The Green Card Lottery is one of the most exciting immigration programs in the entire world because it is completely unique. No other country allows people to apply for immigration with so few requirements.
However, this uniqueness may lead to the program’s untimely end. The U.S. Congress is currently considering ending the program in favor of merit based programs as part of the general immigration reform movement.
This could, potentially, be the very last year of the Green Card Lottery.
The most frequently suggested alternative to the lottery has been tentatively named STEM, standing for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. The new program would grant the Green Cards—the same Green Cards currently used in the lottery—to graduates of the above mentioned “hard” sciences in the United States.
The STEM program is in some ways completely opposite to the idea of the Green Card Lottery. Instead of giving people the opportunity to immigrate to the United States for the purpose of improving their lives. STEM would require that they were already on that path.
Regardless of what direction the Congress decides to take, the best chance of getting a Green Card is through the Diversity Visa Lottery and the registration period for DV-2015 is expected to begin in October of 2013.
Am I Eligible
As mentioned before, the Green Card Lottery has the least number of requirements of any immigration program in the world. The requirements are relatively simple to understand as well.
The first requirement for registration is that the applicant must have a sufficient education. This is typically defined as a high school degree. Specifically, it must be up to par with the U.S. high school diploma.
An alternative to this requirement is that applicants who have two years of experience in a job that took two years to train for can bypass the traditional school requirement.
The second requirement is that the applicant must be from an eligible country.
Eligible countries are selected based on their immigration numbers from the previous five years. Countries that send large numbers of immigrants to the U.S. will be ineligible.
Immigrants from ineligible countries may be able to claim the nationality of their parents’ or their spouse if the person they are claiming is from an eligible country.
Those are the only official requirements for registration!
However, it should be mentioned that applicants should have a significant amount of money saved to support them in the United States as they seek out employment.
As of August 2013, the eligible countries for DV-2015 have not yet been announced. Neither have the official registration dates for the lottery.
This may be a result of the immigration reform bills in Congress holding back the authorization of the lottery.
Applicants should check daily to see when the Lottery will open.