Green Card Lottery
The Diversity Green Card Lottery, is exactly what it sounds like - a lottery conducted every year by the United States Department of State for the purpose of providing immigration visas/green cards to individuals from countries that are underrepresented in the overall mix of immigrants immigrating to the United States every year. Winning the lottery does not guarantee you a green card, as you must still show that you are not inadmissible.
The Diversity Green Card Lottery is conducted by the U.S. Department of State once a year, usually in the Fall, and provides for 50,000 diversity visas which can later be converted to green cards. You apply online directly with the U.S. Department of State (www.state.gov) and there is no fee to apply. You must meet the nativity and education or work experience requirement, as discussed below, and not be inadmissible. You may submit an application even if you are already in the United States and/or in another immigration status.
The applicant must be a native of a country whose natives qualify. Nativity has to do with an individual's country of birth, not necessarily the country in which they have citizenship. For example, an individual who is a citizen of Canada, but was born in Morocco, would have qualified for the Diversity Visa Lottery - 2008, even if he/she was not a citizen of Morocco.
Charging Nativity - If you were born in an ineligible country, like Canada or Mexico, but your spouse was born in an eligible country you can claim the nativity of your spouse provided both you and your spouse are on the selected application, are issued visas, and enter the United States simultaneously. Another way of "charging" nativity to another is if you were born in an ineligible country and neither of your parents was born in that country or resided in that country at the time of your birth you may then claim nativity in one of your parent's countries of birth.
Education or Work Experience Requirement
The applicant must meet either the education requirement or the work experience requirement and must be able to show evidence of either requirement.
Education - In order to meet this requirement the applicant must have a high school education or equivalent, defined asthe successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education.
Work Experience - In the past 5 years the applicant must have 2 years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least 2 years of work experience or training.
Individuals who are natives of the following countries were ineligible for Diversity Visa 2009: Anguilla, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, China mainland, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn, Poland, Russia, South Korea, St. Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.
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Did you know?
Douglas M. Lightman, the principal and founding lawyer of Lightman Law Firm, is a proud member of the Bar of the State of New York and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
In addition, Mr. Lightman, has been listed as an immigration lawyer on the websites of both the British Consulate General at New York and the Consulate General of Canada in New York.
For more information about the firm and Mr. Lightman, please see: ABOUT US.