It is available annually and is awarded through the Department of State. Winners become eligible through the Immigration and Nationality Act, or the INA in Section 203(c). It awards 50,000 people with visas for permanent residence.
Those that are eligible to apply for the lottery must be from one the approved countries, which are typically countries that do not have high rates of US immigration.
The countries which are not eligible are: Nigeria, Bangladesh, China (mainland-born), India, Pakistan, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Great Britain (includes Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Island, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St.Helena, Turks, Caicos Islands), Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, EI Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru
Applying Green Card Lottery is absolutely a Free Process!
Applying for Green Card Lottery is absolutely free! The requirements are easy to follow but they are very strict. The selection is done through a random selection of the applications. In order to apply for the Green Card Lottery you must sign up through https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ during their opening period, which is often only open for registration only for a month of October each year.
Nowadays it is much easier to apply for the Green Card Lottery via The Department of State’s electronic registration system. This not only guarantees the validity of the application but makes it more secure and effective as well.
The rules for registration include
– Being born in a country that is deemed ineligible but having a spouse that is born in a country that is eligible, since this allows you to use the country of birth of your spouse. This only works if you and your spouse apply, are accepted and move to the US at the same time.
– Being born in an ineligible country but your parents are not from there or were living there at the time, therefore you are able to claim the nationality of either of your parent’s country of birth, if one of their countries is eligible for the Green Card Lottery.
– Required work or education experience. Applicants are required to have a high school diploma, or an equivalent, which shows that you completely both elementary and secondary education. Another option is to have work experience of at least two year, which has taken place within the past five.
Unfortunately, there is no point in applying for the Green Card Lottery if you do not meet the requirements since exemptions are not made.
Watch out for Scams and Frauds!
It is a free process that only requires completion and submission of the U.S Department of State’s electronic form whilst the period of registration is open. Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the lottery, there are many scams and frauds out there that charge applicants to complete a form.
There are even circumstances where applicants are sent a fraudulent email or message that states that they have won the Green Card Lottery, when in fact in it a scam that is looking to gain personal details such as personal information or credit card details.
These emails often ask the recipient to provide a small processing fee in order to receive the Permanent Resident Card. Some recipients never even applied for the Green Card in the first place but are tricked into believing they were lucky due to the information used in the email, such as their name, address and other personal details.
The Department of State does not, and will not, send an email to let the winner know that they have won. It is recommended that you report the email to the Internet Crime Complaint Center if you receive such information.
Any claims made by sites other than the U.S Department of State’s website can be looked at as false and should not be considered. Many even make it appear as though they have close ties with the government or can increase applicants chances of winning.
Some errors on the program
Until recently, it is impossible for applicants to check their application status, which raised many concerns regarding the authenticity of the lottery system. Since the DV-2010, applicants are allocated a personal number once their application is complete and successful. This code allows applicants to view their status from May 1st on wards.
This step has been a large relief for many countries that are known to have poor postal services and worried that they were not receiving their confirmation.
One of the latest technical errors with the green card lottery took place in 2012, when it appeared that successful applicants who were awarded the green cards were in fact those that submitted the application in a similar time frame. Therefore, the decision was voided and the process of selection had to be repeated.
Some unique rules
Some unique rules of the process include that:
> the applicant may already be residing in the US if they are deemed eligible;
> there is no minimum age, even though the requirements state the need for education or work experience;
> spouses must apply separately but can include the same information and must include their spouse’s information upon entry as well. If either spouse is selected for the permanent resident card, then the other will automatically receive it based on a “derivative status.”
> no requirements when it comes to English proficiency. It is not necessary to be able to write or speak English, other than to complete the form;
> you do not need to have any family members currently in the U.S;
> job offers are not required and there is no requirement to have a certain amount of money in your name. Even those that have already applied for an immigrant visa are eligible to apply for the Green Card Lottery.
It is not a requirement, or a necessity, to contact an attorney or immigration officers in order to help with your application.
While there are many applicants a year and the chance of winning can appear slim, the Green Card Lottery is definitely worth participating in for those that want to relocate and have permanent residency in the United States.