The United States Department of State administers a Diversity Immigrant Visa program to increase the diversity of immigrants entering the country each year. Have you heard of the green card lottery? Many immigrants wonder if they’re eligible for this program, which randomly selects some immigrants to receive green cards (AKA permanent residency). Read this blog or reach out to a Green Card Immigration Lawyer in NYC today to see if you qualify.
WHAT IS THE GREEN CARD LOTTERY?
The green card lottery, also known as the diversity visa lottery, is a program administered by the US Department of State (DOS). To diversify the immigrants gaining permanent residence in the United States, the DOS runs the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also called the DV program. Every year, the DOS randomly selects 50,000 immigrants to receive permanent residency status (AKA green cards). To be eligible, the selected immigrants must be from a country with low rates of immigration into the United States. Examples of countries that are usually eligible include Indonesia, Argentina, Iceland, New Zealand, and almost all African countries except for Nigeria.
HOW CAN I APPLY FOR THE DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM?
If you’re an eligible immigrant, you can apply for the DV program through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You likely qualify if you’re from one of the eligible countries with low immigration rates, you have an immigrant visa, and you’re admissible to the United States. Applicants are also required to have at least a high school degree or at least two years of work experience, so minors usually cannot apply. Applying for the DV program doesn’t cost any money, but you might need to pay mandatory green card application fees if you win.
To enter the green card lottery, you just need to fill out a simple form online on the DOS website. Applications are available every year around October and November, the lottery winners are usually notified a few months after the application closes. After successfully submitting your application, you must save your confirmation number. You’ll need the confirmation number in order to check on the status of your application online. If you win the lottery, you and your immediate family will all receive green cards.
To learn more about the green card lottery, you might consider speaking with a trusted and knowledgeable immigration attorney. The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David is here for you! Our compassionate team can provide individualized legal counseling. Contact us today for an initial consultation.