Green Card DV-Lottery Frequently Asked Questions

The American Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery

What is a Green CardWhat is a Green Card ?
What is the Green Card DV-Lottery ProgramWhat is the Green Card DV-Lottery Program ?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryWho can participate in the Green Card Lottery?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryWhat about my spouse and children?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryIs there a minimum of age to apply?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryWhat are the requirements for the education or work experience?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryWhy do natives of certain countries not qualify for the green card lottery?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryWhat can I do if I was born in a country that is not qualified?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryHow many applicants will be selected?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryHow many entries can I submit?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryCan I do something to increase my chances of winning?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryHow many visas are distributed to each country?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryI live in the U.S. - Can I participate?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryMay a husband and a wife each submit a separate form?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryIf I win, do I have to travel with my family?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryHow do I know if I won a green card?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryHow can I participate in the USA Diversity Visa Green Card program?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryWhat information is required to fill in the application?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryWhat family members must I include on my entry?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryIs the photograph required for each family member?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryAre there any specific formatting requirements for the entry, envelope, photos etc?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryAre there any new requirements for this year’s green card Lottery?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryYear 2014, Green Card Lottery Program DV2017, what is going on?
USA Diversity Visa Green Card LotteryWhat year is this USA Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery program?


The American Green Card Diversity Visa Lottery

What is a Green Card ?

The Green Card is an immigrant visa to the United States. It allows you to legally live, work and study in the United States and to enter and leave the country freely. Green card holders also receive health, education, and other rights, and they can sponsor relatives for Green Cards. A permanent resident is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a “green card”.

What is the Green Card Lottery program ?

The Green Card Lottery program is formally known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program and is administered by the US Department of State. The program makes available permanent residence visas (Green Cards) to persons meeting certain eligibility requirements. Winners of the lottery are chosen in a random drawing conducted by the US State Department.

Who can participate in the Green Card Lottery ?

The applicant must be a native of a country whose natives qualify and must meet either the education or training requirement of the program. To check if you qualify, go to the green card lottery requirements page.

What about my spouse and children ?

If you win and obtain a Green Card, your spouse and unmarried children under age 21 may submit documentation to receive Green Cards as well.

Is there a minimum of age to apply ?

There is no minimum age to apply for the program, but the requirement of a high school education or work experience for each principal applicant at the time of application will effectively disqualify most persons who are under 18 years old.

What are the requirements for the education or work experience ?

You must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or, within the past five years, have two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years training or experience. A "high school education or equivalent" is defined as successful completion of a twelve-year course of elementary and secondary education in the United States or successful completion in another country of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a high school education in the United States. Occupations that require at least two years of experience are determined from a list published by the Department of Labour. The Do I Qualify page will walk you through these options.

Why do natives of certain countries not qualify for the green card lottery ?

The Green Card Lottery is intended to provide an immigration opportunity for persons from countries other than the countries that send large numbers of immigrants to the United States. The law states that no green cards shall be provided for natives of “high-admission” countries. The law defines this to mean countries from which a total of 55,000 persons in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visa categories immigrated to the United States during the previous five years. Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services adds the family and employment immigrant admission figures for the previous five years to identify the countries whose natives will be ineligible for the annual green card lottery. Because there is a separate determination made before each annual green card lottery entry period, the list of countries whose natives are not eligible may change from one year to the next.

What can I do if I was born in a country that is not qualified ?

if you were born in a country that is not eligible for this year’s green card lottery program, you may claim chargeability to the country where your derivative spouse was born, but you will not be issued a green card unless your spouse is also eligible for and issued a green card, and both of you must enter the United States together with your green cards at the same time. In a similar manner, a minor dependent child can be “charged” to a parent’s country of birth.

Finally, if you were born in a country not eligible to participate in this year’s green card lottery program, you can be “charged” to the country of birth of either of your parents as long as neither parent was a resident of the ineligible country at the time of the your birth. In general, people are not considered residents of a country in which they were not born or legally naturalized if they are only visiting the country, studying in the country temporarily, or stationed temporarily in the country for business or professional reasons on behalf of a company or government from a country other than the country in which the applicant was born. If you claim alternate chargeability, you must indicate such information on the green card lottery online Entry Form in the members area. Please be aware that listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability (i.e., one to which you cannot establish a valid claim) may disqualify your entry.

Your country of eligibility will normally be the same as your country of birth. Your country of eligibility is not related to where you live. “Native” ordinarily means someone born in a particular country, regardless of the individual’s current country of residence or nationality. For immigration purposes, “native” can also mean someone who is entitled to be “charged” to a country other than the one in which he/she was born under the provisions of Section 202(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

How many applicants will be selected ?

There are 55,000 visas available, but more than that number of individuals will be selected. Because it is likely that some of the first 50,000 persons who are selected will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, selecting a larger number of entries should ensure use of all numbers, but it also risks some selected persons being left out. Therefore it is very important that if you do win, you proceed to process your visa immediately. Random selection by the Kentucky Consular Center computer does not automatically guarantee that you will receive a visa.

How many entries can I submit ?

The law allows only one entry by or for each person during each registration period. Individuals for whom more than one entry is submitted will be disqualified. The Department of State will employ sophisticated technology and other means to identify individuals who submit multiple entries during the registration period. People submitting more than one entry will be disqualified, and an electronic record will be permanently maintained by the Department of State. Individuals may apply for the program each year during the regular registration period.

However, married couples may each submit an application, doubling their chances of winning. The Green Card DV-Lottery Register page will automatically suggest this to you.

Can I do something to increase my chances of winning ?

Yes and No, all qualified entries are randomly selected by computer and have an equal chance to win, however if you are married you and your spouse can both apply and you will double your chances of winning. What you can do is make sure that your application is not disqualified. Each year millions of applications are disqualified for failure to follow the submission requirements. The online Registration page will create the application for you and help you avoid this.

How many visas are distributed to each country ?

Visas are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and no visas going to countries sending more than 55,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years. No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

I live in the U.S. - Can I participate ?

Yes, an applicant may be in the United States or in another country, and the entry may be submitted from the United States or from abroad.

May a husband and a wife each submit a separate form ?

Yes, a husband and a wife may each submit one entry. If either were selected, the other would be entitled to derivative status. Therefore, you may double your chances by submitting one application for each of you and listing each other as spouses or save a little money and use our husband/wife application that does the same for a less money.

If I win, do I have to travel with my family ?

No. The fact that you have listed family members on your entry does not mean that they later must travel with you. They may choose to remain behind. However, if you include an eligible dependent on your visa application forms whom you failed to include on your original entry, your case will be disqualified.

How do I know if I won a green card?

At the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, all entries received from each region will be individually numbered. After the end of the registration period, a computer will randomly select entries from among all the entries received for each geographic region. Within each region, the first entry randomly selected will be the first case registered; the second entry selected the second registration, etc. All entries received during the registration period will have an equal chance of being selected within each region. When an entry has been selected, the entrant will be sent a notification letter by the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, which will provide visa application instructions. The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg will continue to process the case until those selected to be visa applicants are instructed to appear for visa interviews at a U.S. consular office or until those qualifying to change status in the United States apply at a domestic USCIS office.

Important Note: Notifications to those selected in the random lottery are not sent by e-mail. Official notifications of selection are sent by regular postal mail from the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg only. Should you receive an email notification about your green card lottery selection, be aware that the message is not legitimate. It is only after you are selected, notified by an official letter sent via postal mail, and processing begins on your case, that you may receive follow-up email communication from the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg.

Those selected will be notified by mail between May and July each year and will be provided further instructions on how to claim their Green Card, including information on fees connected with immigration to the U.S. Persons not selected will NOT receive any notification.

How can I participate in the USA Diversity Visa Green Card program?

In order to participate the USA Diversity Visa Green Card lottery program please complete the online registration process at: Register for the Green Card Lottery.

What information is required to fill in the application ?

You are required to provide the name, date and place of birth of yourself, your spouse (wife or husband) and your children (unmarried under 21 years of age); your full mailing address; recent photographs of yourself, your spouse and children. The online Do I Qualify page page will walk you through all of the information you need.

What family members must I include on my entry ?

You must list your spouse, that is husband or wife, and all unmarried children under 21 years of age, with the exception of a child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident. You must list your spouse even if you are currently separated from him/her. However, if you are legally divorced, you do not need to list your former spouse. For customary marriages, the important date is the date of the original marriage ceremony, not the date on which the marriage is registered. You must list ALL your children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 years, whether they are your natural children, your spouse's children by a previous marriage, or children you have formally adopted in accordance with the laws of your country, unless a child is already a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident. List all children even if they no longer reside with you. The online Do I Qualify page will walk you through all these requirements.

Is the photograph required for each family member ?

Yes. A Recent and individual photographs of you, your spouse, and all children under 21 years of age are required. Family or group photographs are not accepted. Refer to information on the photograph requirements for specific details.

Are there any specific formatting requirements for the entry, envelop, photos etc ?

Yes there are the Photo page and instructions will guide you through these requirements.

Are there any new requirements for this year’s green card Lottery?

Yes, you must provide an email address this year as part of your entry, it is no longer optional. If you are selected, you will still receive an official letter from the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg by regular mail, but the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg may send other communications to you by email. Please provide a personal email address that you can access rather than using someone else’s address or a standard company address.

Year 2014, Green Card Lottery Program DV2017, what is going on?

This year’s (2014) Green Card Lottery Program is called DV2017 (the year successful applicants may enter the United States of America) and is scheduled to be closed for applications at November 3, 2014.

What year is this USA Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery program ?

The 2014 USA Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery program year (DV2017) is the year when Green Card holders will be able to enter the USA with their new visa. The process has four steps; here are the dates for each step:
  1. Submission - Applicants can apply for the DV2017 program on our web site now and until November 3, 2014.
  2. Lottery - March 2015 - Winners are chosen by the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg and results are published May 1, 2015.
  3. Process - Winners apply for Green Card using their winning notifications.
  4. Entry - Green Card holders who won the green card lottery may enter the United States of America during the year 2017 as a permanent resident.


   


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Green Card DV-Lottery Test

USA Green Card Lottery

Take the Green Card Lottery test to see if you qualify. If you do, apply for the DV-2017 Green Card Lottery here on the Official Green Card DV Lottery web site.


The USA Green Card Lottery

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