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.
(People born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR & Taiwan are eligible)
UNITED KINGDOM and its dependent
Territories, (except Northern Ireland is eligible)
*The following dependent areas of Great Britain are not eligible to participate in the lottery: ANGUILLA, BERMUDA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, CAYMAN ISLANDS, FALKLAND ISLANDS, GIBRALTAR, MONTSERRAT, PITCAIRN, ST. HELENA, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.
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.
Those selected will be notified by mail between May and July 2005 and will be provided further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the U.S. 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. DV-2006 visas will be issued between October 1, 2005 and September 30, 2006.
- Complete the application form and email it along with your digital pictures. Provide your credit card or other payment information.
- 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.
- The application can be printed in Word format or Adobe Acrobat format. Fill it and mail it with yourPictures 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 by midnight on September 30, 2006. 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 this date.
When do I register?
Register immediately! Properly formatted entry forms must be received by the US Government during a two-month application submission period, from
November 5, 2004 to January 7, 2005 .
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:
2. Processing fee.
The fastest way is to complete the application provided online and email it along with your digital pictures directly to us 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
8953 Woodman Avenue, Suite 203
Arleta, CA 91331
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:
||Include photographs for applicant, spouse, and all children. (If you are filing a dual application, submit two photographs for each family member.)
||Photographs must measure 50mm by 50mm (2 inches by 2 inches), with the name and date of birth of the applicant, spouse, or child printed on the back.
||Applicant, spouse, or child must be directly facing the camera; the head of the person being photographed should not be tilted up, down or to the side, and should cover about 50% of the area of the photo.
||The photo should be taken with the person being photographed in front of a neutral, light-colored background. Photos taken with very dark or patterned, busy backgrounds will not be accepted.
||Photos in which the face of the person being photographed is not in focus will not be accepted.
||Photos in which the person being photographed is wearing a hat or glasses with dark lens or in which the face is obscured in any way will not be accepted.
||Photos may be either in color or in black and white.
- The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
- The image must be either in color or grayscale; monochrome images (2-bit color depth) will not be accepted.
- If a new digital photograph is taken, it must have a resolution of 320 pixels wide by 240 pixels high, and a color depth of either 24-bit color, 8-bit color, or 8-bit grayscale.
- If a photographic print is scanned, the print must be 2 inches by 2 inches (50mm x 50mm) square. It must be scanned at a resolution of 150 dots per inch (dpi) and with a color depth of either 24-bit color, 8-bit color, or 8-bit grayscale.
- The maximum image size accepted will be sixty-two thousand five hundred (62,500) bytes.
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.
(Spouse and children included at no additional cost.)
(Two applications, one for each spouse; other spouse and children included on each application.)
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 Eurocheques
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!