US Citizenship – Green Card Lottery Articles DV Lottery Resources Wed, 04 Apr 2018 07:25:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Getting an American Passport /articles/getting-an-american-passport/ /articles/getting-an-american-passport/#respond Tue, 24 Sep 2013 22:21:26 +0000 Getting an American passport is a very different experience depending on what immigration status the applicant may have.

Some people may have status in the United States, but may not be eligible for a passport.

Getting Passport for Foreign Resident

Foreign residents cannot carry U.S. passports. However, they can take steps to eventually apply for a passport.

The first step is to become a permanent resident (also called a Green Card holder) in the U.S. One of the easiest ways to do this is to apply for the Green Card Lottery.

Unlike other U.S. immigration programs, the Green Card Lottery is very easy to sign up for and has few requirements.

In order to apply for an immigration visa to the United States one must have a valid and current passport from their country of citizenship. The process for getting a passport is different from country to country.

Getting Passport for U.S. Permanent Resident

Permanent Residency does not qualify a person for a U.S. passport either, but it is one major step closer to being able to do so.

Permanent Residents must become eligible and then apply for citizenship. This includes meeting a residency requirement, a background check and knowledge tests.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the government body responsible for the issuance of citizenship requires that future citizens be competent in the English language and familiar with the history and governmental organization of the United States.

As soon as a Permanent Resident becomes a citizen of the United States, they may then apply for a passport at any of the below mentioned facilities.

Getting Passport for U.S. Citizen

U.S. Citizens are the only group of people who are allowed to apply for and carry a U.S. passport. It is part of the reason why so many people try to become citizens of the U.S.

There are many different ways that a citizen may apply for a passport:

  • Send in an application to the State Department for a passport
  • Many post offices around the country offer passport services to U.S. citizens
  • Community centers such as city halls or libraries also offer passport services

Regardless of which pathway one chooses to apply for citizenship, there are a few things one must include in their application package:

  • Passport photos. These photographs follow very specific parameters and many people prefer to have professional photographers take them. Some of the above application sites have on-site photography
  • Passport fees. Depending on one’s age and the material one is applying for, the fees will increase. Additional pages, a passport card and a first time application will all cost more than just a simple renewal

In some instances, one may request express processing through the State Department. This usually requires proof of travel to another country sometime in the near future. For example, a plane ticket scheduled a month or two in advance.

/articles/getting-an-american-passport/feed/ 0
Preparing for Citizenship /articles/preparing-for-citizenship/ /articles/preparing-for-citizenship/#respond Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:24:03 +0000 What You Will Need

Citizenship is a highly valued status throughout the world for a number of reasons. The backing of the U.S. government behind a person when traveling abroad is only a small glimpse at the primary benefits.

Citizens are also allowed to vote in all elections, thereby able to participate in one of the oldest continuously operating democracies in the world.

Citizens so not need to re-apply for citizenship after a certain amount of time either and it is much easier to get their relatives to immigrate to the U.S. as well.

Permanent Residency

People looking to become citizens must first obtain permanent residency in the U.S.

Permanent residency is often proven by a document called a Green Card. There are a number of ways to get a Green Card, but by far the easiest is the Green Card Lottery.

The Green Card Lottery has the least number of requirements for registration of all of the immigration visa pathways. All that is required is a basic education and for the applicant to be from a certain country.

Permanent Residency allows immigrants to live and work within the United States indefinitely, but they still do not have some of the rights or privileges reserved for citizens of the U.S.

Language Skills

Potential citizens must be able to show that they can meet minimal language standards. This ensures that new citizens will be more likely to succeed in the U.S.

Most immigrants learn to be proficient in English during daily life while living as a Green Card holder.

Immigration officers at the USCIS will examine an applicant’s competence in English during their citizenship interview.

They will examine an applicant’s ability to listen to, read, write and speak English during the course of the interview.

General U.S. Knowledge

Citizens are expected to be familiar with the history, culture and government of the United States and they will be asked some questions during the interview to this effect.

The USCIS maintains a study guide on its official website with various questions that may end up on the test.

Reading through this guide several times may be a good idea before the actual interview. Preparedness will help in making the application process easier.

Some of the questions that one may encounter on the test include:

  • Who is the president of the United States?
  • Who are the founding fathers?
  • What is the First Amendment?

The answers to these questions are:

  • Barack Obama
  • The founding fathers were the people who created the constitution and the United States in the late 18th century
  • The First Amendment enumerates some basic rights of people in the United States: the freedom of religion, the right to gather peacefully, the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech and the right to petition the government.

Processing Times

The processing times for citizenship to the United States can become very lengthy, especially if the wait times for Permanent Residency are worked into this calculation as well.

For many people, citizenship is a process that will take at least 10 years to complete.

Permanent Residents who already meet all requirements for citizenship may only have to wait for two or three years.


/articles/preparing-for-citizenship/feed/ 0
Gateway to Citizenship /articles/gateway-to-citizenship/ /articles/gateway-to-citizenship/#respond Wed, 21 Aug 2013 20:28:37 +0000 The Green Card Lottery, one of the most popular immigration visa programs in the United States, can be used to eventually get citizenship in America.

Citizenship is often the final goal for immigrants coming to America as it guarantees a great deal of security within their new home country.

With citizenship, a person cannot be deported unless it is found that their original application is found to be fraudulent. Also, citizens are entitled to carry U.S. passports which guarantee the full protection of the United States when travelling abroad.

However, one of the most basic requirements for citizenship is permanent residency, or a green card. This is often the most difficult part of the process, but it is made much easier through the Green Card Lottery.

The Green Card Lottery

The lottery is an annual program that grants 50,000 green cards to people all over the world.

Applicants only have to fulfill two basic requirements to register for the lottery itself.

Winners of the lottery are then allowed to apply for immigration visas through the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC).

The State Department always selects more winners of the lottery than there are available visas because many people are disqualified in the visa application process.

However, by properly filing and paying close attention the rules of the Green Card Lottery, one can increase one’s chances of being accepted.


Immigrants are asked to register for the Green Card Lottery online during the month of October. The registration period occasionally changes and that is why potential immigrants should pay attention to State Department news for new information.

Registrants must meet only two requirements. They are very strict, though, any registrant who applies and doesn’t meet the basics will be rejected automatically.

  • Registrants must have a suitable education. The State Department is reluctant to grant an immigration visa to a person who will not be able to support his or herself when they enter the United States, so an education requirement is enforced. Immigrants must have at least a high school education. An exception to this rule is that immigrants who can prove that they have two years of experience in a job that took two years to train for can also apply for the Green Card Lottery.
  • Registrants must be from an appropriate country. The Green Card Lottery is also—more formally—known as the Diversity Visa Lottery, the purpose of the program is to promote diversity in United States immigration numbers. Only immigrants from certain countries are allowed to take advantage of this program. Countries are excluded if they exceed a certain number of immigrants to the United States over the past five years. This list changes regularly and should be consulted before applicants register.

Applying for a Visa and Citizenship

After registering, applicants will be then allowed to apply for a visa. If the visa is granted they will then go to the United States to begin living in America with a Green Card.

Green Card holders can apply for citizenship in as soon as five years as long as other, more specific, requirements are met.

/articles/gateway-to-citizenship/feed/ 0
Winning a Green Card through the DV Lottery /articles/winning-a-green-card-through-the-dv-lottery/ /articles/winning-a-green-card-through-the-dv-lottery/#respond Fri, 16 Aug 2013 21:57:53 +0000 The Green Card Lottery

The Green Card Lottery is an annual program, mandated by the U.S. Congress, which gives out approximately 50,000 Green Cards every year.

A Green Card is an immigration document that allows a foreign national to live and work in the United States for as long as they wish. It is also sometimes called a Permanent Resident Card.

The Green Card Lottery is operated by the U.S. Department of State.

Registration for the Green Card Lottery

In order to enter the Lottery, a person has to first find out if they are eligible and register for the Green Card Lottery. Compared to many other immigration programs, the Green Card Lottery has very few requirements:

  • Applicants must be from a country that has a history of low immigration numbers to the United States (a list of these countries will be released soon)
  • Registrants must have a high school degree or two years of experience in a job that took two years to train for.

After registering online, applicants will be given a confirmation number which they must hold on to until the winners of the lottery are announced.

Winning the Green Card Lottery

Winners of the Green Card Lottery are selected at random using a specially calibrated computer.

The selection process ensures that no continent or particular country is allowed an undue portion of the total number of Green Card in the United States.

Applicants can check to see if they have won the Green Card Lottery by logging on to the State Department’s website and then comparing their official lottery number to the State Department’s visa bulletin.

It is strongly encouraged that applicants apply for multiple years of the lottery, but no more than once per lottery to increase their chances at winning.

Applying for a Green Card

Winning the registration for the Green Card Lottery is not the final step. Really, when a person checks whether or not they have won they are actually checking if they can apply for a visa.

The visa application is somewhat more strict than the registration period.

Visa application for the Green Card lottery is quite a bit like any other visa application. They contact the Kentucky Consular Center with their application and then they will go in for an interview.

Immigrants who go in for an interview will have their fingerprints recorded. This process is sometimes referred to as biometrics.

Entering the United States and Citizenship opportunities

After a visa is granted, immigrants may then go to an American port of entry where they will apply for admittance.

Only under relatively rare circumstances are immigrants turned back at the port of entry.

Immigrants receive their Green Cards after they enter the United States and become established.

In five years of continual residence, Green Card holders can make their immigrant status more permanent by applying for citizenship with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

/articles/winning-a-green-card-through-the-dv-lottery/feed/ 0
The Road to US Citizenship /articles/the-road-to-us-citizenship/ /articles/the-road-to-us-citizenship/#respond Wed, 05 Jun 2013 22:32:25 +0000 If ever there was an optimal way to become a citizen, this is it. Citizenship is a very attainable goal for many people, but like any other course of action in life, there are some best practices that must be followed. If you follow these guidelines, you can cut down on the total amount of time it will take to become a citizen and the stress involved in the process.


There are many ways to immigrate to the United States, but there are two pathways which are by far the most popular.

Immigrating through family relations can be relatively easy as long as you have a close relative who is already a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. However, there are some situations where immigrants will have to wait decades for their priority numbers to come up.

Another incredibly popular pathway to immigration is through employment. In order to immigrate based on a job you must have this employer sponsor your entry to the United States.

For those foreign nationals who do not have the option to take advantage of any of the other pathways to immigration, they can always apply for the Green Card Lottery, which has very few requirements. Really all you have to do is sign up!

Maintaining Your Green Card

If you want to become a citizen, you will need to make sure that your Green Card is up to date and well taken care of for the entire duration of your residency in the United States.

If your Green Card gets lost, stolen, damaged or otherwise is unsuitable for use you can apply for a Green Card replacement.

Green Cards usually last about ten years, at the end of that period, you will need to have it renewed. Conditional Green Cards have to be turned into full Green Cards at the end of two years.

Applying for Citizenship

Check out the citizenship requirements to see if you are ready to apply for citizenship yet. Some of the requirements include residency length, document requirements, continuous residency, language abilities and knowledge of US government and history.

When you’re sure that you are eligible for citizenship in the United States you can then fill out Form N-400, the USCIS’ form for naturalization for an adult in the United States.

Becoming a Citizen

The final steps in becoming a citizen involve taking two tests. One will be to examine your proficiency in the English language and the other will evaluate your knowledge of history and government of the United States.

The very last step in the citizenship process is taking the oath. This oath is a ceremonial event and many people choose to take it on special days like government holidays and such.

/articles/the-road-to-us-citizenship/feed/ 0
US Passports /articles/us-passports/ /articles/us-passports/#respond Tue, 04 Jun 2013 20:17:35 +0000 The US passport is a highly valuable document because it guarantees the protection and assistance of the United States government anywhere in the world. It can also function as a handy identification document for a variety of purposes.

However, the US passport is only available for citizens of the United States. If you are interested in becoming a citizen, you must first apply for, and receive, a Permanent Resident Card. These documents are colloquially known as Green Cards. Here you can find some useful information about US passports.

Passport Fees

Like most other immigration and government documents in the United States and elsewhere, a certain nominal fee is required for certain services.

Passport fees vary depending upon which services you request and your age. Here is a list of things that may affect the total cost of the passport fees.

  • Application for the passport book
  • The new passport card.
  • Additional pages for your passport.
  • Whether or not you are older or younger than 16.
  • Renewals or replacements have their own fees.

It should be noted that these fees do not include the fees involved in becoming a Permanent Resident or a citizen. Those are separate processes with separate fees.

Get a Passport

How does one get a passport? Well, after you have received your citizenship you can then apply for a passport. There are many places where you may apply for a passport such as online, through a post office or other designated passport service location.

There are some items that you will need in order to get a passport:

  • Appropriate identification documents such as proof of citizenship.
  • A social security card.
  • An appropriately taken photo to be included in the application.
  • Other biographic information to be included in the biographical section of the passport.

Passport Application Status

Passports take a while to be confirmed and issued and you may end up having to wait for a period of time before you receive your passport through the mail. However, you can expedite your passport application in some cases.

Checking the progress of your passport involves simply entering some of your personal information into the State Department’s passport progress tracker.

Typical passport applications will arrive in about six weeks; however, expedited applications will result in a passport being issued in three weeks. Keep in mind that expedited applications require an additional fee.

Passport Renewal

Periodically, everyone has to get their passport renewed. Form DS-82 is the government document used to request a passport renewal. Passports typically expire ten years after their issuance.

Replacements of passports can also be done with this process.

Passport Services

As mentioned above, there are many different places where you can apply for a passport aside from mailing in all of the information. It really makes more practical sense to use one of these services anyway, because you can be sure that the form will not be rejected because of missing information or an improperly formatted photograph.

/articles/us-passports/feed/ 0
American Citizen Forms /articles/american-citizen-forms/ /articles/american-citizen-forms/#respond Thu, 11 Apr 2013 18:23:57 +0000 Applying for citizenship in the United States requires you to file a variety of forms depending on how you will be applying for citizenship. Below, we have listed some of the forms that you may need to become a full citizenship of the United States of America.

Permanent Residency

When applying for United States citizenship you will need to have proof of permanent residency. For this requirement you will need to submit a copy of your Green Card. To apply for a Green Card you will need to follow one of the pathways to permanent residency available through the USCIS.

Form I-90

If you have lost your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) you will need to include a copy of the receipt of your Form I-90. This application is the request for a replacement Green Card.

This form can be submitted online or by mailing the application package and all supporting documentation to the Phoenix, Arizona drop box.

Depending upon the status of your Green Card and the condition it is in the fees vary, but there are no circumstances where the fees should exceed $450 to replace the card. To submit the form you must pay $365 as well as an $85 biometric service fee.

Form N-400

Form N-400 is the Application for Naturalization and is the general form for permanent residents to use to apply for citizenship.

This form should only be filed after you have made sure that you qualify for citizenship in the US. This includes permanent residency, continuous residency, and competency in the English language and confidence in your knowledge of US civics.

The application costs $595 plus an $85 fee for biometric services if necessary. The fee must be included in the application package and may be a personal check, cashier’s check or money order only. Improperly filed applications will be returned without a fee refund.

Form N-600

Form N-600 is used by certain people who may already be citizens, but do not necessarily have proof to this effect. This can include those who were born in a foreign country to United States citizens or adopted children of United States citizens.

Regardless of where you may reside currently you will be required to send the application into the Phoenix, Arizona lockbox.

The associated fee that needs to be filed with this application is $600, however, in the case of adopted children only $550 need be submitted.

Form M-599

Form M-599 is not so much an application as a guide to how to become naturalized through the United States military.

Children, spouses and other relatives can look into becoming a citizen with this form. Members of the military who are currently only Green Card holders can also learn more about naturalizing through the military with this form.

This guide is free and is available on the USCIS website as well as the armed forces websites.

Form G-28

If you are using an attorney to file for citizenship on your behalf you will need to submit a completed Form G-28. This form must be an original, not a copy.

/articles/american-citizen-forms/feed/ 0
September 11: 11 Years Later /articles/september-11-11-years-later/ /articles/september-11-11-years-later/#respond Tue, 11 Sep 2012 21:52:22 +0000 Stylized Representation of WTCSeptember 11th is a very somber day in the United States as it marks probably the worst terrorist act in the history of America. The horrendous nature of the attacks at the very beginning of the new millennium made an indelible mark upon the culture and political climate of the United States. September 11th changed a lot of things including national pride. There was a veritable bloom of patriotism within the United States immediately following the attacks which continues to this day, particularly this day. September 11th is now designated Patriot day and Americans everywhere are asked to take a moment of silence at 8:46 am (the time at which the first plane struck the World Trade Center) in memoriam of the lives lost that day.

As a result of  the September 11th attacks some very important bureaucratic mechanisms within the United States were completely restructured. In response to the attacks the Department of Homeland Security was formed. This new cabinet department took on a variety of roles that were previously spread over many different federal agencies and departments.

The Department of State is the organization in charge of the Green Card Lottery.

The Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) was divided into three different agencies under the DHS all with a different focus on immigration issues.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for the internal control of immigration laws; Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is in charge of immigration enforcement at the borders primarily; and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which is responsible for overseeing all immigration and citizenship applications by foreign nationals.

Other organizations now under the purview of the DHS include the Secret Service which is charged with the protection of the President and other government officials; the Coast Guard which serves regulatory and enforcement duties on American waterways; the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which handles natural disasters and other emergencies; and the Transportation Security Administration which is concerned with security on airplanes, trains and other forms of transport.

It is hard to not take a moment to consider the terrible and senseless violence of this day, but since then life has gone on and the United States perseveres. The country has even experienced a coming together of sorts, a new and refreshed unity.

/articles/september-11-11-years-later/feed/ 0
Path to US Citizenship for Illegals? /articles/path-to-us-citizenship-for-illegals/ Fri, 25 Nov 2011 10:24:48 +0000 Illegal immigration has become an dangerous situation in the US. It is estimated that there are 13 million illegals. These figures are only going to get worse as children of illegals become U.S. citizens and put a further drain on social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs. Many solutions have been proposed on how to limit the growth rate of illegals and what has to be done about the millions of illegals who are already in the country. Solutions include deportation, building a U.S.-Mexico border fence and increasing the levels of legal immigration.


As described on the Statue of Liberty, the foundation of the US is immigration. Illegals are forced to be in the shadows of society without any window to citizenship. Legalizing them will generate additional tax revenues from both US employers and the foreign national employees as jobs come into the open. Illegals fear to be a part of the American Justice system because of possible deportation. Another important factor is creating an inhumane situation as its breaks up families that have built a life in the US. The US economy will get a boost as foreign nationals can fill jobs that most Americans don’t want, and that too at a much lower cost to businesses. All the resources used the Homeland Security focusing on illegals can now be directed towards tracking and finding terrorists. At present, the legal immigration path to citizenship involves high costs, time-consuming, inefficient, and limited. Therefore many take the illegal route. There are endless opportunities to be wealthy, educated, and successful in the US.


Paving a path to citizenship would mean rewarding foreign nationals for breaking the law. It would surely not go well the people who have taken the legal route in their quest for citizenship. Not to mention leading to a flood of illegals from everywhere who will try to get in before the law comes into effect. Legalizing will add millions of foreign nationals to the welfare rolls, who use government resources such as health care, social security, and education while paying little or no taxes at all further pushing the government deficits close to bankruptcy. The US is called the great “melting pot” because earlier immigrants adopted the American culture and learned the English language. Now many schools teach in both English and Spanish and millions of jobs go to people who can’t speak English. So American Culture will be deeply disturbed. Jobs from American citizens would be taken by foreign nationals and it would also result in lowering the wages of remaining jobs. Politically, it will result in a significant influx of voters who will surely support the president & lawmakers that gave them citizenship. Not to forget overpopulation and crowding of American cities. Another explosive fact is that terrorists and drug dealers will exploit any amnesty policies. Rather than creating a path to citizenship legal immigration limits can be increased and worker visa programs reformed.

Can I Get an Exception To The Citizenship Test /articles/can-i-get-an-exception-to-the-citizenship-test/ Thu, 03 Nov 2011 13:13:23 +0000 Naturalization applicants who want to claim an exception to the English and civics testing requirements “due to physical or developmental disability or mental impairment” should file Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions with the USCIS. But applicants capable of learning or demonstrating the required knowledge and understanding of basic English and civics will not qualify for a waiver to the tests.

If you are seeking an exception, you should file Form N-648 along with your completed Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. To be eligible for a waiver to the test, your medical condition(s)should be long-term (lasting 12 months or longer) and it is so severely affecting you that you cannot take the English or civics tests. After reviewing your completed Form N-648, the USCIS will finally pass the decision whether you are eligible for an exception to the tests or not.

In the N-648 application, all sections of the form other than the “Applicant Attestation” should be completed by a currently licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or clinical psychologist (a “medical professional”). It is important that the doctor has professional expertise, that he can diagnose and evaluate you for a physical or developmental disability or impairment that is stopping you from satisfying the English or civics requirements. Apart from the medical professional, an employee who is under the direct supervision of the certifying medical professional can also prepare the form with information verified by the certifying medical professional. Whoever prepares, it is ultimately the medical professional who signs the form who has to take full responsibility for the genuineness of the information given in the form.

It is mandatory for the medical professional signing the form to have sufficient training and experience in the field of the disability or impairments that you, the applicant claim to have. The professional generally, has to be the “the treating physician”, which means that he/she has been regularly treating you for the disability or impairment that you claim to have. If he/she is not your regular treating physician, the reason for the substitution should be clearly explained in the application. In addition, information regarding the future plan of your treatment should also be detailed. The professional should be able to provide an accurate assessment of your disability or impairment in such a way that the USCIS officers can easily understand and decide if you qualify for an exception from the English and civics requirements or not.

There are certain instances where it is not necessary to file the completed Form N-648 along with Form N-400. In such situations, you can file the completed N-648 to the USCIS at the time of your interview. Though USCIS do accept delayed submissions, such claims will unnecessarily lengthen the naturalization process.