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Need for green card lottery

Updated on March 9, 2011

What is the Need for Green Card Lottery

It is a well known fact that there are many ways through which an immigrant can get a green card. One is through the yearly conducted green card lottery program that will give him/her legal residence status in the US.

As mentioned earlier, the DV lottery program is conducted every year and provides approximately 50,000 green cards to applicants who will be selected randomly. All applicants are required to fulfill simple, but strict eligibility requirements. The main eligibility requirement is that the applicant should be from a qualifying country as not all countries qualify. The eligibile country generally will be the same as the applicant's country of birth and is not related to where he/she lives. Other eligibility requirement is that the applicant should have at least a high school education or its equivalent.

If you are not from country that qualifies for the program, you can apply through your spouse if your spouse if from an eligible country. If selected, both the applicant and the spouse should enter the US together. Applicant's children under 21 years of age listed in the application can come along with their parents to the US. One can also qualify through the country of birth of either of one's parents as long as neither of the parents was a resident of a non qualifying country at the time of your birth.

Eligible applicants should submit only one entry. Applicants submitting more than one entry will be disqualified. However, a husband and wife can each submit one entry if each one satisfies all the eligibility requirements for the green card lottery program.

The Green Card Lottery Process :

All the applications received for the current year's lottery program will be separately numbered at the Kentucky Consular Center. Here a computer will select (randomly) from the received entries for each geographic region. A notable feature is that all the applications have an equal chance of getting selected in this green card lottery program.

Once done with this process, the Kentucky Consular Center will notify the winners through an appointment letter approximately four to six weeks before the interview with the US consular officers overseas. The winners will have to pay all diversity and immigrant visa fees in person at the US embassy or Consulate at the time of their visa application.

The benefits of becoming a green card holder is that one gets the the right to apply for government-sponsored financial aid for education. Additionally, you can pay less tuition for university and college, which is also known as "in-state" tuition or "resident" tuition. Savings in most cases are 3 to 4 times lower than what other foreigners pay.

Green card holders have the permission to work in any company located in U.S. territory regardless of job function except for a few companies that hire only U.S. citizens. Employer sponsorship is not necessary either. Few jobs require security clearance that only green card holders and U.S. citizens can get. Therefore, a green card offers more job opportunities.

Green card holders also have the permission to start their own business and create their own corporation. In addition to these, they will get Social Security benefits when they retire and this is subject to certain conditions. The green card holder can also sponsor your spouse and unmarried minor children under 21 for them to get permanent status in the US. You also will have access to security clearances, become eligible for government grants and exempt from export restrictions. You will be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship too.

The green card lottery program is conducted every year and provides approximately 50,000 green card to applicants who will be selected randomly. All applicants are required to fulfill simple, but strict eligibility requirements.


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