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Green Card Lottery Questions

What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is a US permanent residence visa. It allows you to live and work permanently and legally in the United States.

What is the Green Card Lottery?
The Green Card Lottery is formally known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program and is administered by the US Department of State. It was created by an act of Congress, the Immigration Act of 1990. The program allocates a specified number of visas, "Green Cards," to applicants from certain countries around the world. Although the statute actually mandates availability of 55,000 visas, The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act ("NCARA") passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, 5,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NCARA Program. Therefore, there are 50,000 visas available. Winners of the lottery are chosen in a random drawing conducted by the US State Department. The text of
the Green Card Lottery law is available for you to read.

Why is the lottery held?
The Green Card Lottery is intended to increase the diversity of the US population.  Natives of countries with historically low immigration rates into the US are encouraged to participate.

How does the lottery work?
Entries are submitted to the appropriate government filing offices during a brief window period lasting approximately one month. All entries are individually numbered. Entries that do not meet the requirements, are not prepared correctly, or are not delivered during the one-month window period are discarded and not included in the lottery. The US State Department then selects approximately 100,000 names at random and notifications are mailed to the winners. The first 50,000 people who register and qualify will receive several forms to fill out and will have a brief interview at the nearest US embassy or consulate before receiving their Green Cards. Additional family members listed on winners' entry forms will also receive Green Cards. Winners residing in the United States may be able to receive their Green Cards without leaving the United States.

What rights does a Green Card give me?
A Green Card gives you the legal right to live and work permanently in the United States and to enter and leave the country freely. Green card holders also receive health, education, and other rights, and they can sponsor relatives for Green Cards. The Green Card does not affect present citizenship. A Green Card holder may later apply for United States citizenship, if desired.

Do I qualify to enter the lottery?
You qualify to enter if you (or your husband or wife) were born in one of the eligible lottery countries (see below). You must also meet general and education/training requirements. Complete
eligibility requirements are available for you to read.

Which countries are eligible to participate?
The eligible lottery countries include every country in the world EXCEPT the countries that are listed below:
The following countries ARE NOT ELIGIBLE.

Natives of the following Asian countries are not eligible for this year’s diversity program: China (mainland-born), India, Pakistan, South Korea, Philippines, and Vietnam. Hong Kong S.A.R and Taiwan do qualify and are listed above. Macau S.A.R. also qualifies and is listed below (Europe). Persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, and Syria are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, and Syria.

Natives of the following European countries are NOT eligible for this year’s diversity program: Great Britain (United Kingdom) and Poland. Great Britain (United Kingdom) includes the following dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, and Turks and Caicos Islands. Note that for purposes of the diversity program only, Northern Ireland is treated separately; Northern Ireland does qualify and is listed among the qualifying areas.

In North America, natives of Canada and Mexico are not eligible for this year’s diversity program.

Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, and Peru

If you were born in one of the countries listed above, you may still qualify to participate in the Green Card Lottery. Information is available about these exceptions.

Are there any other requirements?
There is no minimum age to apply, but the education and/or work requirements effectively preclude most people under the age of 18 from being eligible to participate. You can enter regardless of where you are living--even in the United States. You do not have to speak or write English. You do not need to have relatives living in the United States. You do not have to have a particular amount of money or a job waiting. You need only qualify as an immigrant, which means that you may not be a criminal, cannot be mentally disturbed, must be able to work or support yourself, and cannot be a threat to the US national interest. You can enter the Green Card Lottery even if you have petitions pending, such as a relative or employer's petition for work permits, visas, etc. Entering the lottery does not affect current or past petitions and does not affect your current US visa status.

How are applicants selected?
Applicants will be selected at random by computer from among all qualified entries.
Only the US green card lottery application winners will be notified by mail at the addresses listed on their applications. US green card lottery winners will be sent instructions and information on fees. Being selected as a US green card lottery application winner in the diversity visa green card lottery does not automatically guarantee that you will be issued a visa, even if you are qualified. The number of green card lottery entries selected is greater than the number of immigrant visas available because not everyone selected will be qualified for the visa or will choose to complete the US green card lottery processing. Once all 50,000 visas have been issued, the diversity visa program for the year will end.
Persons not selected will NOT receive any notification. U.S. embassies and consulates will not be able to provide a list of successful applicants. Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 of successful applicants may also apply for visas to accompany or follow to join the principal applicant. Complete the application form and email it along with your digital pictures. Provide your credit card or other payment information.


1.       Complete and print the application. If you are unable to print the application, provide the required information on a sheet of paper. Mail your information with your pictures and payment to our address.

2.       The application can be printed in Word format or Adobe Acrobat format. Fill it and mail it with your Pictures and payment to our address.

In order to actually receive a visa, applicants selected in the random drawing must meet ALL eligibility requirements under U.S. law. Processing of entries and issuance of diversity visas to successful applicants and their eligible family members MUST occur within the time limits. Under no circumstances can diversity visas be issued or adjustments approved after this date, nor can family members obtain diversity visas to follow to join the applicant in the U.S. after the date.

When do I register?
Register immediately! Properly formatted entry forms must be received by the US Government during the submission period, Because the window period during which entries will be accepted is very short, we strongly urge you to submit your application today so that your entry will be ready for immediate submission during the appropriate application acceptance period.

Is my family eligible to enter the lottery?
When you receive a Green Card through the lottery, your husband or wife and all unmarried children under 21 years of age will also receive Green Cards.

How do I enter and how many entries can I submit?
To enter the lottery, you must provide the following:

1. Application.
Processing fee.

The fastest way is to complete the application provided online and email it along with your digital pictures directly to us at ak at . Answer all questions and answer each question to the best of your knowledge.

You may also return the completed application together with the appropriate processing fee and photograph(s) to:

AK Immigration Consultants
17550 Burbank Blvd,
103, Encino, CA 91316

send your application as soon as possible. Upon receipt of your completed entry form and processing fee, AK Immigration Consultants will prepare and process your application. You will receive a notice confirming that your entry has been processed and will receive a subsequent notice informing you when your application is submitted to the US Department of State. Lottery winners will be notified directly by the US Department of State (by mail). Unsuccessful applicants will not be contacted.

An individual is allowed only one entry per year. You will be disqualified if you submit more than one entry. However, a husband and wife may each submit separate applications but pay only one processing fee (this includes husband, wife and children, if any). This doubles your odds of being selected a winner in the lottery. If you are filing a dual application, each spouse must meet the lottery
eligibility requirements. Two separate applications should be completed, one for each spouse. One application should be signed by one spouse, the other application by the other spouse. Each application must include the other spouse and all unmarried children under 21 years of age. Both applications should be mailed to AK Immigration Consultants in one envelope, with two passport style photographs for each family member, and the appropriate processing fee.

What type of photographs must I submit?
Recent photographs of the applicant, spouse, and each child (including all natural children as well as all legally-adopted and stepchildren, even if the children no longer reside with the applicant) must be included. The name and date of birth of each family member must be printed on the back of their photo. Group or family photos will not be accepted; there must be a separate photo for each family member. Do not staple photos to the application.

Photographs must conform to the following specifications:

  1. The photo must be square, NOT RECTANGULAR
  2. Each photo must be a color passport-type photo, only showing head and shoulders in the shot.
  3. Head, shoulders and eyes must be facing straight into the camera with both sides of the face and ears equally visible. NO shadows are allowed to show on any part of the face.
  4. The background must be a plain LIGHT color such as white (NOT red, NOT blue, NOT any bright color. NO objects or shadows are allowed in the background.
  5. The head should take up approximately half of the space in the photo. NO SMILE.
  6. Hats or head covers are not allowed unless there is a religious reason, but no part of the face can be covered even for religious reasons.
  7. Eyeglasses are acceptable in the photo only if the lenses are NOT tinted and there is no glare, no reflections of light on the lenses or frames, no shadows, and the rims/frames do not obscure the eyes. Glare on eyeglasses can usually be prevented by slightly tilting the head up or down.
  8. Sunglasses are NOT allowed.
  9. Click here to see samples of properly taken photos.

Each digital photo MUST be in .jpg digital formal.

  • The camera settings should be either normal or of high quality.
  • Background: The person being photographed should be in front of a neutral, light-colored background. Dark or patterned backgrounds are not acceptable.
  • The digital format MUST be .JPG.
  • Image Color Depth: 24-bit color (Note that black and white, monochrome, or grayscale images will not be accepted.
  • The ideal final digital photo should look like the samples below, will be 600mm by 600mm, with a print resolution of 150dpi. 
  • Image File Size: The maximum image file size is 240 kilobytes (240 KB).
  • If your digital camera cannot take a square photo, do the following: 
        Set the camera for high quality
        Take a horizontal shot (a photo wider than it is tall), with the head and shoulders showing as in samples of properly taken photos below.
  • Get a high-quality scan (at least 200dpi).
  • The final scanned photo MUST be in .JPG format.
  • The portion of the existing photo to be scanned should be framed to look like the samples of properly taken photos below.
  • The scanned size resolutions should be 600mm by 600mm.
  • The final digital photo should look like the sample photo below.
  • If close to the required digital resolutions, we can adjust it to exactly meet the requirements.




Background not allowed
Do NOT smile

Low Resolution; Bad focus
 Do NOT smile

Shadow not allowed
Do NOT smile

Shadow on side of face.
Do NOT smile

  • . How do I know if I am a winner?
    Applicants whose applications are randomly selected from among all qualified entries will be notified by mail by the US Department of State. This notification normally occurs within six months of the close of the lottery program. Together with this notification, further instructions will be provided on how to proceed, including information on fees connected with the immigration process. Unsuccessful applicants will not be notified.

What is the processing fee and how can I pay it?
The US Government does not charge an application fee. To guarantee your application is prepared correctly and filed on time, AK Immigration Consultants charges a nominal fee to cover administrative and processing expenses incurred in conjunction with the careful preparation and submission of every lottery application.



Individual Application
(Spouse and children included at no additional cost.)

$35 USD

Dual application
(Two applications, one for each spouse; other spouse and children included on each application.)

$50 USD

Please make payment (in US dollars) payable to "AK Immigration Consultants."

The following forms of payment are accepted:

Credit Cards (Master Card/Euro Card, Visa)

Money orders (in US dollars)

Travelers' checks (in US dollars)

Checks drawn from a US bank

US dollars (cash)

We do not accept Euro checks

Because this is a lottery program, AK Immigration Consultants does not guarantee that you will be selected as a winner. If you are not selected, your registration fee is not refundable. However, we use our experience and knowledge to give you the best possible opportunity to win. We carefully satisfy the numerous legal and technical requirements associated with the format and content of every application. The slightest mistake will disqualify your entry. We guarantee that every entry is properly prepared!

How do I sign my entry?
No signatures are required.

Why should I use AK Immigration Consultants?
Every year, millions of applications are rejected because they are not formatted correctly, do not contain the required information, or fail to arrive during the specified submission period. (In the DV-2002 Lottery Program, 3 million applications were rejected for such reasons!) Furthermore, the eligibility rules and application requirements of the Green Card Lottery are subject to change every year. AK Immigration Consultants will professionally prepare your application and guarantee that it meets all current requirements, is properly formatted, contains all required information, and is submitted during the lottery submission period. Allowing AK Immigration Consultants to assist you with your application is a wise investment in your future!

Learn to process immigration cases and start your own business. Interested?
AK Immigration Consultants offers a low cost comprehensive Telephone Consultation.
FOR ONLY $15 you could save yourself hours of research and a lot of frustration!
(818) 386-8407
Email: ak [at]
$399.00 flat fee for complete assistance of your fiancée visa or your Marriage petition with adjustment of status or consular processing.
(This offer is subject to change)