Tags: Immigration | green card | lottery | path to citizenship

Path to Citizenship: What Are Your Odds of Winning Green Card Lottery?

By    |   Monday, 24 Aug 2015 03:20 PM

Winning the Green Card Lottery won’t make you a millionaire, but it can put you on the path to citizenship by enabling you to gain permanent legal resident status in the United States. The Green Card Lottery also offers a better chance of winning than sweepstakes types of lotteries.

About 11.39 million people worldwide entered the 2014 Green Card Lottery, in which 91,463 participants were accepted for 50,000 available visas, according to Green Card US Global, which helps applicants prepare and submit Green Card Lottery entries. That puts an applicant’s odds of being chosen at about 124.4 to 1, and of actually getting a visa at 227.8 to 1.

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The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which is targeted at making the U.S. population more diverse, holds the random, computerized lottery drawing while making 50,000 visas available annually to natives of countries that historically have low rates of immigration to the U.S., according to the State Department. There is no charge to enter the lottery, and the only way to take part is by completing an electronic form online at www.dvlotter.state.gov during the registration period, which lasted in 2014 from Oct. 1 to Nov. 3. Only one entry per person is allowed during each registration period.

Green Card Lottery winners don’t necessarily acquire green cards, as the State Department each year selects more lottery winners than allotted green cards, the New York Daily News reported. But many winners submit faulty applications and are disqualified, according to The American Dream – USA Services GmbH, a Berlin-based green card service, which added that some winners are ill-prepared for the bureaucracy involved in obtaining the card.

Entrants whose names are selected are provided a number indicating their place in line, which is based on their region of the world, the Daily News reported. It added, “To get a DV lottery green card, you must get to the front of the line before the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, for which you won.”

The State Department said participation in the lottery is open to natives of all countries but Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (if they were born on the mainland), Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom (with the exception of Northern Island, which does qualify) and its territories. Entrants are considered native of a qualifying country if they meet one of three requirements: They were born there, their spouse was born there or either of their parents was born there but — at the time of the entrant’s birth — was not a resident of the country where the entrant was born.

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To register for the lottery, applicants must either have a high school diploma earned in their home country or the United States – with a high school Graduate Equivalent Diploma not being sufficient – or have worked at least two years in a job that requires at least two years training, education or experience, according to the Daily News.

When someone wins the Green Card Lottery, their spouse – including same-sex spouses – and unmarried children under 21 also qualify for green cards, regardless of their place of birth, according to the Daily News.

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Winning the Green Card Lottery won't make you a millionaire, but it can put you on the path to citizenship by enabling you to gain permanent legal resident status in the United States.
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2015-20-24
Monday, 24 Aug 2015 03:20 PM
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