Green card lottery is the simplest way to get permanent immigrant status of United States. However, the success in getting Green card through Diversity lottery program depends upon your luck, because the winners of green card lottery are selected randomly from the pool of applications by an automated computer program.

However, to secure your chances of winning you need to understand the basic eligibility criteria and other conditions to qualify for permanent immigrant status of United States.


Perhaps we all know how a regular lottery works. It is indeed exciting to know that you enter the lottery and if you ar3 selected in random you win a prize. Likewise the US State department has taken the initiative of conducting the lottery program that allows people to win permanent residency in the US.

Officially known as the diversity Lottery program, this program allows 50,000 applicants to receive green cards. It is designed to provide a chance for immigrants from all parts of the world to immigrate to the US.

A large number of people apply for green card every day as they dream of working, studying or living in the US. The US Department of State holds a Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the “Green Card Lottery”, once every year, people from various countries around the world are issued visas for the US. The department has its own criteria according to which it selects these people who are supposed to fill in the requisite forms and furnish supporting documents in order to qualify.

You must have the requiredknowledge about several aspects if you wish to apply for green card. If you would like to apply for a Diversity Immigrant Visa, using the green card lottery system, you must complete all type required formalities two years in advance. This means that if you apply in the year 2017, the results will be declared in the year 2011.

Although it is known as the green card lottery, it is totally different from a financial lottery. In a financial lottery there is a chance that every entrant can equally win. Green card lottery first of all has certain restrictions as to which country can apply for that particular year. Then you must qualify for the minimum criteria with regards to education and work experience.

How do I qualify for the US Green Card Lottery?

The foremost important aspect is screening for eligibility. The applicant must meet the requirements before applying to the lottery program. To qualify for the program you must be a native of a qualifying country and meet either the educational or work requirement. If you do not belong to a qualifying country you can claim eligibility through spouse or if unmarried through one of your parents provided they are from a qualifying country.

A country is eligible if it has low admission rates to the US and the list of such countries differs each year. Per the law no diversity visas will be provided for natives of “high admission” countries. As there is a separate determination made before every annual DV entry period, the list of countries whose natives do not qualify can change from year to the next.

The State Department has the sole responsibility for the lottery program and it is the only organization which oversees the green card lottery program. To participate in the lottery, each applicant must meet the requirements set up by the organization. Applications are generally accepted only for a specific time period usually between the month of October and December.

Applications are accepted during the specified time and multiple submissions lead to disqualification. Applications are filled and submitted electronically. The green card lottery is free, is filed online and has to be filled and submitted per the instructions. Once the application is sent along with the required photo which is mandatory, a confirmation number will be sent. With the help of this number, one can check the status of their application on the government website.

As far as the photos are concerned, it is as important as the application itself. If the family members are included in your application, you will have to include the individual photo of each of them. The selection process is all computerized and only the winners will be informed through mail.

Why you should register now

If you are a native of the eligible country for a particular year, you are at an advantage if you register immediately rather than go through a family or an employer. If you are chosen through the green card lottery, you get the legal right to live and work in the US. This means that you do not have to spend time waiting and you have to travel on a visitor’s visa.


The eligibility for applying for the green card lottery is specified under section 203 (c) of the immigration and Nationality Act (INA) every year. The eligibility list of countries that can apply for green card, the work requirements and the educational qualifications are specified by the US government under the respective sections.

You can apply for green card if you belong to the six eligible regions that the US government has specified for a particular year. The US counts those regions ineligible that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the country at any time in the last five years.

After application

Once you apply for the green card you must go through a waiting period till the application deadline has passed. Every year the date of receiving the “Notice of Approval” will be declared by the US Department of State. You will be given detailed instructions as to what you must do after you are selected.

For example, for the year 2016, people who have been selected for diversity immigrant visas through the green card lottery system will receive their approval at any time from April to July of the year 2017.

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