The U.S. Department of State’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, commonly known as the Green Card Lottery or the DV Lottery, allows up to 50,000 foreign nationals to immigrate to the U.S. every year. The participants of the lottery who belong to countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. are selected randomly and are issued Green Cards if they are eligible for immigration to the U.S.
This program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many to become legal permanent residents of the country. Here are some reasons to apply to the DV lottery, a golden ticket to the U.S.
- Applying to Green Card lottery is free. There is no application fee to take part in this program. So you don’t have to pay anyone to participate in this program. You can just try your luck for free!
- The DV lottery program is conducted by the U.S. government and it really exists! The government makes available 50,000 immigrant visas every year for this program. It is not like the other fake lotteries that aim at extracting money from people.
- Many assume that they will get a Green Card just by taking part in the lottery and winning, which is not true. Winners are decided by a random drawing and no one knows what will happen. But if you are among the winners, you will get a chance to get a Green Card in the U.S. Remember, this program is one of the quickest ways to get a Green Card unlike the other ways to immigrate to the U.S. that take years for the immigration process to complete. It is quick because all the visas allotted to Dv-2017 will be issued within that fiscal year. For example, 50,000 immigrant visas made available through DV-2017 will be issued between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017. So all those who have won DV-2017, are eligible and whose immigrant visa petitions are successful will most likely get their visas before the end of the 2017 fiscal year.
- The requirements for the Green Card lottery program are few. The first requirement is that you will need to belong to a country that is on the list of countries eligible for this program . The other requirement you need to meet is the education or the work experience requirement.
- If you have either started a family based Green Card application or one based on employment, you will most likely be eligible to apply for the lottery! Remember, if you win and if you are eligible, you may get your resident card faster through this program than through the lengthy family or employment based process.
- If you are married, you and your spouse can both file separate applications. This will double your chances of winning a ticket to the U.S. This also applies to same-sex couples as same-sex marriages are now legal in the U.S. So you can list your spouse of the other sex or of the same sex, if you are legally married to him or her. If you win, your spouse will be able to immigrate with you to the U.S. if they are eligible and vice versa.
- You will be lucky enough to apply for the DV lottery even if you were born in a country that is ineligible, if you are married and if your spouse’s country of birth is eligible for the lottery. For example, if you were born in Mexico, a Green Card lottery ineligible country but your spouse was born in Australia, an eligible country, you can take part in the lottery by “cross-charging” to your spouse’s country of birth. This way you can take part in the lottery though your country of birth is ineligible.
- You can list your children on your Green Card lottery entry but if your child is above age 18 and is a high-school graduate, you can make them file separate entries for the lottery. Though this won’t help you, it will improve your child’s chances of getting a Green Card.
- Finally, we’d like to warn you of the Green Card lottery scams. Remember, the lottery is free and you don’t have to pay anyone for the lottery application. Likewise, you can only submit an application online and just one application in your name in a year. If you submit more than one entry, you will be disqualified. Do not believe if you receive a mail from a sender claiming to be an official from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), asking you to transfer money. Such emails are fraudulent. The DOS never sends emails to DV lottery applicants or winners asking them to send money. Scammers send such emails only to extract money from innocent people.
Make sure to review the DV lottery rules and learn the procedures so that you will know what to expect. If you have applied for the lottery, all you need to do is to sit back and wait till May of the following year for the DOS to publish the results of the lottery. Once the results are out, you can check your status with your lottery confirmation number, through the DOS’s Entrant Status Check. If you win the lottery, you will have to pay for the further processing of your visa and for the application process.
Watch out for the 30 day registration period for the DV-2018 program. If we take into consideration previous years, the program this year too it is likely to begin in October and end in November. Once the registration period is open, you can file your lottery entry.