How Will You Know if You Are Disqualified from the DV Lottery?

An applicant’s status in the Green Card Lottery, also called the Diversity Visa Lottery, is available only on the State Department’s website, but the trick is that it only positively identifies status.

What this means is that the system will really only tell you if you have won the Green Card Lottery and can move onto the process of actually filing for the Green Card document.

Otherwise, if your number does not show up as a winner it is practically impossible to tell whether or not you were not selected or if your application was disqualified for some reason.

The best way to know that your application has not been disqualified is to make absolutely sure that it cannot be disqualified. This is a detail oriented task, because filling out the form and submitting it online can be done in a hurry, sure, but the only way to know that your form was accepted is to take your time and be sure to double check every element.

The details necessary for an acceptable photograph are also very detailed and it is wise to take one’s time when creating the photo. We have a blog that happens to cover the photographic requirements for the Diversity Visa Lottery.

One disqualifying condition that is sometimes overlooked is duplicate copies. If you submit more than one application for yourself both will be disqualified. Many people will file multiple forms because they want to increase their chances of winning or to recover a confirmation number.

Neither of the above activities is recommended. Submitting two applications will result in a 0% chance of winning the Green Card Lottery.

So when you apply in October, keep these tips in mind and increase your chances naturally.


What is the Right Size for the Green Card Lottery Photo?

The Green Card Lottery application process is entirely online and therefore the size requirements are based on pixel length. There are also other requirements that must be met for the picture to be accepted.

Local professional photographers are likely familiar with taking photographs in this style and can ensure that they meet the requirements to the satisfaction of the Department of State. You can also have a regular photograph taken and simply scan it into a digital file.

These are the photograph parameters according to the 2014 Diversity Visa Program:

  • The photograph must be a minimum of 600 pixels by 600 pixels.
  • From the top of the person’s hair to the bottom of their chin must be between 50 and 69 percent of the total photo.
  • The eyes must be 56 to 69 percent of the height of the photo from the bottom.
  • The person’s face should be centered, not tilted in any direction.
  • Sunglasses or head coverings are not allowed. Head coverings are accepted only when they are used for religious purposes.
  • The photograph must be in color and in 24-bit depth.
  • The electronic file should be a .JPEG file extension.
  • Maximum size is 240 kB.
  • If the photograph is scanned instead of being digitally produced it must be scanned at 300 dots per inch (dpi)

Each member of the family of the person applying must have a photograph taken that meets these specifications.

The registration period for the Green Card Lottery does not open until October, so it is a good idea to start putting together your application now.

You can submit your application earlier with and your application will be submitted the moment that the Lottery opens in October.


Can I Apply for the Visa Lottery if I Am Undocumented?

This question has appeared a couple of times in Green Card Lottery forums and really, the problem is the question itself. It is a trick question because the answer is both yes and no.

You can learn more about Green Card Lottery registry in our blog and you can even apply for the Green Card Lottery right here.

The simplest answer to this question is yes. Anyone can apply for the Green Card Lottery, and the only disqualifying conditions at the lottery stage of the matter are:

  • Eligible countries and
  • Basic education or work experience requirements.

There is simply no mention of whether or not you can be undocumented and currently living in the United States or elsewhere.

However, the process to getting Permanent Residency through the Green Card Lottery is two-fold. There is first the lottery, which selects about 100,000 applicants as winners every year. Then, out of these, approximately 50,000 are actually given Green Cards, the rest of the lottery winners being disqualified during the Adjustment of Status process.

Being an undocumented immigrant in the United States is one thing that will absolutely disqualify you from being able to apply for a Green Card. Though you can potentially apply for the Green Card Lottery, you cannot get a Green Card as an undocumented resident, so there really is no point.

There is a way around this, but that involves you having to leave the country for a specified period of time. Depending upon how long you have been undocumented this could be anywhere between five and ten years.

Upon completion of this required bar time, you may then apply for the Green Card Lottery confident that you will not be denied Permanent Residency based on previous undocumented status.


How to Get the Green Card Lottery in the Mail

The Green Card Lottery, a program that provides 55,000 visas to hopeful immigrants all over the world, is conducted entirely online and has not been done in paper for many years.

For this reason, no correspondence about the actual lottery is to occur through the mail, however, the second part of the lottery process, the actual green card application can be done through the mail.

How the lottery works is that you apply online to enter in the drawing to take place in May. When you register with the State Department you will receive a confirmation number. It is exceedingly important to retain this number for the at least a year.

If you register with you can feel safe in knowing that your confirmation number will be safe. The reason why this is important is that if you lose the number there is no way to check if you have won or not. You cannot simply re-register either, because if the State Department sees that you registered twice, both of your applications will be rejected.

When the results of the lottery are announced in May of the year after the registration period you can log onto the State Department’s website, type in your confirmation code and the site will inform you whether or not you are a winner.

If you have won the Green Card Lottery the next step is to actually apply for the Green Card itself, otherwise known as the Permanent Residency card.

This process can be conducted entirely through the mail, and, in fact, the Permanent Resident card will be mailed to you personally if you qualify. This is why it is very important to continually update your information with the USCIS if it changes.


What are my chances of getting a Green Card through the Diversity Visa Lottery?

The Diversity Visa Lottery, otherwise known and more commonly called the Green Card Lottery, is an annual program designed to give permanent residency to people all over the world who otherwise would not have access to such status.

With permanent residency immigrants are given the right to live and work in the United States for as long as they would like to.


Many people see the word ‘lottery’ in the title of the program and instantly think what the chances of winning are.

This is reasonable, but many others also assume that the chances of winning the Green Card Lottery are similar to a Megabucks-style lottery.

The truth of the matter is that winning the Green Card Lottery is thousands of times more likely than winning a jackpot lottery. The two lotteries are literally worlds away from comparison.

The State Department selects approximately 100,000 winners every year, but only 55,000 people actually get a green card because the remaining people are not able to satisfy the other requirements for adjustment of status.

So the Green Card Lottery can be looked at as a chance to get a Green Card, which is really the difficult part.

Consider that approximately 14 million people apply for the Green Card Lottery every year. Of those, 100,000 effectively ‘win’ the lottery. That means that your chance to win is 1 in 140.

Those are pretty good odds! A good gambler would jump at that opportunity!

But there is only one way to ensure that you get those odds and that is by filing appropriately. If you don’t file your application correctly your form will be automatically rejected, reducing your chances to zero.

Apply with today and make sure that you get the best shot you can at immigrating to the United States!


What is my Green Card Status?

Green Card status is a measure of how far along an applicant is in the process to getting a green card. Status is also an indicator of how long it will take to receive the Green Card.

With the Green Card Lottery, the period of time an applicant has to wait to receive their Green Card is approximately two years from application. However, for other categories of Green Cards this process can be significantly longer, even up to 20 years!

This is why the Green Card Lottery is considered to be so popular. With the Diversity Visa program immigrants can come to the United States very quickly and with fairly minimal restrictions on who can apply.

The Green Card Lottery also has a status system that is important to pay attention to.

When an immigrant initially applies for the Green Card Lottery (this is called the registration period and occurs sometime in October normally) they will receive a number at the end of the application called the Confirmation Number.

The Confirmation Number is incredibly important in tracking one’s application and therefore one’s Green Card status.

The State Department, whose duty it is to manage the Green Card Lottery, will take a few months to select the winners. This process is somewhat complex because it takes into account a large amount of information regarding immigration in the United States, so it normally takes until May of the following year to have the winning numbers collected.

The State Department does not contact the winners of the Green Card Lottery, but rather relies on the applicants to log onto their website and enter their Confirmation Numbers to see if they have won.

If someone wins the drawing, they are now considered to be an applicant for a Green Card and the next step is adjustment of status.


What are Forms DSP-122 and DS-230?

Immigrants coming to the United States are required to fill out a variety of forms for the entire process. Really, the Green Card Lottery application is only the beginning, but the important part is that it is a start, a way to get the ball rolling for the immigration process. Today, the Green Card Lottery blog will outline a couple of the important forms for the process, Forms DSP-122 and DS 230.


DSP-122 is the supplemental registration form for the Green Card Lottery. You will have to first apply for the Green Card Lottery online and then check if you have won sometime in May. If you have won the Green Card Lottery, you should send this form along with DS-230 to the appropriate office.

It is of great importance to make sure that all of your information is correct and accurate to ensure that you receive confirmation and acceptance from the Department of State.

After the State Department receives this form and accepts it, you will receive a visa appointment to be conducted at the nearest consulate or embassy. You may want to start arranging travel plans at this stage of the application process.


Form DS-230 is the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration. This form must be filed with DSP-122 after you have received confirmation about winning the Green Card Lottery. Every member of your family must fill out this form, especially if they will be immigrating to the states as well.

It is also very important to be completely truthful and accurate when filling out this form. Many of the people who are refused entry to the United States (even though they won the Green Card Lottery) are refused because of a dishonest statement on this form.


Can I Work Abroad as a Green Card Holder?

After you have received permanent residency from the Green Card Lottery process, you will be allowed to work and live in the United States indefinitely. This is the great advantage of the Green Card.

However, there are some situations where your Green Card can either be revoked or your permanent residency considered to be abandoned.

Green Card Employment

Your permanent residency may be considered abandoned if you leave the country for any period of time if it is determined that you no longer wish to live in the United States. This means if you leave the country and pick up a more or less permanent job, you might be considered to be abandoning your Green Card.

You could potentially work outside of the United States temporarily, but it would be incredibly important to file for re-entry visas and to work closely with the USCIS to ensure that it doesn’t seem like you are leaving the country forever.

Even with a re-entry visa, the government may decide that you have left the country and revoke your right to permanent residency.

Really, the best way to make sure that you keep your Green Card is to live and work in the United States for several years. Then, you can apply for citizenship.

Citizenship cannot be revoked, unless it was issued fraudulently, and with full U.S. citizenship, you can travel anywhere in the world for as long as you like and you will always be re-admitted into the United States.

Other things that may let your Green Card lapse and which you should therefore avoid are if you commit any serious crimes, or if you fail to file income tax returns while abroad.


Is there a Minimum Age to the US Green Card Lottery?

When you apply for the Green Card Lottery you must be able to meet certain requirements, one of these requirements is that you must be at least 18 years old to apply.

Who can I take with me with the Green Card Lottery?

Of course this does not mean that you must be 18 years old to travel to the United States on a Green Card Lottery visa, you could be listed as a dependent of a winner of the lottery and travel to the United States as well.

However, there are requirements for who counts as a dependent.

First, the principal applicant, the person who is actually filing the form to the United States Department of State, must meet their own strict requirements.

Principal applicants must be 18 years of age or older as mentioned before, be from a country listed as an eligible country by the State Department, and they must either have the equivalent of a secondary education, or two years of work training followed by two years of work in a trade.

With those qualifications an adult can apply for entry in the Green Card Lottery. An important step here to remember is that when someone files for entry in the lottery they must list all of their dependents (whether or not they will be coming with the principal applicant).
For a person to qualify as a dependent of the principal applicant they must be either a spouse or a child. Spouses are defined as being a person who is in a monogamous (only two people), heterosexual marriage with the person who is applying for the lottery.

However, recent trends in legislation in the United States may change this law to include homosexual marriages as well.

Children are defined to be dependents who are not married, under 18 years old and legally related to the principal applicant.