The Green Card Lottery
The Green Card Lottery is an annual immigration program that gives foreign nationals the chance to immigrate to the U.S. with comparatively few qualifications.
Usually, the U.S. immigration system values merit and family connections for entry into the U.S. However, the Green Card Lottery allows immigrants to come to the U.S. simply because they are poorly represented in American Immigration.
In 2013 the registration period for the Diversity Visa Lottery 2015 begins. Although the starting dates of the registration period have not yet been announced, it is expected to begin in early October.
Winners of this registration period will be asked to apply for their immigration visas in 2014 and 2015 while they are still available.
There are technically two different application processes for the Diversity Visa Lottery.
The first of which is a registration application which simply enters one into the lottery. The second is the actual immigration visa application which is generally applied for at a foreign consulate nearby the applying immigrant’s home country.
The registration application can only be submitted during the registration period. Attempts at late registration will not be accepted.
No paper applications will be accepted either. The Green Card Lottery’s registration is entirely online.
This also means that applicants must have digital copies of their required passport-style application photos.
Requirements for Entry
As mentioned above, there are very few requirements for entry into the Green Card Lottery. In fact, there are only two requirements:
- Education – applicants are expected to have a minimum of a high school education or two years of experience in a profession that required two years of training. If the work experience option is selected immigrants must also make sure that their profession is accepted by the Department of Labor.
- Origin – applicants must also show that they are from a country that is accepted into the program. The list of accepted countries and regions is released at the same time that the start date for the registration period is announced. An applicant can select their home country, the home country of their legal spouse or the home country of one of their parents as long as that country is not on the disallowed country list.
Visa Application Requirements
While the registration period enters one into the lottery and provides an immigrant a foot in the door for immigration to the U.S., they must then apply for an immigration visa.
Immigration visas are somewhat more difficult to file and as a result many people are “weeded out” of the program this way.
Out of the 100,000 people who win the lottery, only 50,000 will actually receive a visa.
These people who lose the chance to get a visa normally don’t meet the further requirements of the visa such as no former criminality or no illegal status in the United States.
Immigrants should make sure that their documentation is in order before registering for the Green Card Lottery this fall.