The Green Card Lottery
The Green Card Lottery is an annual program, mandated by the U.S. Congress, which gives out approximately 50,000 Green Cards every year.
A Green Card is an immigration document that allows a foreign national to live and work in the United States for as long as they wish. It is also sometimes called a Permanent Resident Card.
The Green Card Lottery is operated by the U.S. Department of State.
Registration for the Green Card Lottery
In order to enter the Lottery, a person has to first find out if they are eligible and register for the Green Card Lottery. Compared to many other immigration programs, the Green Card Lottery has very few requirements:
- Applicants must be from a country that has a history of low immigration numbers to the United States (a list of these countries will be released soon)
- Registrants must have a high school degree or two years of experience in a job that took two years to train for.
After registering online, applicants will be given a confirmation number which they must hold on to until the winners of the lottery are announced.
Winning the Green Card Lottery
Winners of the Green Card Lottery are selected at random using a specially calibrated computer.
The selection process ensures that no continent or particular country is allowed an undue portion of the total number of Green Card in the United States.
Applicants can check to see if they have won the Green Card Lottery by logging on to the State Department’s website and then comparing their official lottery number to the State Department’s visa bulletin.
It is strongly encouraged that applicants apply for multiple years of the lottery, but no more than once per lottery to increase their chances at winning.
Applying for a Green Card
Winning the registration for the Green Card Lottery is not the final step. Really, when a person checks whether or not they have won they are actually checking if they can apply for a visa.
The visa application is somewhat more strict than the registration period.
Visa application for the Green Card lottery is quite a bit like any other visa application. They contact the Kentucky Consular Center with their application and then they will go in for an interview.
Immigrants who go in for an interview will have their fingerprints recorded. This process is sometimes referred to as biometrics.
Entering the United States and Citizenship opportunities
After a visa is granted, immigrants may then go to an American port of entry where they will apply for admittance.
Only under relatively rare circumstances are immigrants turned back at the port of entry.
Immigrants receive their Green Cards after they enter the United States and become established.
In five years of continual residence, Green Card holders can make their immigrant status more permanent by applying for citizenship with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.