The Diversity Immigrant Visa program, normally referred to by many as the green card lottery, was established by the immigration Act of 1990. Allotting 55000 immigrant visas starting from the year 1995, the United States aims to diversify its immigrant population by selecting applicants from countries which have sent less than 50000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous five years.
The term, “50000 immigrants” does not refer to immigrant categories such as asylum seekers, refugees, NACARA beneficiaries, or previous immigrants through the DVprogram. The limit of 55000 visas was decreased to 50000 by allotting 5000 visas for the NACARA beneficiaries from the year 1999.
The Green Card Lottery program for the year 2014 is termed DV2016.The registrations begin in the month of October 2014 but one can enter a lottery anytime by using a paid service provider. The number of applications accepted is generally lower than what is received by the lottery program. This is mainly due to simple errors made by the applicants; errors which could have been easily avoided. Hence, using a service provider can ensure error less application submission and support till a green card is obtained.
The winners can obtain green cards, which are permanent resident cards, which allow the card holders several of the benefits that U.S. citizens enjoy. But there are few rules to follow in order to obtain the green card. People can apply for the lottery and win. But after winning, if they are found ineligible, then their application for the green card is rejected. Since many lottery winners don’t qualify, the government ensures that the number of selected winners is more than double the number of the available visas. The participants can find out if they have won by checking the results on the official site. Winners will have to complete certain processes after winning. Once the 50,000 visas are filled the gate will be closed to the remaining lottery winners. So the work of a person to obtain a green card through the lottery doesn’t end with applying for the lottery and winning it’s much more.
The eligibility requirements are:
- The applicant must be born in a country which qualifies for the lottery program (Eligible countries change every year, so check before applying). If the applicant is not born in an eligible country, then there are two other options. The applicant may qualify if his or her spouse was born in an eligible country. Another option is through parents. If neither of the applicant’s parents were legal residents of an ineligible country at the time of birth of the applicant, but were legal residents of a country which is currently eligible, then the applicant can qualify through them.
The applicant must have a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12 year course of elementary and secondary education or with two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net Online database has to be referred to, to determine qualifying work experience.
The U.S government requires applicants to submit an entry only if they meet the above requirements. There is no minimum age to apply, but the requirement of a high school education or work experience for each principal applicant at the time of application will effectively disqualify most persons who are under age 18.