Start your journey toward a new life in the USA!
That is not necessarily true though! Did you know that there is a system in place that offers select individuals a direct path to live in the US long-term?
Also called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, the Green Card Lottery offers immigrants who meet the required criteria the best chance of achieving their dream of living in America.
Read on to find out the Green Card Lottery requirements and whether you are eligible for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
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Is My Country of Birth Important for the Green Card Lottery?
According to the US State Department, 12 million people applied for the Green Card Lottery in 2021! Unfortunately, not all the applicants will be able to make it to the US (at least not this way).
Out of the roughly 125,000 names that are randomly selected from the 12 million participants, only 55,000 lucky individuals who meet the requirements will be selected to actually receive a US Diversity Visa and Permanent Resident Green Card.
One of the two most important selection criteria is the applicant’s country of birth.
A lot of people assume that their country of residence will be a factor in determining whether or not they meet the Green Card Lottery requirements. However, that is not the case as only the place you were born is required.
The reason for this is that some countries have historically always sent large numbers of immigrants to the US every year. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program was created to further diversify the US population, to give people born in low-immigration countries the opportunity to become an American permanent resident. To reduce the influx of newcomers from high-immigration nationalities, the US authorities conduct immigration surveys every year to determine which countries are to be excluded from the Green Card Lottery and listed as ineligible during any given year.
However, if you are a resident of a country that has been excluded from the Green Card Lottery, you can still file your application so long as you were born in another country that has been deemed eligible. For example, if you were born in an eligible country, but you are currently living in an ineligible country, you can participate if you also meet the education or work experience requirement. Thus, it is not where you live, but where you were born that counts!
List of Excluded Countries
Are you wondering whether you are one of the lucky nationalities that will be able to participate in the Green Card Lottery next year?
Well, cross your fingers and hope that your country of birth is NOT among the following ineligible nationalities that have been EXCLUDED from the Lottery held in 2023:
- United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
- China (including Hong Kong SAR)
- South Korea
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
What Are the Requirements for a Green Card?
Now that you have passed the first hurdle by confirming that your country is eligible for the Green Card Lottery which will be held in early 2023, it’s time to look at the finer points of your individual attributes.
These are the key elements that will determine whether your name can be selected among the lucky Green Card Lottery winners:
- You Must Be Born in a Qualifying Country
- We will not go into much detail on this point as we have already covered the importance of your country of birth. What we will do is give you a couple of options to try if you have been excluded, which are:
- You can apply for the Green Card Lottery using your spouse’s country of birth if theirs happens to be eligible and you are legally married.
- If at least one of your parents was born in an eligible country, you can submit your application using their birth country instead of yours.
- Of course, you must also meet the education or work experience requirement discussed below to participate.
- Education is the next important parameter we will consider. The rules are very clear on the fact that a high school education is a minimum requirement for qualification.
- While having some form of additional education and training is typically a good thing to have, for the purposes of winning the Green Card Lottery it does not give an individual any advantage over those with just a high school diploma.
- Work Experience
- If you do not have the required educational qualifications, your work experience can be your way in. The typical requirement is two years of work experience within the last five years in a job that has a minimum requirement of two years of training.
- In addition to that, your job must have a Specific Vocational Preparation (SPV) rating of 7, which is reserved for jobs that generally need a higher form of training than is required for unskilled labor.
In sum, the two main requirements to participate in the US Green Card Lottery are: (1) you must be born in an eligible country AND (2) you must satisfy the education OR work experience criteria.
Correct Application Submission
Besides meeting the two main eligibility requirements, you have to complete your Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery Application correctly during the annual registration period normally held in October in order to participate.
It is very important that all of the information entered in your Green Card Lottery Application is accurate and that your photo(s) are also made according to the strict standards.
If any of the information contained in your Green Card Lottery Application is incorrect and you are selected as a “winner” in the Lottery, you could get disqualified during the Consular Process, so make sure everything is spelled correctly, the information is up-to-date, etc.
Considering that the US is a predominantly English-speaking country, many people make the wrong assumption that being able to read, write, and understand English is a major requirement for winning the Green Card Lottery.
However, nothing could be further from the truth! While knowing how to speak the common language of the country you hope to live in is a good idea in general, many of the winners of previous Green Card Lotteries are people who do not speak a single word of English!
Proof of Finances
When submitting your application for the Green Card Lottery, you will not be required to provide any proof of finances or to give the details of a US sponsor. Evidence of Financial Support regarding your ability to support yourself and your family while living in the USA will only be required after you have won the Green Card Lottery and are going through the Consular Process.
Typically, a bank statement showing annual deposits and withdrawals into your account will suffice as proof of finances when the time comes, but there may be alternative ways to show proof of funds. If you will be living in the US with a sponsor, you may need to provide the I-134 Form signed by the sponsor along with proof that the sponsor has adequate financial resources.
The only reason that proof of finance (Evidence of Financial Support) is required is to prove to the US immigration officials that you will not become a burden to the state once you move to the United States and that you are an individual capable of self-sustenance.
Now that you have realized how easy it is to take part in the annual Green Card Lottery for immigration to the US as a permanent resident, it is time for you to take action. Visit USAFIS today for all your immigration and visa requirements. The application procedure for those who want to become an American permanent resident does not have to be long and complicated as long as you have the right people to assist you.
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