While some wait decades for their turn to receive a “green card”, and there are discussion about building walls to keep immigrants out of the U.S., 55,000 immigrant visas are “won” each year in a Green Card Lottery! It is that time again. Each year, the U.S. Department of State runs a random lottery in which 55,000 registrants are selected receive immigrant visas!
To win, you have to register between now and November 3, 2015. It costs nothing to register.
Who Can Register?
You may enter if you or your spouse were born in a qualifying country. You may only enter once – if you enter more than once you will be disqualified. But you and your spouse may each register, and if either or both of you “win” you will both be eligible to apply for immigrant visas – as will your unmarried minor children.
To register you must have either a high school education or two years’ experience in an occupation which requires a minimum amount of experience.
How Do I Register?
You register at a special online site setup by the Department of State. The application is completed online, and includes a photograph which you will have to upload. The special site includes complete entry instructions, a “photo tool” to upload your photograph, and a link to the form itself. When you complete your entry, you will receive a confirmation number, Keep your confirmation number – you will need it to find out if you were selected!
How Much Does it Cost?
It costs nothing to register for the Diversity Lottery. Some web sites offer to complete the application for you and will charge you a fee. Those sites are no easier to use than the Department of State web site – and the official site is free!
What Happens if I Win the Lottery?
If you are selected you will be notified by email from the Department of State. More than 55,000 applicants are notified, and they will be processed in the order in which they were selected. You will NOT be notified if you don’t win, but you will be able to check your status online using your confirmation number beginning on May 3, 2016.
Once you are selected you may be applying for an Immigrant Visa if your selection number is reached. You must obtain your immigrant visa and enter the U.S. before September 30, 2017 or your selection is void. You may want to contact an AGG attorney in our Global Immigration and Migration Group at that point to help complete the process.
I Have More Questions
Check this site with detailed instructions for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. There is a detailed description of the program here. The Global Immigration and Migration Group at AGG is always available to meet all your immigration needs.
This Legal Insight presents information on legal matters of general interest and in summary form. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion on specific matters. If you would like further information about the Green Card Lottery, please contact one of our Immigration Attorneys: Teri A. Simmons, Jay I. Solomon or Stephen P. Pocalyko.
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