How to win the Green Card Lottery USA
The Green Card Lottery USA is a great way for people to move to the USA legally without having a job lined up or existing family ties.
But it is no simple lottery ticket; it is the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program run by the United States Government. It gives up to 55,000 immigrant visas each year to people of foreign countries whose rate of immigration to the United States is low.
So, what is the Green Card Lottery USA and how do you enter it?
What is the Green Card Lottery USA?
The Green Card Lottery USA is a fairly self-explanatory concept on the surface. In short, it’s essentially a prize draw to win a Green Card for the applicant, their spouse, and any unmarried children under the age of 21.
Along with lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, it also provides the right to work in the country and access to social services, such as healthcare. Considering the potentially complex procedure involved in getting a Green Card, it’s a much easier way for people to enter the country.
Countries with historically low rates of immigration can enter. Luckily, the USA provides a list of eligible countries, which includes any country that has sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants there in the previous 5 years. As such, countries like the UK, Canada, and Australia typically don’t make the list as they have way too many immigrants moving to the United States each year.
How Does the Green Card Lottery USA differ from normal Visa Applications?
Normally, to get a Green Card for the USA, you need a sponsor. It must be a US citizen and is typically a potential employer or immediate family member. The latter covers spouses and parents but also covers future marriages (i.e. fiancés).
Getting a Green Card for a job can be complicated, as you often need to be a specialty worker in a field the US is lacking. Your sponsor (employer) must have a valid reason for looking overseas for workers. While this isn’t specifically your concern, it can limit the industries people can apply from.
The Green Card Lottery, however, is open to (almost) anyone, meaning you don’t need a specialty career or US citizen family members. As the official name states, it’s designed to improve the country’s diversity.
But, the main similarity is that all forms of Green Card provide LPR status.
What Does Lawful Permanent Resident Status Mean?
When one is granted LPR status through the US Green Card Lottery USA, one can permanently reside in the United States. After this, you must abide by all laws like every other resident of America.
You will have to pay taxes on your annual income. You are however allowed to leave the USA for 2 years but you must live most of your life in the states only. You can also work and receive an education like everyone else.
A Green Card must be renewed every 10 years, but your LPR status doesn’t expire, as it’s permanent. After 5 years, you can file for US Citizenship provided all your documentation is ready and correct. This number drops to 3 years if you’re married to a US citizen, who can also be your Green Card sponsor.
Unlike temporary visa holders, there are fewer reasons for deporting a Green Card holder. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t be deported, as this is saved for US citizens only. You might be deported if you commit a federal crime, such as murder or fraud, or if you knowingly lie or mislead on your Green Card application. Even so, you’re much safer from deportation once you have LPR status.
How the Green Card Lottery USA Works
The US Green Card Lottery USA is held every year by the US government. Initially, around 125,000 applicants are chosen from numerous qualifying entries. To be unbiased, entries from each region are individually numbered after they reach the Kentucky Consular Center.
At the closure of the registration period, entries are arbitrarily selected from each geographic region by a computer. The total number of successful applications is around 55,000, meaning you have a 50/50 chance of being selected from the initial pool.
But, it’s not that straightforward. Each eligible country can receive no more than 7% of the total winning entries, which equates to 3,500 Green Cars. So, if your country sends a lot of applications, you have a lower chance of winning.
The lucky applicants are notified by the US Green Card Office directly. The temporary visa to enter the United States is issued by the US Embassy in your home country when you have attended the Visa interview and provides proof that you meet all the requirements, such as educational qualifications or a minimum of two years of work experience.
Eligibility Requirements for the Green Card Lottery USA
There are only two criteria you must meet to qualify for the US Green Card Lottery USA program. As such, it’s a much easier route into the country than traditional Green Card applications.
The first is that you must be a national of a qualifying country. An individual’s country of origin is determined by their country of birth and not by current citizenship. As mentioned, only countries with historically lower rates of immigration into the USA may apply for the Green Card Lottery.
The second entry requirement is based on education and work experience. You must have successfully completed a 12- year course of basic and secondary education, which is the equivalent of an American high school diploma. In the USA, this is typically the minimum education requirement for all employment, hence why they expect immigrants to have it.
Alternatively, you should possess two years of work experience from the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training. To find out if your job experience qualify you can check the list on O*Net Online Database
How to Apply for the Green Card Lottery USA
The US Green Card Office publishes detailed instructions on the correct application procedure in press releases and the Federal Registrar ones a year.
The submission period is short so it is important to submit your application as soon as possible using the online application provided by US Green Card Office. You must fill out the application form correctly as incomplete or incorrectly filled applications are disqualified. In the online application form, you will be required to provide the following information.
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Details of place of birth: city, town, province, country and zip code
- Mailing address and telephone number
- Email address
- Country of eligibility (native country)
- Education details
- Marriage status
- Passport information
- Spouse information (if any)
- Children information (if any)
- Submit a recent photo not older than six months.
When can I apply for the Green Card Lottery?
To get the best chance of being selected and avoid being disqualified because of errors in your application, you should always use the paid valued added service from US Green Card Office to apply for the Green Card Lottery USA. We will guide you through your application, ensuring it meets the criteria to give you the best chance of winning your Green Card to the United States so your family can live, work, or study in the United States. Before you decide to apply, please look at our Green Card Lottery Comparison Chart, which will explain the difference between green card lottery free registration and using the professional immigration service from US Green Card Office to submit your application.