US Green Card Lottery Program: How To Apply and All You Need To Know About Green Card Lottery Program. If you are hoping to receive a permanent residence card, also known as a green card, to stay in the U.S., you may be asking yourself how to apply to the US Green Card Lottery Program.
This is especially true if you are from a country with low rates of immigration to the US and you have no family here that can sponsor your visa.
Before we dive into some of the details on how to apply, let’s take a look at what precisely this program entails and how it works, who can qualify, and what you need to do in order to have your application considered.
What Is US Green Card Lottery Program?
The US green card lottery program grants permanent residency (also known as a green card) in the U.S. to people from countries with low rates of immigration.
The program allows up to 50,000 people who have high school diplomas, or GEDs and meet certain educational and other requirements, to obtain permanent residence visas each year through a lottery drawing.
US green card lottery program is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), making available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to people from countries with low rates of immigration.
The visas are distributed among six geographic regions. No single country may receive more than 7% of the available US green card lottery program visas in any one year.
To qualify for a visa, you must meet education and/or work experience requirements and have a high school diploma, certificate of completion of secondary school, or its equivalent (such as a GED).
In addition, you must have either: Worked at least two years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience within five years of your application date.
Who Can Apply For US Green Card Lottery program?
First and foremost, citizens of certain countries are not eligible. If you are a native of one of these countries, you cannot enter; Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, and Mexico. Likewise, Filipinos are ineligible if they were born in any area other than the Philippines.
In addition, those who have previously applied but did not receive approval in their home country may also be excluded from entering in future years unless specific exceptions apply.
If you are applying on your own behalf, but are not a U.S. citizen, you must be an LPR (Legal Permanent Resident). If you have not been in that status for at least five years, or if it is based on employment and/or marriage to the U.S.
If you were born outside of the U.S., have no parents who are citizens, and have never been an LPR before, you may be able to become a derivative LPR through a family member’s petition.
You can only do so, however, if your parent was a U.S. citizen when he/she petitioned on your behalf and they did not naturalize before you turned 18 years old; it is not possible otherwise.
What Are Your Chances Of Getting Selected?
Only 50,000 diversity visas will be given out each year. At least 5% of these visas are reserved for applicants with a master’s degree or higher from a US university and at least 3% are reserved for people who received a Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) from a US college.
If you are hoping to receive a permanent residence card, also known as a green card, to stay in the U.S. you may be asking yourself how to apply for permanent residency through a visa lottery program, such as US Green Card Lottery Program.
Unfortunately, because these lottery programs are oversubscribed by many thousands of applications, your chances of actually being selected are very slim. If you are interested in immigrating to the U.S., you may want to consider other ways of getting a green card.
Even if you don’t think your background makes you eligible for one of these visa lottery programs, there may be other options that can help you stay in America permanently.
Is There a Fee To Participate?
Yes, there is a $330 fee required by USCIS.
The fee is non-refundable regardless of whether you are selected in a given year. If your eligibility to enter is denied because you didn’t meet the requirements, your application will be rejected. Keep in mind that there are no exceptions.
Where Can I Find Out More Information About This Program?
For more information and how to apply for US Green Card Lottery Program. Visit the Diversity Visa program website. To find out if you are eligible, take a look at our first of a two-part series on eligibility requirements.