visas – Does applying for the Diversity Green Card lottery affect future tourist visits to the US, if you don’t win?

I was born in Albania. If I apply for a Green Card (through the Green Card lottery) and was unsuccessful, would I have issues later if I just wanted to travel to the US as a tourist? Could I be refused entry if they thought I would stay there indefinitely because of the unsuccessful green card visa? I wouldn’t, I’ve got a pretty comfortable life in the UK working as a software dev, but always wanted to work in Silicon Valley.

I visited America once for a few weeks (on an ESTA) and enjoyed it a lot. It would be a shame to not be able to go there as a tourist again.

Applying overlapping skills to reduce difficulty in Numenera

I know in Numenera you can apply maximum of 2 difficulty reduction from a skill check. Is there any guidance on applying overlapping skills? Some examples:

  • Character tries to identify plant people. They’re trained at plants and animals (two separate skills), thus reducing difficulty by 2.
  • They try to to dash and jump. They’re trained in athletics and jumping (again, separate skills), -2 difficulty.

visas – Applying for ESTA, or any travel document (vacation) as an ex US Permanent Resident Card holder

From what you have stated on here, you no longer have permanent residency. Your parents abandoned their permanent residency and carried you along. Parents abandonment are reasonably imputed to minor children.

Matter of Zamora


If an LPR parent is found to have abandoned his or her residence, and
has taken his or her child out of the US, the parent’s abandonment
will be imputed to the child. The child’s intentions are irrelevant –
only the parent’s are, according to the BIA. Matter of Zamora, 17 I&N
Dec. 395 (BIA 1980)

This is what will happen if you attempt to travel on your permanent residence card. First of all the airline in your country will likely prevent you from boarding because your physical card has expired. Even if you’re able to clear that hurdle, immigration at the airport in the USA have no choice but to admit you because abandonment is only determined by an immigration judge. At the airport immigration would charge an LPR it believed had abandoned his or her status under INA § 237(a)(1)(A) for being inadmissible at the time of admission.

You will receive a Notice To Appear before an immigration judge who will make the final determination. From what you have provided it will be a formality, your permanent residence will almost certainly be deemed abandoned. At that point you will start accruing illegal presence which you will have to declare whenever you’re applying for a visa to any country whose forms ask if you’ve ever been deported or refused entry into a country.

To save you this trouble and out of an abundance of caution, the embassy asked you to formally abandon your permanent residency so that you don’t face the issues outlined above. They’re not telling you this because they think you’re still a permanent resident. It’s just to make your travels stress free.

Save yourself the trouble, or alternatively if you have an appetite for risk taking, time to waste in immigration court, and spare money for an immigration attorney, attempt to travel with the card in your possession.

Applying fixes for SharePoint 2013 using the Trevors patch script

Correction script. From this script there is a command Install-SPPatch -Path C:Updates -Pause -KeepSearchPaused:$true -SilentInstall

We can execute this command, we can keep the search in the suspended state until the patch installation is complete on all servers, but how to start the search services once all are patches installed on all servers in the farm?

quadratic forms – Do we include operators before the coefficient when applying algebraic formulas to equations?

I do some simple retraining on college algebra after a long time, but I have come to find some inconsistencies in my understanding of how to apply the formulas, do we include operators before the coefficient when applying algebraic formulas to equations?
I fight in particular with these two formulas:

Quadratic formula, operators included here:
2x²+14x-196 = 0, when applied to the formula (-b±√(b²- 4ac))/2a, gives (-14±√((14)²-4(2)(-196)))/2(2). The answer here is x = -14, x = 7 checked.

Note that the coefficient "c" must take the negative operator to give the answer.

If we are consistent and say yes, operators must be included in formulas:
When using the formula (what is this algebraic formula called btw?) (a-b)² = a²-2ab+b², when applied to (2-3)², gives: 2²-2(2)(-3)+(-3)² = 4+12+9=25. Which is clearly the wrong answer.

I'm struggling with this inconsistency, can anyone help me?

expression manipulation – Applying a function to coefficients and variables in Collect

I deal schematically with expressions of the form

expr = c(1) G(1) + c(3,8) G(3,8) + ... + c(3) G(1) + ... 

where the G are fixed objects and the c some disordered coefficients. I would like to collect this term by term in the G, by getting something of the form

Sum(d(i__) G(i__), {i, some_set})

then perform operations on the ds and the Gs. If I just wanted to do something at DS, I think

Collect(expr, G(__), operation_d)

would be the appropriate and probably the most effective function to use. Is there an (integrated) way to act simultaneously on the Gs too? I believe the process necessarily carries all of the required data during the collection process.

Of course, I can generate a list of relevant G's (Collect (expr, G (__), 1 &)) and a list of corresponding coefficients, then act on them and combine them. However, this divides the problem into two external rather than internal parts, and for the case that can be handled by simply Collect () in one step, this is certainly less effective. I'm basically wondering if there is something more "Mathematica-like" to do. Thank you!

Note: I know the related but not the same five-year question How to organize expression by symbols (like Collect), but apply different functions to each coefficient.

Do I need to submit bank statements when applying for a UK visa? What do they say about me?

At first principles, bank statements show that the applicant has the financial capacity to visit the United Kingdom. However, there is much more and it is not just the current balance. Bank statements help the decision maker to understand the claimant's personal situation …

  • Stability and lifestyle, especially regular cash flow to the job account.

  • The relationship between the applicant's cash flow and their declared employment.

  • Sources of income which will be paid into the account while the applicant is traveling to the UK.

  • Consistency of the applicant's lifestyle with the interview and accommodation offered in the UK during their visit.

  • Sources of income of the applicant's family and all financial commitments between family members that demonstrate proximity to the family.

  • If the applicant uses a sponsor, a history of support, that is, regular deposits that can improve the credibility of the sponsor and their willingness to support the applicant.

  • Applicant's ongoing financial commitments such as rent or mortgage payments.

  • Ongoing spending on food, utilities, transportation, etc.

  • That all income has been legally generated and is effectively available to the claimant during their visit.

  • Ongoing support and maintenance for dependents of the claimant, especially those who are not traveling with the claimant.

  • Irregular cash flows and sudden changes in the account balance which may indicate that the applicant is using a fund-storing strategy.

  • Above all, the applicant's ties to the local economy and society, as well as links to the applicant's family.

Bank statements that have at least two of these characteristics will be more successful than those that do not. Although there is no hard and fast rule on the number of declarations required, it is clear that, with more declarations, the decision maker will be able to see the models. The rule of thumb is six returns over a six month period and the six month period must end with the most recent return before submitting the request.

Some people can establish most of the above with three to six months of account history, but new claimants and those with borderline cases should submit more.

Note: successful applicants will clearly see two or more of these considerations. No one can get them all.

What this all brings together is that it is in favor of the applicant to submit as many bank statements as possible so that the decision maker can detect clear cash flow patterns.

The ideal case

The ideal set for bank statements

This applicant has a paid job and has ongoing expenses which indicate close links with the local economy. The plaintiff saved money for his visit. This is an ideal case and the applicant has a high chance of success.

Parking funds

Example of parking funding 1

Example of fund parking 2

These statements show an irregular cash flow that has moved existing balances upward. It is impossible to detect current commitments that show a strong link with the local economy. These candidates can expect problems despite have impressive balances on the most recent statements. The denial notice will say something like:

… I am not convinced that these funds are really at your disposal …

or more worrying:

… I am not convinced that you have presented your situation and therefore your intentions precisely by asking to enter the United Kingdom …

Repeat: it's not just the final balance. They also look up the history of incoming and outgoing flows from the account.


"… of course, I included a bank statement! But they ignored it and refused me …"

One statement

People who fear that their story will reveal a weakness sometimes resort to an "opacity strategy", where they submit a single statement or multiple statements in a broken series, or just too few statements. This strategy is both naive and disastrous because the decision maker cannot clearly understand the plaintiff's situation and will suspect the plaintiff of hiding something. The inevitable refusal notice will closely follow those of "Parking the Funds", but with an added element of suspicion added. Generally, it is best to provide a full picture than leaving the decision maker with the impression that you are trying to hide something. Good faith visitors to the UK will be transparent about their situation when it is needed.

Insufficient capacity

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This series shows that the applicant has a paid job and has continuous commitments, but the balance plunges into the negative each month. The applicant is having difficulty meeting his daily cash flow needs and wishes to visit the UK in these circumstances is out of control with his lifestyle; that is to say that the applicant's intentions are suspect. Applicant is not in stable circumstances and can expect significant obstacles even with a sponsor.

The denial notice will say something like:

… I am not satisfied that you respect the immigration rules on this occasion …

If a cosponsor offers to provide assistance, the notice of refusal may make a comment such as:

… I recognize that your sponsor is offering to pay for your visit, however, it is the circumstances of the requester that remain paramount when assessing your request …

or worse:

… however, although I take this into account when evaluating your maintenance and accommodation project in the UK, this is only one aspect rules of visit and this sponsorship does not satisfy me of your intention to leave the United Kingdom at the end of your visit …

Irregular / unstable lifestyle

"They totally ignored the £ 4,000 in my bank account and refused me!"

Example of erratic lifestyle 1

Example of erratic lifestyle 2

These two documents show that the applicant's most recent balance is positive, but whatever the final balance, they are likely to face serious problems. Both exhibits show wild and unpredictable swings in the balance and little to indicate a stable link with the local economy.

Using these models, it is reasonable to expect a refusal notice that says something like:

… It is your responsibility to demonstrate that if entry permission is granted to you, you will comply with the terms of your visa and intend to leave. I consider that you have not demonstrated any economic links with (the name of the country is indicated here) …


… I am not convinced that you will meet and adequately accommodate yourself and any dependents with the resources available to you without using public funds or taking up a job …

Some specific cases are below …


A frequent source of refusal is "proportionality". This is a strategy where the claimant intends to use up his life savings during a visit. "Proportionality" also covers the case where an applicant intends to spend more than two or three months of income on a visit, sometimes up to six months. This strategy is condemned from the start because ECOs believe that authentic visitors do not exhaust their financial reserves during a visit and, moreover, ECOs believe that authentic visitors do not spend a multiple of their monthly cash intake. There is no hard and fast rule covering proportionality and UKVI does not provide guidance on what is acceptable, so as a general rule if you plan to spend more than a month or two of your cash intake you can expect problems and the solution is does not apply. Wait until your personal situation is more prosperous.

Dependent spouses and children under 18

UKVI recognizes that spouses and dependent children will not be able to submit bank statements. In these cases, the principal applicant's bank statements will be used to assess the situation of the family as a whole. The UK approves thousands of family applications each year.

Children over the age of 18 who cannot show a reason to maintain a dependent's lifestyle will find it increasingly difficult. This is especially true if they are not traveling as a family unit. The same can generally be said for students, although students can usually provide other evidence demonstrating local connections.

How much do I need to apply?

The rules do not specify an amount, they are intentionally vague in order to leave the decision maker free to assess individual circumstances. A rule of thumb, however, uses the claimant's stated purpose and planned activities as an approximate guideline, and the claimant should be able to compensate for this amount without undue hardship.

If you want to isolate and provide a specific figure, chances are you haven't understood this entire article and want to read it again. It is not just about the final balance.

Can I use a co-sponsor?

Yes of course. But many requests fail because the decision maker cannot understand why the sponsor takes on this burden. This is especially true for Internet relationships where the couple has never met in person. This is also true for family members where the relationship is too far or too far to be plausible.

The sponsor must provide a series of their own bank statements to demonstrate their own capacity and credibility.

"… my father / brother / uncle / aunt was my co-sponsor and can comfortably afford my maintenance and my accommodation, but I was again refuse …".

Sponsored applications are weak at the start and do not exempt the applicant from demonstrating links with the local economy and the social landscape. Although the money may be there, it is much more difficult for the applicant to prove that he will not extend or abuse his visa in any other way. As a general rule, sponsorship should only be used as a last resort and only if the applicant can provide convincing evidence.

Can I use prepaid credit cards?

It can work with Schengen apps, but not for UK apps. Credit cards add a layer of darkness to the funding source and tend to obscure all of the lifestyle and transparency listed above.

I don't have enough bank statements

An applicant must demonstrate that it will maintain itself adequately without resorting to public funds. Authentic visitors are usually able to accomplish this. If you are unable to do so convincingly, consider postponing your visit to a more prosperous period.

Can I buy a set of bank statements?

There are services in some countries (Nigeria, India, Pakistan, to name a few) that will do it for you. If you know them, the decision maker also knows them. Remember that consular staff have established relationships with reputable banks over a long period (we are talking decades here) and are able to make discreet inquiries into the validity of a given set of statements.

I live with my parents and I don't have a bank account

See above. You can expect problems showing that you are a true seeker. Consider waiting for your parents to submit a family application.

I am self employed and i have no bank account

You can expect problems. True visitors to the UK have a profile that is not entirely based on money. In addition, it will be almost impossible for you to establish that your money was obtained legally. Consider opening and using an appropriate bank account for 12 to 18 months before submitting your request.

What else can be provided to show strong links?

There is no other form of evidence considered to be an absolute substitution. Deeds of ownership are rarely useful because ownership normally persists when the owner lives elsewhere. Personal attestations from family and friends are not helpful, as much of the performance history indicates otherwise. But there are some exceptions, for example, you can get a certificate of your country's equivalent from the UK Foreign Office which highlights your situation. Another example, holding a public office may work depending on other circumstances. Otherwise, please see the "Other questions about bank statements", below.

I am desperate…

… to visit the UK, I really need to go there and I promise not to stay too long. The problem is that I don't have real bank accounts or anything else that shows a connection with my country. You see, my situation is different. It's like blah blah blah, and then yada yada yada … Please help me!

There is no silver bullet, they like to approve applicants who fall clearly and unambiguously into a low risk profile. For more information, see below.

I cannot provide a convincing case

Don't apply. A refusal can complicate future requests even when you are in more prosperous circumstances and you could easily qualify.

If none of the above cases work for you, your situation may be too complex for an Internet request answered by random strangers. Consider arranging a consultation with a member of the UK Law Society or a licensed practitioner. There is a large list on the ILPA site.

Based on advice: "All documents must be originals, not photocopies."

Related article: UK visa refusal: Funding / parking source

See also: How much money should I present as proof of support when applying for a standard visitor visa to the UK?

Design principles for applying configurations to multiple destinations

Are there solid design principles for a scenario where one would have a dashboard to apply configurations to several different locations?

As an example – let's say you have a dashboard to monitor and configure 10 different weather sensors. Each sensor can be either

  • "OF"
  • "SURE"
  • "ON 1 hour per day"

that is, each 10 sensors have 3 different modes in which they can be configured.

The question is how to approach the design of a dashboard to switch between configurations of the entire sensor network? It looks like the application of individual configurations would turn into a huge pain with a greater number of sensors (e.g. 100).

deep links – Android applying wildcard characters and common asset links json

I have an app that has 4 product flavors based on development environments, say alpha, beta, gamma and prod. So the extension of my application package will be the name env which is defined using applicationIdSuffix in gradle.

I also have two key stores to create my app. One for debugging and another for output.

I am adding the app to my app and I have two questions here:

1. can i use a wildcard in my intention filter? as i will have domain urls like,, and (the package name prod and prod will not have any applicationIdSuffix)

I tried to use * and using this wildcard actually causes a problem in the link and displays a selection dialog. what am i doing wrong here?

2. Can I have a json digital asset link for all approx? or should i keep an assetlinks.json file for each env? Right now, my package name changes depending on enc like "package_name": "", "", etc.
In addition, my "sha256_cert_fingerprints" changes depending on the keystore I use (debugging or version)

Any help is appreciated. I find a lot of questions but nothing seems useful to me.

Thanks in advance.

Strategies for applying the uniqueness of fuzzy data to free text input

I have a website that allows administrator users to enter free text questions into a database that will eventually be asked of non-administrator users using the website. This system replaces an old system in which the question library has become almost useless due to the amount of duplicate questions, so one of my main goals is to do my best to detect and force the reuse of questions existing.

What strategies should I have to avoid ending up with the same problem? My initial thought is to compare user input to existing data using a search engine (CloudSearch, Elastic Search, etc.) and block the entry of questions on a certain threshold of score.

Are there other strategies? Is there a specific way to think about storing / disinfecting my data to maximize efficiency? I think of things like deleting low value words (the, of, is, etc.) to sum up to the essence of the matter.

As I ask this question, it seems very meta because maybe what I'm trying to create is the "Similar Questions" widget here on Stack Exchange.