Over the last few days I have been asked to clarify the importance of Marital status and the DV lottery. This point should be simple, but rules vary from country to country – so there is some potential for mistakes which (on marital status) are extremely important to the case. Even though the entry period is over for DV2016, this is important information to clarify to make sure you have not made a crucial mistake.
On the eDV registration (the original entry) you have to indicate your marital status. Making a mistake on these can end your DV lottery dream instantly – so it is critical to get these right! The choices are
- Legally Separated
So – what do those choice mean – here you go…
This means single at the time of the eDV entry and never previously married. This could also mean engaged (because engaged to be married is not married). If you select unmarried and are discovered to have been previously married or married at the time of the entry you will be disqualified.
This means married (in which case you must list your spouse on the eDV entry). If you are separated from your spouse (but that separation is not documented by a court) or estranged or just grumpy with your spouse on the day you enter the lottery then you are married.
So – what do you do if you are married but haven’t seen your spouse in 10 years. Well you still list your spouse, including a photo that meets the requirements if needed. If you win, you simply don’t submit an application (DS260) for your spouse.
How about if you plan to be married shortly after the eDV entry, should you save time and enter married. NO, NO, NO! If you are not married on the day you enter the lottery do not enter as married. If you marry later (during the DV process) there are ways to include your new spouse (as described here) , so don’t make the mistake of claiming marital status without being married – there is no need to risk that (as the risk is disqualification) .
Just a point about “marriage”. The US government recognizes the various forms of marriage around the world. The rough rule is that if the marriage is recognized by the civil authorities in the area where the marriage is performed, and that recognition confers typical rights and privileges of marriage on the couple, then the US government will recognize that marriage for immigration purposes. That applies to any form of legal marriage including same sex marriages.
This means you were married previously, got a divorce (legally recorded through a divorce court) and have not yet remarried – you are currently single. You will need to supply your marriage and divorce documents. If you cannot show the divorce documents you might be assumed to be still married, and in that case you could be disqualified.
This means you were married, your spouse died and you are not currently remarried. You will be asked for proof of the marriage (marriage cert) and the death (death cert).
This is rarely used so you should only select this option if you are certain you are LEGALLY separated. Under this option of the eDV form is the following text:-
“Legal separation means that a court has formally declared that you and your spouse are legally separated. Legal separation means that your spouse would not be eligible to immigrate as your derivative.”
This means you have gone to court and had a separation agreement accepted by the court. This happens when people do not want to divorce yet but need a formal agreement covering things such as who pays for the shared expenses during the separation, access and custody to any children and so on. You will need to show the legal separation document during your interview.
This is not the right option if you have simply separated from your spouse but have not yet divorced. It is my belief that choosing this option when you are not actually legally separated will result in disqualification (because you omit your spouse who should have been on the form.
But I won and my marital situation has changed – is that a problem?
No – life goes on after the eDV entry. You may have got married, divorced, or whatever – so when you submit your DS260 you will do that with your new marital status. However, they will look to prove that you correctly entered your marital status at the time of registration, so you need to make sure your documents are available for the interview and establish the correct timeline.
October 31, 2018 at 03:05
A complicated option should be added from the choices.
October 6, 2020 at 05:35
Hii simon, I have one doubt here. Plz help me. I have married with someone few years back from court officially and we do have married certificate but we got divorce (after three months) after discussion with each other. We have made a divorced letter in between us with witnesses from both the side. But thought of going to court but the court is saying that it is official divorce so dont need to come to court. We don’t have any children between us and I am single now. So which option should I choose. Is it oky to choose divorce in that case but we haven’t refer to court about this.
October 6, 2020 at 23:03
Unless the process you followed is recognized as a legal divorce in your country, you are still married.
October 7, 2020 at 03:55
yeah it is legal as per court if there is agreement between two so court saying no need to come. The problem is can we just show the document about our divorce or do we need any other proof.
October 7, 2020 at 04:44
I doubt it will be accepted without some legal proof.
October 7, 2020 at 07:53
But this is a process of divorce as per court law in my country. We only need to go for court to make married certificate.
October 7, 2020 at 17:24
OK, well feel free to proceed with your understanding.
October 19, 2020 at 18:27
hii simon if i studied till grade 10 (class 10), Where should i include it is it in high school or not? plz reply.
October 19, 2020 at 23:51
You must use your own judgement – I don’t know the school system in your country.
October 20, 2020 at 10:03
As per my country from grade 9 to 12 is higher and what about usa??? plz reply
October 20, 2020 at 20:36
Oh man. It’s hard to answer such vague questions.
I think you should use your own judgement.
March 1, 2019 at 22:32
My Question for you is My Birth Place is India Which is Not Eligible To Apply for DV Lottery but i went to newzealand for study and i Got Married to New Zealand Girl and i Have Got Married Certificate as well as proof . Because of My Visa extended problem i Return back To India Due to long Distance our Relationship ended but Haven’t given Divorce yet . I just need Information that am I Eligible to apply it from India and should i Give Divorce First or Just apply and Mention Married?
My secong Question is After i am getting divorce am i still Eligible to apply from India Which is not Eligible. Please Give me some information about this it will Be very helpfully. I Will Appriciate your Time.
March 2, 2019 at 03:19
Your only eligibility is through that marriage, but it sounds like you would not be able to satisfy anyone that your marriage is genuine.
March 2, 2019 at 10:17
Thank You for Your Reply .
The Time i Got Married we was genuine and was living together for 2/3 years. But I didn’t apply for citizenship of nz as i was studing there . So i Got Citizenship of Only India Now if i able to satisfy that the time we got married we was genuine is there any chance for me to apply ??
If i am eligible through only that marriage do i need to get Citizenship of Nz first ?
March 2, 2019 at 16:48
Obtaining NZ citizenship would make no difference. And it doesn’t matter that you were properly married – you clearly are not together now, and could ONLY proceed as a couple (which your spouse is unlikely to agree to I assume). So – forget about the lottery – you are not eligible.
March 2, 2019 at 23:13
Hey britsimon good to see you giving great information to peoples i have one concern please help me . I born in Bangladesh and in 2013 i went to Australia for further studies i Got Married to Australian Girl ( My Wife ) in 2016. Last year i came back to my Home Country and my wife is still in Australia. My question is am I eligible to apply dv lottery this year as my Wife is from eligible Country ?? If i Luckily won Dv lottery (Hope) do i have to apply further with my wife or can i apply my own bcoz i wanna move to USA thats My Dream country ?
Will wait for your reply Thanks
March 3, 2019 at 00:28
You can apply through her country. Do that and see if you are selected.
May 13, 2019 at 19:21
Hi Britsimon!I have a question my brothers got selected for the DV lottery 2020 but right know they’re know living in our Country which DR. Congo they’re living in Tunisia for school purpose. For the next step which adress are they suppose to put the one from our country or their adress from Tunisia?!because when I played for them I put our Congo homeadress
May 13, 2019 at 19:25
They answer every question accurately and honestly.
The answer to the question “current address” is the place they are living as of today.
November 8, 2020 at 18:40
Hi!! Its been 12month of my marriage now. It was our family decision that we both need to tie for marriage and because of our family we had to. But we both want a divorce but due to he is in australia its geeting hard for divorce but after a 2month of marriage i got seperated from his family .can i fill up the dv lottery with new passport i got through my husband and we want a divorce ,we are living apart but not legally divorce. Can i still fillup the form of dv lottery?
November 9, 2020 at 00:10
You can, but you need to apply as married including providing a photo of your spouse.
May 14, 2019 at 12:52
HI, MY WIFE IS BORN IN DV ELIGIBLE COUNTRY AND BY CHARGING HER ELIGIBILITY I HAVE WON DV LOTTERY. IS IT MANDATORY FOR US TO GET OUR MARITAL STATUS UPDATED IN PASSPORT AND PCC BEFORE SUBMITTING DS260?
May 14, 2019 at 15:11
No, but you will need to prove the marriage and both you and her will need to meet the requirements for education.
July 1, 2019 at 04:38
Hi britsimon thank you for the detailed info in your posts.
I have three children,we have been together as a couple the whole time (10yrs); me with their dad but we don’t have any legal papers to prove this
I want to apply for the 2020 dv
What are your thoughts ?
July 1, 2019 at 18:45
You are not being very clear. Are you a selectee?? If you are talking about your spouse, yes you will need proof of legal marriage.
July 2, 2019 at 16:53
I have a question
i live in France and i live with my wife under a notary contract because of that i chosen leglly separated in my contract notarized written that we live apart.
So it will be a problem because of that???
July 2, 2019 at 17:59
I don’t know. You haven’t told me anything useful to answer your question.
July 3, 2019 at 15:40
I mean in marital status i wrote
Legally separated. I have a contract from notary notarized that we live apart.
Its will help me in the interview my cas number dv 20202000
July 3, 2019 at 18:06
No that is not OK.
Legally separated is a status recognized by a court.
July 3, 2019 at 19:16
Thank you for your answer man in france can’t do it by court
September 25, 2019 at 22:44
Hi,I am from Nepal.I have got married last year.But we didn’t get the time to register.Now we are in foreign together.In this case what should I do?..Should I tick to married or on unmarried???…please kindly give me advice..??????
September 26, 2019 at 04:00
I can’t read your mind. So – if you are legally married – answer married. Just the truth. That’s all.
September 30, 2019 at 11:58
Hello Greetings, i wanted to ask and know if it is possible to play the lottery with my wife and son as married and still again each of us that is me and my wife playing again seperately but stating that we are married. Thanks and waiting for your responds.
October 1, 2019 at 03:00
One entry each, both as married, both list the other as the spouse, both listing the child.
October 4, 2019 at 16:18
some bady can help me that i do not have my childrens Foto because they live faraway from me, what i can do when i need to register dv lottery 2021?
October 4, 2019 at 23:10
You must have their photo to enter. If you cannot get the photo, don’t enter.
October 4, 2019 at 16:44
Hi both me and my husband are from an eligible country but we are married traditional and do not have a marriage certificate should i put married or not married on the application
October 4, 2019 at 23:12
If your country gives legal status to traditional marriage you could enter as married, BUT if not – enter as unmarried. You can always get legally married later if selected and then add your spouse at that time.
October 5, 2019 at 09:01
I would like to ask you that what would I need to fill in the number of child if I am single and have no child.
Should I type “0” or just “blank” it in that box ?
By the way, I saw your video posted on youtube and you typed 1 child in that video.
Thanks in advance.
October 5, 2019 at 14:19
October 7, 2019 at 01:05
I got a number in the DV2020 (1279). I’m currently separated and hoping the divorce is through by the end of the year. I don’t want the ex to have any claim to a green card through me. Should I wait for the divorce to go through before filling out the DS-260? Does it matter? Is there any problem with holding off since my number won’t come up for a while? I just don’t want him finding out and holding up the divorce.
October 7, 2019 at 04:01
Your number (I assume OC) will be ready soon. But you can delay submission if you want.
October 8, 2019 at 17:55
My wife and I are separated and relations are still quite acrimonious
I want to enter my application, but don’t have a “a recent, up to date photo of her, nor my children, in the format required”
I am obviously not going to go with my wife if we remain separated or divorced if I were to win
If I were to win, and I am able to go with my kids, of course I will take them for a better life if I can
But I am entitled to enter, however, I also need her photo and that of my kids
How do I solve this dilemma of placing my entry?
October 9, 2019 at 03:30
Maybe you can’t enter. Really – its that simple.
October 8, 2019 at 18:00
Hey Simon. I am not married, but have a common law relationship, which in Ecuador (where I’m from) is a legal notarized status. Should I say I am married or unmarried in the DV2021 application? Thanks for your help.
October 9, 2019 at 03:31
Unmarried. Common law partnerships are not recognized.
October 10, 2019 at 14:11
I would like to ask for your kindly advise. My wife and I are playing the DV lottery. However she has already applied for a divorce which is very likely to happen before the results are drown. So, my question is in case we won can both of us go to the US together if one of us won the lottery and we are officially divorced? If the answer is no than what might be done to change it to yes (except for her to change her mind and hold down the divorce horses)?
October 11, 2019 at 03:41
If you are divorced you have no option of going with her if she is chosen.
January 5, 2020 at 10:45
Dear Brit, how are you?
I read your article which is very helpful.
Excuse me Sir, can i do change in my marrital status in ds 260 application? I did mistake in the original eDV lottery registration. I am dv 2020 selectee.
Thank you for your help?
January 5, 2020 at 19:11
Was the mistake that you “forgot” you were married? Did you leave a spouse off your entry?
October 11, 2020 at 11:33
What Marital Status should I select? I got married after divorced from past husband but have child from both husband and I wanna include my all children in DV2022 Entry with me.
My main question is how do I include my past husband’s child in Entry.
Your help is highly appreciated.
October 11, 2020 at 13:26
If you are married – you select married.
You simply add each of your children. All of them.
February 14, 2020 at 12:43
If i entered first as single and i was divorced no child no actual marriage only paper and I didn’t mention that in ds260 is that problem
February 14, 2020 at 19:47
Of course that’s a problem.
February 14, 2020 at 22:18
What’s right choice can i do ?am I disqualified?
February 14, 2020 at 22:27
Well you will be if you proceed. You lied when you entered as single and were in fact married.
February 14, 2020 at 22:55
If i am got married after ds260 and add my wife is that right ?
February 14, 2020 at 23:49
HUh? You said you were divorced, but entered as single. You seem to be struggling to be truthful.
June 1, 2020 at 00:27
I was born in Brazil, but I have Portuguese citizenship (Portuguese passport and all other documents) because I was legally married to a Portuguese national citizen (but unfortunately we were legally separated (divorce)).
After the divorce, I got married again and my husband died 9 years ago (This was not Portuguese).
I have undergraduate, graduate and master’s degrees. In addition, I have financial conditions.
So, I would like to confirm if I can participate in the Green Card lottery as a Portuguese citizen and in Question # 6 do I justify this decision in the application?
In other words, divorced from a Portuguese national and if drawn, I present all the documents in the interview.
June 1, 2020 at 00:46
No. Country of birth is crucial.
June 7, 2020 at 15:37
I’m one of the winners of the Diversity Lottery 2021. I am legally married without children, but unfortunately my wife and I have been physically separated for over a year, and we have not yet begun the legal process of divorce. It is very difficult for me to contact her to get her information to fill out her DS-260 form.
I have already filled out and submitted my Form DS-260 with all the required information, answering NO to the question “Is your spouse immigrating to the U.S. with you?”, and answering NO to the question “Is your spouse immigrating to the U.S. at a later date to join you?
1. How will it affect me if I don’t send in my spouse’s DS-260 form?
2. Is it necessary to send in my spouse’s DS-260 form in order to get my immigrant visa?
At this time, I just want to get my immigrant visa and leave my wife out of the process. I can expedite the legal divorce process or put it off after I get my visa depending on what you recommend is best for me to get my immigrant visa.
June 7, 2020 at 15:54
1. You won’t send her DS260. You simply list her on yours as your wife, but no need to submit the DS260 for her.
2. See 1
June 10, 2020 at 05:54
Hello BritSimon ,
I won the lottery but there is an issue,
In the original entry form i put myself as a single but I’ve been married for 20 years and i have 4 children and i got all the official documents that proof my marriage. The reason that i put myself as a single is i want to apply for the Lottery myself without my family , i want them to stay in the country. Should i complete the process as a single ? Or should I change my marital status in the upcoming steps ?
June 10, 2020 at 22:38
You deliberately lied and will be disqualified. There is no fix.
June 10, 2020 at 14:59
Hi Mr. Simon
I have selected randomly for DV2021, and already got my case number.
My question is, does the case number for my spouse is the same when completing ds260?
At the end of filling my spouse ds260 as “accompany” they ask kcc case number.
Does the kcc case number the same with case number that i got?
June 11, 2020 at 00:27
Yep – same case number for each of you.
June 12, 2020 at 00:05
Hello Mr. Simon
Im in divorce but not legally divorced, what should i do in this case?
Do i need to add applicnat for my wife and fill it with her information or not?
Or i need just to say that iam married only without add another applicant for her.
Sorry for my bad english and i hop that you understnd me
June 12, 2020 at 01:16
List yourself as married and list her details on your DS260 but no need to create a DS260 for her.
November 4, 2020 at 22:02
What if couple is traditionally married six months ago and do not have legally married document and is in process of divorce probably within 2 month. How can i submit edv form as i dont have her photos & can i show unmarried and later submit divorce document?
November 5, 2020 at 04:15
You will have to decide.
October 2, 2020 at 06:30
Hello Mr. Simon,
I’m one of the selectees of the DV2021,
I’m married, and my wife and i filled and sent our DS-260
but now my wife want to divorce, what should i do now?
if we actually divorce, is there a way to notify the KCC to cancel her DS-260?
Can a divorce be frowned upon by the US government?
I’ve been worried about this, because i don’t want to lose the opportunity of my life
Thank you so much for all your work, im sure that if i would found your videos earlier i wouldn’t had had rush in sending the DS-260 🙁
I’m very grateful that you are making this videos and posts,
Best regards and have a great day!
October 2, 2020 at 23:18
Once you have divorced you update your status in the DS260. No problem.
November 2, 2020 at 08:27
Am married and when I complet the dv form I don’t have his photo in my hand so I just click the merried Link…so is that necessary without photo of my husband
November 2, 2020 at 21:04
You must have a photo of your spouse.
December 15, 2020 at 20:03
Thanks, Sir for your effort helping us
I am a winner of DV 2021, have not submitted my DV 260 and I got divorced after I won.
as per the instructions of DV 260 website, no application processing without all applications submitted.
Can I skip my ex wife application and submit only mine as divorced and use the divorce certificate as proof?
will it work with my ex wife application untouched?
December 15, 2020 at 20:24
Yes you can apply by yourself, making your status as divorced. You will need to include the marriage and divorce documents when you sent documents to KCC.
May 21, 2021 at 11:06
Hi Brit I have a concern. my case is 2021AF10xxx. I submitted my ds in June 2020 then I received ready to be scheduled in August. i unlocked my ds in january to add my newborn , re-sent with the documents and again ready to be planned.
I got married legally in February but I have not released my ds again due to the delay in processing by the KCC. I received the marriage documents not long ago.
My husband is the father of my child and he is already a resident in the USA.
I’m still waiting for a schedule
1- My concern is to know if the fact of not having unlocked my ds-260 will not be a problem during the interview.
2- What should I do now?
May 22, 2021 at 00:12
1. Not a huge problem since you are not adding your husband.
2. Are you on a lawsuit? You should consider that – https://curtismorrisonlaw.com/dv2021
March 26, 2022 at 13:10
Hey Brit : I am traditionally married when I entered the DV as married, even though it’s not recognized by my country , unfortunately I can’t get a married certificate due to Covid, as such I got an Affidavit of my traditional marriage from the court in my country to use as a substitute for my marriage certificate. I have my interview in a few days, do you have some advice please.
April 2, 2022 at 18:54
No. There is some risk of course.
April 4, 2022 at 06:00
What do you think could be the risk involved.. thank you
April 6, 2022 at 23:28
The risk of denial of course.