Here at USAGreenCardLottery.org, we get a lot of questions about the Diversity Visa program, and we often get questions about DV Applicant Letters. Oftentimes we need to clarify exactly what our customers are looking for.
Below, we will discuss the two most frequent answers to the ‘Applicant Letters’ question:
Mailing an Application
Some people take this to mean that the Diversity Visa program accepts paper-forms of the registration application, but this is not possible with this program.
Previously, the Department of State (DoS), which runs the Green Card Lottery, accepted mailed in applications for its lottery program, but they no longer do this.
All applications for registration in the Green Card Lottery must be filed online. This means that all accompanying information must be digital so that it can be processed properly. Photographs in particular must be digital in form and conform to the standards set forth by the DoS.
The Confirmation Number
At the end of the registration process, you will be presented with a screen which has what is called a confirmation number. This number is a collection of letters and numbers and is absolutely necessary later in the application process.
The confirmation number must be entered exactly into the Department of States’ status check website in order to know whether or not you have won the library.
We suggest that you do two things:
- Either write down or print the form and all of the information to keep in your records. Be sure to include the confirmation number with these forms.
- Also, save an electronic version of the application and confirmation number for future reference. You can use print-screen functions on your computer to preserve these files. It may be a good idea to preserve these computer documents in a back-up system.
If you have additional questions about the process, be sure to check out the other topics on our blog or write your question directly into the comment box below.
The Diversity Visa Lottery, also commonly called the DV Lottery, is an annual immigration program that opens its doors for registration every year in October.
This period of time which typically runs from early October to early November is called the registration period and is, in effect, the entry period of the DV Lottery.
Generally, the State Department, which runs the lottery, does not announce the exact date of the start or finish of the Green Card Lottery until a few months before the registration period begins. Because of this, it is a good idea to pay regular attention to updates and news alerts pertaining to the Green Card Lottery.
The registration period is very important for those who wish to enter into the lottery because otherwise they will not be able to enter into the selection lot.
Late registration is not allowed by the Department of State, but certain services (like this one) allow you to register any time of the year. The actual registration will not be accepted by the Department of State until the registration period opens in October, but the application can be stored until that time.
All applications must be filed online as paper registration for the Green Card Lottery is no longer accepted by the United States government.
The Green Card Lottery is a fantastic way for immigrants to petition the United States government for immigration, particularly if they have no other basis for application.
People who are unable to immigrate to America based on employment or family can use the Green Card Lottery to apply for immigration.
Applicants are selected using a machine which randomizes selectees, however the system is also weighted to exclude people who hail from countries which already have high levels of immigrants coming to the United States.
On May 1, 2013, the winners of the 2014 Green Card Lottery were selected and the winners will be contacted by the Kentucky Consular Center over the next few months.
Registrants who wish to know if they should be expecting a visa package or if they need to re-apply next year can check the status of their application online at the State Department’s website.
All you need to check if you have won the Diversity Visa Lottery is the full name of the applicant (as it appears on the application) and the confirmation number that was generated and presented to the registrant upon completion of the application.
But how many people actually won this much sought after contest?
The simple answer is that about 100,000 people “won” the Diversity Visa Lottery, however this number is somewhat misleading.
100,000 people were selected in the registration and are allowed to then proceed to applying for their visas. Only about half of these people will receive a green card and the right to live and work in the United States.
The reason why so many are selected during registration and only 50,000 are issued green cards in the end is because many registrants are found to be inadmissible during the visa application process. The visa application process for DV-2012 takes place in the latter part of 2013.
The number of winners also differs between countries and continents. Since the goal of the program is to increase diversity in the United States immigration system, some countries and continents are cut off from the Green Card Lottery selection.
The actual number of immigrants issued green cards every year through the Diversity Visa Lottery varies quite a bit, but it normally falls in between 48,000 and 53,000 visas issued.
On May 1, 2013, the State Department started to allow applicants from the 2012 Green Card Lottery registration period the chance to check whether or not they have won.
E-DV (The Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery Entrant Status Check Website)
Registrants looking to check the status of their application can sign on to the State Department’s Diversity Visa website. In order to successfully check one’s status one will need to be able to confirm
- The confirmation number they received upon registration for the 2014 Green Card Lottery, and
- The full name associated with the applicant’s registration form.
Registrants who did not win the 2014 Green Card Lottery are encouraged to apply for the next one, DV-2015. Because of the popularity in Congress of Immigration Reform, it may be very possible that the next Green Card Lottery will be the last one, so be prepared for registration in the fall!
There will be approximately 100,000 applicants who will be selected as winners for the Green Card Lottery registration. These lucky individuals will be selected from regions all over the world.
The State Department should release the statistics of where these winners are from very soon.
Unfortunately, not all of the 100,000 winners will be issued a green card. After an applicant has won, they will have to proceed through an immigrant visa process which often filters out ineligible candidates for immigration.
Take precaution against being filtered out by filing correctly and accurately in all necessary forms!
What Next for Winners?
Winners of the Green Card Lottery registration will have to wait for a few months before they receive their immigration visa paperwork from the Kentucky Consular Center.
Winners are discouraged from contacting the Department of State for more information as the KCC is the organization responsible for immigration after the winners have been selected.
The Diversity Visa Lottery Countries is a list of nations that will not be eligible for the Green Card Lottery and is annually released on May 1, 2013.
When registering for the Green Card Lottery (as the Diversity Visa Program is often called) immigrants must claim a certain country as their country of origin. People from the countries on the list will not be eligible for the lottery.
The country-of-origin requirement is one of only two qualifications that must be met in order to register. The other is an education requirement that states that applicants must either have a high school diploma or two years of experience in a profession that took two years of training.
The list varies only slightly from year to year and is based upon the immigration numbers of the previous five years. More information about acceptable countries will be released on May 1, 2013.
The countries that were designated as ineligible for DV-2014 (the Green Card Lottery whose application period occurred in 2012) by continent are:
- Asia: Bangladesh, China (Not including offshore possessions of the People’s Republic of China), India, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam.
- Europe: the United Kingdom (Not including North Ireland).
- North America: Canada and Mexico.
- South America: Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica and Peru.
There are some exceptions to the country-of-origin requirement that allow immigrants to claim an eligible country. Potential immigrants can claim the country-of-origin of their spouse or one of their parents.
Below are some examples based on the DV-2014 countries:
- Henri was born and raised in Haiti and is therefore not eligible to apply for the Green Card Lottery under Haiti. However, Henri’s mother is from France and he can apply with France being his designated country of origin.
- Rosa is from Chile and since it is not on the list of ineligible countries she can apply for the lottery using Chile as her country of origin.
- George is from Wales; in fact his family can trace back their roots in Wales for several generations. Because of this he cannot apply for the lottery because he is from the United Kingdom. However, his wife, Darla, is from South Africa and they can both apply for the lottery using South Africa as their country of origin.
While one cannot pit a US Visa against a Green Card (they’re effectively just different steps in a process which ultimately terminates at citizenship) for the purpose of this blog we will examine the salient differences between a Green Card and a US non-immigrant visa.
For the sake of a visual comparison here is a compare and contrast table between the two immigration statuses. As you can see below, the Green Card is a far more stable status than just a United States Visa and is hence why it is so preferred.
|Basic human rights while in the United States?
|Employment Authorization? 1
|Travel throughout the US? 2
|Study at an American university? 3
|Path to citizenship? 4
|Access to American social benefits?
|Can be revoked at any time? 5
- Some non-immigrant visas allow for employment authorization, but they are few and are limited to a specific time limit. Green Card holders can work freely in the United States indefinitely.
- While non-immigrant visas do not explicitly limit a person from travelling in the United States, their visa may have been granted based on some program (such as school or work) which may hinder a person’s travelling aspirations.
- Foreign students must apply for a student visa to study at a university in the US. Permanent Residents, or Green Card holders, need only apply for acceptance to the learning program.
- Most visitors with non-immigrant visas must leave the country before they can re-enter. However, Green Card holders can apply for citizenship after about five years.
- Any immigration status whether a visa or a Green Card can be revoked at any time, however, it is far more unusual and difficult for the government to take away the benefits of a Green Card.
The Green Card is a United States immigration document that has a relatively long history. Though it hasn’t been around since Ellis Island times it is about 60 years old, older than many of the immigration agencies of the United States!
One thing that has remained invariable about the Green Card is that it has always signified that a holder has permanent residency in the United States. This means that the person with the green card can live, work, travel and study in America with most of the same rights as a citizen.
But why is it called a Green Card?
It’s called a Green Card, despite its technical name (Permanent Resident Card), because it has a slightly green hue. When it first came out into use it was a slightly brighter shade of green and the shock of color must have inspired the now famous appellation “Green Card”.
For a short period of time, near the end of the 20th century, the Permanent Resident Card was redesigned and when it was re-introduced it was no longer green, but white.
However, the government returned this immigration document back to its original and iconic color to avoid confusion. Despite the new color, people still called it the Green Card. The term “Green Card” became so pervasive that it became more of a symbolic phrase instead of an actual description of the document.
Now, Green Card is often used as a stand-in for the lengthier “Lawful Permanent Resident”. The phrase “Green Card” is simply shorthand for the process of legal immigration. A person may say “When did you get your Green Card?” and really what they are asking is “When did you immigrate to the United States?”
By “Getting your Green Card” you are “Immigrating to the United States legally.” Green Card, is simply a verbal shortcut in American English.
The winners for the 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery will be announced on May 1, 2013.
Applicants who wished to enter this lottery applied during October and early November of 2012. These participants should still have their confirmation numbers in order to check whether or not they have won during the selection process.
Winners of the Green Card Lottery will receive their instructions from the Kentucky Consular Center in the months following the announcement of the winners. It is incredibly important to pay close attention to the details in the application package that the KCC sends the winners because most people are denied green cards through this program because of errors in their applications.
Applicants to the Green Card Lottery program can expect to receive their green card two years from when they register as long as they win the drawing. That is why the DV number for the registration period is two years past the registration year.
Green Cards grant immigrants the right to live, work, study and travel freely throughout the United States. Permanent Residents who hold Green Cards can also retain many of the same rights that a citizen holds. However, after a period of about five years, permanent residents may apply for citizenship as well if they meet certain qualifications.
Immigrants are considered qualified to enter the Green Card Lottery if they are able to meet two requirements:
- Immigrants must have at least a high school education or two years of experience in a job that required two years of training.
- Applicants must also be from one of the qualifying DV program countries.
The list for qualifying countries is released annually around the time that the winners of the previous year’s registration period are announced.
Many people associate the term ‘lottery’ with winning money in a formal lottery game. In some places huge sums of money are given out to winners who were lucky enough to guess all of the numbers drawn from a lot.
However, there is a lottery in the United States that gives out something even more valuable than cash, something that money cannot buy.
We’re talking about the Green Card Lottery. Every year the US State Department gives out 55,000 visas to people all over the world to further diversify the US immigration system.
You have a chance to immigrate!
Generally, the US immigration system focuses on either the relationships or education experience of a person to determine their entry into the United States. People who have high levels of education can likely find jobs that will sponsor their immigration just as people who have relatives in the states can have them sponsor their entry.
What about people who don’t have either of those things? Should they be excluded from coming to the United States?
The Green Card Lottery says that they shouldn’t. With a bare minimum of education a person can apply for immigration to the United States provided they come from an acceptable country.
Immigrants who want to take advantage of this program should be particularly wary when applying for entry. Small mistakes have been known to cause the State Department to summarily throw out applications. By taking your time and double checking all of the necessary requirements you can increase your chances of winning to the best possible.
With errors, your chances will drop to zero, but if the application is perfect then you have a good chance at one of those 55,000 visas!
The Green Card Lottery registration period—the time of year when you can apply for the Green Card Lottery—usually begins in early October and ends in early November. Potential immigrants can apply for the lottery at this time.
However, USAGreenCardLottery.org offers its customers the chance to register at any time of the year. The forms will still be submitted during the registration period, but customers often find that having extra time to fill out the forms during the year helps in their chances of success.
The Green Card Lottery application is completed online (paper applications are no longer accepted) and will ask questions about your identity, your qualifications for entry and for passport-style photographs to be included digitally. All of which are part of USAGreenCardLottery.org’s assistance.
Potential immigrants are considered to be eligible for the Green Card Lottery if they have ties to an eligible country (are from that country or have a spouse or parent from that country) and meet education requirements. Applicants must have either the equivalent of a high school degree or two years of experience in a profession that took two years of training.
The winners of the Green Card Lottery are announced on May 1 of the year following the registration period.
For example: if the registration period was in October of 2011, the winners would be announced on May 1, 2012.
The official name of the lottery is made up of “DV” meaning “Diversity Visa” and the year that the visas are awarded, two years after the registration period. So the registration period for DV-2014 occurred in October and November of 2012 and the winners will be announced on May 1 of 2013.
In order to check if you won it is incredibly important to retain your confirmation number which you will need to enter into the State Department’s database.