If you wish to work and live in the US, you can do so through a green card. There are many ways through which you can become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). One is through the annually held Diversity Visa (DV) lottery program. As a green card holder, you can legally enter, work and live permanently in the US.
Green card lottery :
The green card lottery (DV) program offers 50,000 green cards annually. Though there are not many eligibility requirements, you have to meet certain simple, but strict requirements. Not all countries qualify for the DV program, so it is important that you have to be from a qualifying country. The country of your birth decides if you qualify and is not related to where you live. Apart from this requirement, you should have at least a high school education or its equivalent as another eligibility requirement.
While figuring out the qualifying countries, countries from which large number of persons move to the US do not qualify for this DV program. Per immigration laws, if more than 50,000 persons in the family and employment based visa categories immigrated to the US during the past five years from a particular country, then that country will not qualify for the present year’s DV lottery program.
The Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), takes care of the entire process and selects the winners through a computer, randomly. Earlier, the KCC announced the results by regular postal mail between the months of May and July every year. However, they changed the notification process during the 2010 fiscal year program and applicants had to check the results online. Applicants were able to check if they were selected for further processing or not. It is important to remember that the results are announced by the KCC only and no other organization or company is authorized to declare the results.
The green card lottery process :
There is a particular registration period and the State Department website will have information regarding it. Once the submission period is over, the website will stop accepting entries for the fiscal year. Later, applicants will be selected randomly by a computer will randomly from the valid entries region wise. All valid entries will be assigned a case number per the year and the birth country’s geographical region. If you are selected, you will be strictly informed that you should not proceed further if you do not meet the eligibility requirements. Once you submit your form, your computer screen will flash a confirmation number. Make sure you keep your confirmation number safe as it is the only way to check the results.
If you are selected in the green card lottery program, it does not mean that you will get an immigrant visa immediately. It only paves way to apply for the immigration visa by paying the appropriate immigrant visa fees and the diversity visa processing fees. Other eligible family members (spouse, children) also have to pay the same visa fees for each of them. If your visa is rejected for some reason, the visa fees will not be refunded. Pay the visa fees only to the US Embassy or Consular office on the date of the interview and make sure you do not send the fees by Bank or through any other organization.