Filing Correctly for the Green Card Lottery

Green Card lottery


Step One: Make sure you are eligible

To qualify for the Green Card Lottery, you need to first be from an eligible country. To see if you were born (or are currently a resident of) an eligible country, click here!

You also need to meet the education requirement. This means you must have at least a high school education (or its equivalent) or have worked for at least two of the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience.

Step Two: Understand the dates

The Green Card Lottery has what can be a confusing way of naming itself. The upcoming Green Card Lottery, for example, is formally called the Diversity Visa Immigration Program 2016 (DV-2016). You need to apply for DV-2016 by the end of 2014 (usually by the beginning of November, though the dates have yet to be announced). It’s called the DV-2016 program because winning applicants will receive their green cards during the 2016 fiscal year.

Step Three: Gather all required information

You should do this before you start your application, in order to expedite the process. You will need your name, gender, date of birth, city and country of birth, the country you claim eligibility for the program, current country of residence, highest level of education, marital status, information on your children (regardless of whether they are in your care or plan on coming with you to the U.S.) and your mailing address.

Step Four: Collect photographs

You will need to submit photographs of yourself, your spouse, and your children with your Green Card Lottery application. Each person must have their own individual photo. The photos need to meet strict requirements, in terms of composition and content. To ensure that your application is not disqualified, USAGCL will walk you through the process to make sure you are submitting the correct photos.

You must send in your application and correct photos to us by October 30.

Step Five: Apply online

Congratulations! You are now ready to enter the Green Card Lottery. Sign in now to complete your application.

If you have yet to make an account, please click here to get started.