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I was thinking of applying for a Diversity Visa. Of course, the perks look sweet if you pass (around 1.8% chance) , but I'm unclear of the consequences:

  • Does applying for this 'lottery' disqualify me from using ESTA and Visa Waiver stuff in the future? (I am Swedish) Do I have to go to an American Embassy to get a B Visa instead? I've found more than one story of this on the internet.

  • Will I need to fill in that I failed a Visa application on entry to the US (does this 'lottery' count?) and if yes, will it be a fast deal or will it take hours every time to explain to Customs and Border Patrol?

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The lottery part is merely for the right to apply for a Green Card, really, so if you are not selected in the lottery it is not considered a failed Visa application. My brother actually won the lottery and could have applied, but his plans had changed since entering and decided not to proceed.

You can still use the ESTA and visa waiver stuff in future, in fact you can have more than one visa application outstanding at the same time, according to these imigration lawyers FAQ.

It's probably worth noting however, that having applied for immigration may colour the US immigration authorities view of any subsequent visa applications, as they will take it as a signal that you wish to migrate to the USA. So if you apply for a tourist visa they make take that into account and decide that your real intent is to stay permanently. This is generally more of a problem for applicants form countries with a high rate of illegal immigration via overstaying short-stay visas, for example, in which I doubt Sweden ranks highly.

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