What is the US Green Card Lottery?
The event, also known as ‘Diversity Visa Program’ is organised annually by the United States Department of State. During a limited window of time every year, participants can apply for an immigrant visa. Up to 50, 000 immigrant visas are made available every year while the Green Card Lottery lasts.
The word ‘lottery’ should tell you a thing or two about how applicants are weeded out. Everyone who takes part is put at an equal footing. The goal is to diversify the demographic landscape, which implies no specific requirements towards the candidates. All you need to do is to fill in and hand in a green card lottery application form.
The program’s legal context was given by the 1990 Immigration Act, signed into law by George H.W. Bush. Having a Green Card allows immigrants to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.
Who is Eligible to Enter the USA Green Card Lottery?
As referenced previously, the logic behind approvals follows a random principle for the most part. Depending on the US policy on the matter, ethnicities with lowered immigration rates to the country may account for a larger percentage of the approvals. Hence the name ‘Diversity Visa Program’. This is the number of applicants per continent in last year’s green card lottery:
|Continent||Green Card Lottery Applicants|
|South/Central America, Caribbean||273,033|
Natives of certain countries may not be eligible to apply if too many applicants from that country have already been issued a visa. If more than 50, 000 visas have been granted to natives from a given country the previous year, applicants from that country will be forbidden from entering the lottery. For example, in the green card lottery 2021, natives of China, Canada, Brazil and a number of other countries were not given the right to participate.
What Do You Need to Submit to Enter the US Green Card Lottery?
First and most important is to have a recent photograph of yourself. It could be up to six months old. If you don’t know how to take a picture that will be considered valid, go to a professional photographer. There are quite a few requirements your photo must meet, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help. However, that’s not all of it.
You still need to complete a registration form and have a valid passport for international travel. On in the cases of Communist-controlled countries are candidates allowed to participate in the lottery without possessing a passport. In summary, here is what you are expected to provide:
- Valid passport
- Digital photograph
- Diversity Visa Application form
How to Recognise Fraud Agencies?
As with all good opportunities, there will be a million ways to make a mistake and miss your chance. Sadly, deceptive agencies falsely claiming to help Diversity Immigrant Visa candidates, come by the bucket load. Remember when we mentioned that all you need to do is to fill a green card application form? Well, and submitting a photograph of yourself.
That is all there is to it. If you suffer from impaired vision or are unable to understand what to do, ask someone close to you for help. Application is free for a reason. Even if an agency has good intentions, they will charge you for the service. Here are some telltale signs of a Green Card fraud.
- Sending you congratulation emails
- Claim they improve your chances of getting approved
- Consultants claiming they work with the US government
Where are the Green Card Lottery Results Published?
As we established in the previous paragraph, government officials will never send you congratulation emails pinpointing your candidature’s successful result. There is only one way you can check whether you have been selected and that is by entering your credentials in the Department of State’s online portal.
You will be asked to fill in confirmation number, names, and year of birth. This is why you should store your confirmation number somewhere secure. Ideally, have a screenshot of the number on a flash drive or another carrier that is not accessible online.
The green card lottery results are usually published the following year in the first half of May. For example, entrants in the green card lottery 2021 had until September 30, 2021 to check the status of their entry. The time window starts and ends around a similar, if not the same, date every year.
Checking the Status of Your DV Lottery Application
With respect to the importance of this action, there is only one legitimate place to check the result of your green card lottery entry. You should go to www.dvlottery.state.gov and follow the steps as described. The first step involves entering application-specific information by which the system will identify your entry so as to give you the information you seek.
If your application was selected, you will need to perform additional steps, including paying a fee at a later stage. Here are the steps following a successful application as described on the US Department of State’s website.
- Confirm Your Qualifications
- Submit Your Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application
- Submit Supporting Documents
Green Card Lottery FAQ
This is one of the most searched topics on the Internet. There is no shortage of questions asked online, and there are answers for that matter. We, however, still want to contribute with answers to the commonly asked questions and hopefully helped you stay informed.