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Is there a way for a US citizen to sponsor the wife of a Congo immigrant who came here by lottery two yrs ago?

Spencerport, NY |

I have an acquaintance who came to the US two years ago from the Congo through a lottery and could not bring his wife and baby. She also participated in the lottery, but apparently there was no family connection consideration. He has mentioned the need for a US citizen sponsor, and I may be willing depending on legalities, but neither of us has a clue how to proceed.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

You present a curious scenario. "No family connection consideration"? Applicants who win the diversity visa lottery can extend that benefit to their spouses and children if they are under 21 years old and unmarried. The spouse and children are called "derivatives."

However, in order for a spouse or child to get a diversity visa, they person must have been listed on the primary applicant’s online application.

If he neglected to include his spouse or children, they will NOT be eligible for a visa. In fact, if he failed to list them at the time he submitted his diversity visa application, HE will be disqualified and everyone listed in the application will be denied visas at the time of the visa or green card interview.

He REALLY needs to consult with an experienced immigration attorney ASAP.

Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D 11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280 Houston, TX 77092 713-LAWYER-2


Your friend's family cannot apply through you, Only certain family members can petition their relatives.


Your friend will need to petition his wife. You can provide what is called an affidavit of support, where he lacks the funds to support her. There are risks to you in doing so, even if the seem minimal.

However, if I misunderstood, then you can permanently mess up her chances of immigrating if you marry his wife just so that she can get a green card. In fact, it is a Federal Crime to do so.

Your friend likely needs to look into all the issues before he applies for her. In addition, it may help for him to naturalize as a U.S. Citizen as soon as he can qualify. This may help with processing depending upon the Visa Bulletin, since his wife will be subject to the Family 2A visa quota, which will delay petition processing by years.

Due to the challenges of the process, it is best to hire a competent and experienced immigration attorney to counsel on processing, among other possible complications. Good luck.

This is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.