A Detailed Explanation of Green Card Lottery

It works by using a computerized method in randomly drawing the winners until the quota is reached


The Green Card Lottery, also called the United States Diversity Visa Lottery, is a chance of a lifetime for all foreign citizens who want to permanently and legally work and settle down in the United States. It is organized by the US Department of State every year to allow more than 50,000 foreign nationals coming from developing countries to legally migrate into the United States of America. It is the easiest and most perfect way for foreigners who want to live the American dream along with their immediate family members.

Wikimedia Commons

A green card lottery officially called as the Diversity Immigration Visa program may become of great help for people who have neither an employer nor an immediate family member to sponsor their green card application. It works by using a computerized method in randomly drawing the winners until the quota is reached.

American Greencard | by Christian Steen


The green card lottery starts accepting applications from early October to early December. Though there are no longer mail applications accepted, the winners will be announced via email only and this may occur in May the next year. If you are announced as one of the winners, your visa will take effect the year after the announcement.

Each year, specific countries are able to make up the list of eligible counties for the green card lottery program, yet there are also ineligible countries removed from the list. A country is considered ineligible to join the program once it sends beyond 50,000 immigrants into the US in the last five years. Thus, if you came from an eligible country, then you have met one of the two green card lottery requirements. You can check the official website of the United States Program of DV Lottery to determine the list of eligible countries and approved occupations for the lottery.

The next eligibility requirement to enter a green card lottery is to have an education equal to the high school in the US. If you do not meet this criterion, then you must have at least 2 years of work experience in the last 5 years in an occupation that requires 2 years of training or experience. In addition, you should neither have a history of any criminal activity nor have any serious medical conditions or communicable diseases, such as Tuberculosis or HIV.

Wikimedia Commons

If you cannot fulfill the above mentioned green card lottery requirements, then the program is apparently not for you since your ineligibility will only result in the rejection of your application.

You can start your application in the green card lottery by completing a form online. The following are the information that you must provide in the event of your application.

  • Full name
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • City of Birth
  • Country of Birth
  • Country of Eligibility for the DV Program
  • Entry photo(s)
  • Mailing address
  • Country where you currently live
  • Phone Number (Optional)
  • E-mail Address (Optional)
  • The highest level of education you have achieved as of today
  • Marital Status
  • Number of Children
  • Spouse Information
  • Children Information

You will then have to wait before the winners are drawn and announced. You can immediately obtain your green card if you are one of the lucky winners of the lottery. If you are not one of the selected winners, then you will have to wait for next year before you could participate in the lottery again.

Generally, getting a green card is the primary step before you could become a legally naturalized US citizen. This piece of document can be easily obtained once you join the green card lottery. You have to always remember though that participating in this lottery is not a piece of cake, thus, excessive care should be applied to make your application free from any mistakes. This is the reason why you might need the help of a professional when it comes to preparing your documents and making these conform to the requirements of the US Department.

Source by Vishal Agarwal