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By: Angelita Chavez | November 08, 2021

During this pre-recorded event from September 8, 2020, Chugh, LLP immigration professionals discuss what each visa category is used for, who qualifies for each visa, how to apply, and more.


Our professional immigration panelists include:

Diversity Visas

The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program is designed to promote immigration to the United States by underrepresented nationalities. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) performs a lottery selection each fiscal year to award 50,000 green cards to applicants from specified countries. Spouses and children under 21 of individuals selected in the Diversity Visa lottery are also eligible for green cards.

The registration period for the DV program typically takes place at least a year before the lottery.

Who is Eligible for the DV Program?

Applicants must have a minimum of a high school education, or its equivalent, or at least two years of qualifying work experience. They must also be otherwise admissible to the United States.

Applicants are eligible for the DV Program based on their country of birth. Countries qualify for the DV Program if they sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the previous five years. Countries such as India, China, Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom that send a large volume of immigrants to the US do not qualify.

Reentry Permits

Normally, green card holders do not need additional documentation to enter the US after returning from abroad. However, there are two cases when a green card holder needs a reentry permit:

  • Absent from the US for one year or more.
  • Resides in another country.

Lawful permanent residents and conditional permanent residents can apply for a reentry permit to enter the United States after an absence of two years or fewer without needing a returning resident visa. Reentry permits demonstrate that a foreign national did not intend to abandon their green card status. Reentry permits are valid for two years.

SB-1 Visas

Returning Resident, or SB-1 visas are required for United States permanent residents or conditional permanent residents who have been outside of the US for longer than one year, or longer than their reentry permit validity period.

Who Qualifies for the SB-1 Visa?

Individuals can qualify for returning resident status if they meet all the following conditions:

  • Were a lawful permanent resident when they left the US
  • Left the US with plans to return and have not since changed those plans.
  • Were temporarily visiting a foreign country. If the visit was extended, it was for reasons beyond the applicant’s control.

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