We know: All About the Green Card Lottery

What's a Green Card?

Green card is the term generally used to mean a document issued by the U.S. government that means that you have obtained lawful, permanent residence (LPR) in the U.S. A 'green card' gives a person official immigration status.

What's the Green Card Lottery?

Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 55,000 immigrant visas available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

What does winning the Green Card Lottery mean?

If you receive a visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program you will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.

Who is eligible to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery?

You or your spouse must be a native of a country that is eligible to participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery. You may also be eligible to apply if your parent was born in a country that is eligible to participate. (The State Department will publish the names of countries that are eligible to participate before each year's lottery).

You must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, defined in the United States as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR you must have two years of work experience within the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.

How do I apply?

Before each year's lottery drawing, the Department of State will publish explicit instructions on how to apply in press releases and the Federal Register . Please follow all directions exactly. Millions of applicants are rejected each year for failure to follow the directions.

How much does the lottery cost?

There is no fee for entering the Diversity Visa Lottery. If you win, you must pay a fee for an immigrant visa and a separate visa lottery surcharge.

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