerate or provide false information.

  • Example answer: "I hold a Master's degree in Environmental Science, which I believe aligns well with the growing green technology sector in the U.S. My education has equipped me with skills and knowledge I’m eager to apply in a more dynamic environment."

Do you have relatives in the United States?

This question helps assess your support system in the U.S. Be transparent about family members in the U.S., including their relationship to you and their status. Don't hide information about relatives, as it can be easily verified.

  • Example answer: "Yes, my aunt and her family reside in Texas. She's a U.S. citizen, living there for over 15 years. Having family in the U.S. gives me confidence in my relocation decision."

What are your plans once you arrive in the U.S.?

The interviewer wants to know your intentions. Discuss specific plans, such as job prospects or further education. Avoid vague or unrealistic goals.

  • Example answer: "Upon arrival, my immediate plan is to seek employment in my field of mechanical engineering. I have already contacted potential employers and am also considering further specialization through a part-time Master's program."

Have you been to the U.S. before?

Provide honest details about previous visits, including the purpose and duration. Don't fabricate stories about your travels.

  • Example answer: "I visited the U.S. once in 2018 for a conference related to my profession. It was a two-week trip that allowed me to experience the culture and work environment, further strengthening my desire to immigrate."

What is your annual income?

The visa officer aims to assess your financial stability and independence. Provide an accurate annual income, and don’t inflate the numbers, as this can be cross-checked.

  • Example answer: "My annual income currently stands at around $40,000, which I earn as a marketing manager. I've been saving part of it to support my initial months in the U.S."

How will you support yourself initially in the U.S.?

This checks your financial preparation. Show that you have a well-thought-out financial plan or support system. Don't give the impression of financial instability or reliance on public funds.

  • Example answer: "I have saved sufficient funds to cover my living expenses for the first six months. Additionally, I have provisional job offers and plan to initially stay with a family member to reduce living costs."

Where will you stay in the U.S.?

Having a clear plan indicates good preparation. Mention any specific address where you plan to stay, even temporarily.

  • Example answer: "I'll be staying with my cousin in Miami, Florida, for the first few months. He has kindly offered his guest room. This will give me a stable base to find employment and eventually my own apartment."

Do you have a family, and how many children?

This question aims to understand your family situation and potential dependents. Provide clear and honest information about your family structure.

  • Example answer: "Yes, I’m married, and we have two children, ages 7 and 9. My family supports this move, and we have planned this transition together."

Do you plan to sponsor family members to the U.S.?

This is about your future plans. Be honest about any intentions to sponsor family members. Don't hide plans that could impact your financial or immigration status.

  • Example answer: "I intend to sponsor my parents in the long term. However, my immediate focus is establishing myself professionally and ensuring financial stability before initiating any sponsorship process."

What do you know about the U.S.?

This tests your knowledge and seriousness about relocating. Show that you have done your homework about American culture, laws, and values. Avoid giving generic or uninformed answers.

  • Example answer: "I've always admired the U.S. for its cultural diversity and the emphasis it places on innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. My research and interactions with American colleagues have given me a deep respect for the country's commitment to freedom and opportunity."

Will you go back to your own country?

This question tests your ties to your home country and your intentions in the U.S. Demonstrate a balanced answer showing relations with your home country and a commitment to living in the U.S.

  • Example answer: "While I’m committed to building a life and career in the U.S., I also plan to maintain strong connections with my home country through business and personal relationships."

What happens after the Green Card Lottery interview?

The outcome of your DV Lottery interview is a pivotal moment in your immigration journey. After the interview, you'll either be on your way to becoming a green card holder or facing the disappointment of a denial. Here's what you can expect in each scenario:

Visa Approval - When you receive your visa

Once your immigration process is approved, you must follow some steps:

  1. Passport with visa sticker: Check your visa for errors immediately upon receipt.

  2. Sealed immigrant packet: This contains vital documents and must be kept sealed and presented to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon arrival in the U.S.

  3. Travel timing: Your visa expires, so plan your entry into the U.S. accordingly.

  4. USCIS immigrant fee: You must pay this fee to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after you receive your immigrant visa and before you travel to the U.S.

  5. Vaccination Records and X-rays: Some vaccinations are required for children before they can enroll in school in the United States. They must complete vaccination records before immigrating. Click here to check the State vaccination requirements.

Entering the United States

  • Primary applicant's entry: The primary applicant must enter before or simultaneously with family members.

  • Entry request: A visa doesn't guarantee entry. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials can grant or deny your entry.

  • Permanent resident status: Once admitted into the country, you become a Lawful Permanent Resident.

About visa denials

When facing a visa denial during the Diversity Visa Lottery process, you must understand the reasons and the appropriate steps to take. Here are detailed guidelines on handling visa denials:

  • Incomplete information or documents: If the consular officer identifies that your application lacks critical information or supporting documentation, they’ll inform you during the interview. You must provide the missing information or documents as instructed. This may involve submitting additional evidence or clarifying information previously provided.

  • Need for additional administrative processing: Sometimes, your application may require further administrative processing after the interview. This routine procedure, for some cases, doesn’t imply a denial.

  • Eligibility and legal ineligibility: U.S. law stipulates specific eligibility criteria for diversity visas. If you’re ineligible based on these criteria, the consular officer will inform you of the reason for ineligibility. In some instances, U.S. law may allow you to apply for a waiver of ineligibility. If you fall into this category, the consular officer will guide you on how to apply for the waiver.

Contact us if you have questions about travel documents

Need a US B1/B2 Visa? Maybe renew your passport before applying? We can help you with many travel documents. Our customer service team is ready to assist you with a hassle-free application process. Contact us via our online chat or email us at [email protected].

  • iVisa is NOT affiliated with any government agency. This site does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. None of our customer service representatives are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. We are a private, internet-based travel and immigration consultancy provider dedicated to helping individuals travel around the world. You may apply by yourself directly on the various government websites. The source of information: https://www.uscis.gov/
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