America is a dream country for many people, a land where they can build a successful life for themselves, grow their family, and live freely without having to worry about many things. However, moving there and getting permission to stay on a permanent basis is not simple. One can apply for a green card through work or family, but even when possessing these connections, the entire process of getting this document can last for many years.
If you don’t have any family members in America and aren’t employed by a company based there, you probably think there is no way for you to get your hands on the green card. Well, that is not entirely true. There is The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, initiated by the US government, which is a program for receiving the US Permanent Resident Card, i.e., the green card. This program is also known as the green card lottery, and in this article, we will introduce you to it.
Who is eligible?
Before we discuss the application process, there are some requirements every participant must meet. Firstly, you must be a native of a country that is on the list of the selected countries, and secondly, there are also certain conditions when it comes to your education and work experience.
If you weren’t born in one of the countries from the list, you could still apply for a green card assuming that your husband is a native of one of the eligible countries and that both of your names are on the entry, meaning that you will enter the US at the same time. In addition, you could also apply if one of your parents was born in an eligible country, even if you weren’t.
What’s more, there are also some education and work experience requirements you have to meet. Basically, you must possess a high school degree or your country’s equivalent, or at least two years of experience, within the past five years, in a certain line of work.
How and when to register?
If you are eligible for applying for the green card lottery, meaning that you meet all the above-mentioned requirements, it is time to learn how to register. First thing first, since 2003, this is done online. The application form must be filled in English, but there are instructions on multiple languages on how to do it properly. Make sure to read everything very carefully, and don’t forget to include all the documents, forms, and photos because if you leave some of these out, your application won’t even be considered.
Furthermore, the application process is usually conducted every year from October 1 to November 3, although the exact dates can vary. This means that you should submit your registration during this period. One more thing, you should apply as soon as possible, meaning as soon as this process begins. If you were to wait until the end, you would run the risk of your application not going through due to heavy online traffic. No, they won’t accept your forms if submitted late, regardless of the reasons behind the delay.
How to check if you have been selected?
The very first thing you have to know is that people are selected randomly, via a computer program, so there isn’t a way someone can mess with it. Sure, you can increase your chances of winning by submitting multiple applications (both you and your spouse should apply, and even your children if eligible). Nevertheless, it all comes down to sheer luck. That’s why it is called the lottery, after all.
Now, the big question, how to check if you are among the lucky ones? Well, there is another important thing that you have to know. You won’t receive an email or any kind of call or message notifying you that you have been chosen. Due to this reason, you must check your status online, and this isn’t something that you should postpone.
Moreover, it is crucial that you understand how everything works. Around 125,000 people are randomly selected every year, but only 50,000 actually get approved for the green card. This means that you have a lot of work to do upon seeing your name on that list.
If your application has been selected, it means that you are one step closer to getting a green card. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you should quit your job and sell your house because you still have a long way to go.
Firstly, you will be presented with another form you have to fill out to schedule an in-person appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate. You should keep in mind that you will have to pay a fee for this interview.
Additionally, you will have to bring many papers and documents with you to this interview. We are talking about the application letter, passport, photographs, confirmation page, birth and marriage certificate, police and military records, and even medical exam results. Yes, you are required to visit a specific physician in your country that will confirm you have received all the required vaccines and that you are in good health.
At the end of the interview, you will be notified if your visa was approved or denied. If the former is the case, congrats, you are going to America. Generally speaking, this document is valid for about six months, meaning that you have to move during this period. If you are going with your family, the recipient must travel before other family members or with them.
To sum up, in this article, we have presented you with a short guide on the process of applying for and winning a green card lottery. Even if you have someone who can sponsor you, you should still consider submitting your application for this lottery. Yes, the chances of you being selected aren’t that great, but who knows what can happen? In addition, this lottery is regulated by a set of strict rules, so if you do get selected, you will know what to expect and what your next move should be.