How to Apply for Green Card Lottery and Get Legal Residence in the US

Perhaps all of us know how a regular lottery works. It is indeed exciting to know that you enter the lottery and if you are 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, it is also called as the green card lottery program or the DV lottery. As a part of this random lottery process, 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.

How do I qualify?

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 your 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 one 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. There are different websites which offer the service for the preparation of the online application. The green card lottery application is free, is filed online and has to be filled and submitted per the instructions. Once the application is sent along with the required photos 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.