Green card lottery, similarly perceived as the Diversity Immigrant Visa, is a United State government lottery procedure for acquiring a U.S. Permanent Resident Card. The Green Card Lottery Visa Program was established in 1990 and its purpose is to promote immigration to the U.S. from a large category of countries.
The number of diversity visas was initially restricted to 55,000 per fiscal year but reduced to 50,000 per year in 2000. The reason the program is called the “diversity lottery” is because recipients of visas are randomly chosen from the collection of competent entries.
Residents with fewer than 50,000 citizens admitted to the United States in the last five years are qualified to apply for the diversity lottery.
Typically, residents of China, Mexico, and India are not eligible for the Green Card lottery.
However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has grouped countries into regions namely:
Europe, North America, Africa, South America, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
Every region’s annual diversity visa allotment will then be evaluated by USCIS using an allotment formula and current immigration statistics.
To be eligible for a Green Card Lottery,
- The applicant or applicant’s partner must be a citizen of one of the qualifying countries.
- The person must also be acceptable to the United State under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
- The person must possess a high school education or equivalent or at least two(2) years of current qualifying work background.
Note: Eligible people have a brief time frame to apply electronically yearly.
Eligible Countries for the Green Card Lottery
The subsequent countries can partake in the Green Card lottery, but these countries are liable to change as the list is edited in September of every year.
1. Asia: Countries such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel*, Japan, Jordan*, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria*, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Macau S.A.R. Hong Kong S.A.R. and Taiwan qualified for the lottery but citizens of Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, India, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines are not qualified.
2.Europe: Citizens of Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, Vatican City, Yugoslavia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan qualify for the lottery. But the United Kingdom does not qualify for the lottery.
3. Africa: All African Countries are qualified except Nigeria.
4. Oceania: Both overseas components and dependents of Australia are eligible. Other eligible countries include Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, and Tuvalu.
5. South America, the Caribbean, and Central America: Citizens of these regions are eligible except Peru.
Nevertheless, winning this lottery does not ensure entrance into the U.S., but instead provides the individual a chance to apply for the Green Card lottery Visa otherwise known as the Diversity Visa.