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Frequently Asked Questions
 
The Green Card Lottery
What is a Green Card?
What is the Green Card Lottery Program?
Who can participate in the lottery?
What about my spouse and children?
Is there a minimum of age to apply?
What are the requirements for the education or work experience?
Why do natives of certain countries not qualify for the green card lottery?
What can I do if I was born in a country that is not qualified?
How many applicants will be selected?
How many entries can I submit?
Can I do something to increase my chances to win?
How many visas are distributed to each country?
I live in the U.S. - Can I participate?
May a husband and a wife each submit a separate form?
If I win, do I have to travel with my family?
How do I know if I won?
Are there any fees to enter the lottery?
 
The Application
What information is required to fill in the application?
What family members must I include on my entry?
Is the photograph required for each family member?
Are there any specific formatting requirements for the photos?
 
The USGCLS Service
What is the USGCLS service?
Does using USGCLS improve my chances of winning?
How much time does it take to complete the process?
How much does the service cost?
Are there any additional fees?
 




The Green Card Lottery
What is a Green Card?
The Green Card is an immigrant visa to the United States. It allows you to legally live, work and study 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.

What is the Green Card Lottery program?
The Green Card Lottery program is formally known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program and is administered by the US Department of State. The program makes available permanent residence visas (Green Cards) to persons meeting certain eligibility requirements. Winners of the lottery are chosen in a random drawing conducted by the US State Department.

Who can participate in the lottery?
The applicant must be a native of a country whose natives qualify and must meet either the education or training requirement of the program. Use the free eligibility test to check if you qualify.

What about my spouse and children?
If you won, your spouses and unmarried children under age 21 may also apply for visas to accompany you.

Is there a minimum of age to apply?
There is no minimum age to apply for the program, 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 18 years old.

What are the requirements for the education or work experience?
You must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or, within the past five years, have two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years training or experience. A "high school education or equivalent" is defined as successful completion of a twelve-year course of elementary and secondary education in the United States or successful completion in another country of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a high school education in the United States. Occupations that require at least two years of experience are determined from a list published by the Department of Labor. The free eligibility test will walk you through these requirements.

Why do natives of certain countries not qualify for the green card lottery?
Diversity visas are intended to provide an immigration opportunity for persons from countries other than the countries which send large numbers of immigrants to the U.S. The law states that no diversity visas shall be provided for "high admission" countries. These countries are those from which a total of 50,000 persons in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visa categories immigrated to the United States during the previous five years.

What can I do if I was born in a country that is not qualified?
You can claim nativity through spouse or parent (subject to certain limitations). The registration wizard will walk you through these options.

How many applicants will be selected?
There are 50,000 visas available but more than that number of individuals will be selected. Because it is likely that some of the first 50,000 persons who are selected will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, selecting a larger number of entries should ensure use of all numbers, but it also risks some selected persons being left out. Therefore it is very important that if you do win, you proceed to process your visa immediately. Random selection by the Kentucky Consular Center computer does not automatically guarantee that you will receive a visa.

How many entries can I submit?
Only ONE entry form may be submitted by or for each applicant. ALL entries by an applicant will be disqualified if more than ONE entry for the applicant is received, regardless of who submitted the entry. However, married couples may each submit an application, doubling their chances to win. The registration wizard will automatically suggest this to you.

Can I do something to increase my chances to win?
All qualified entries are randomly selected by computer and have an equal chance to win. All qualified entries have an equal chance of being selected. However, the USGCLS registration can significantly increase your chances of getting a Green Card by submitting a correct entry, on time, not being disqualified, and receiving the winning notice early. For more information about the USGCLS Advantage, click here.

How many visas are distributed to each country?
Visas are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and no visas going to countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years. No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

I live in the U.S. - Can I participate?
Yes, an applicant may be in the U.S. or in another country, and the entry may be made from the U.S. or from abroad.

May a husband and a wife each submit a separate form?
Yes, a husband and a wife may each submit one entry. If either were selected, the other would be entitled to derivative status.

If I win, do I have to travel with my family?
No. The fact that you have listed family members on your entry does not mean that they later must travel with you. They may choose to remain behind. However, if you include an eligible dependent on your visa application forms whom you failed to include on your original entry, your case will be disqualified.

How do I know if I won?
After your applications is successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation number. We will notify you when you can go online and use this confirmation number to check if you won. IMPORTANT: Winning notifications are NOT sent by mail or email. If you receive a notice by mail or email that says you won it is fake and you should not respond to it in any way !

Are there any fees to enter the lottery?
There are no fees to enter the lottery. If you choose to register through USGCLS, there is a processing fee based on the number of entries you select in order to increase your chances, the registration wizard will automatically suggest that you submit a separate application for your wife if you are married; you will also be given the option to renew your application automatically. Every year, the State Department issues new requirements and instructions. If you select the renewal option, your information will be reviewed automatically each year and a new application will be entered for you based on the then current instructions - if new information needs to be collected or submitted we will let you know.



The Application
What information is required to fill in the application?
You are required to provide the name, date and place of birth and gender of yourself, your spouse (wife or husband) and your children (unmarried under 21 years of age); your full mailing address; recent photographs of yourself, your spouse and children. The online registration wizard will walk you through all of the information you need.

What family members must I include on my entry?
You must list your spouse, that is husband or wife, and all unmarried children under 21 years of age, with the exception of a child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident. You must list your spouse even if you are currently separated from him/her. However, if you are legally divorced, you do not need to list your former spouse. For customary marriages, the important date is the date of the original marriage ceremony, not the date on which the marriage is registered. You must list ALL your children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 years, whether they are your natural children, your spouse's children by a previous marriage, or children you have formally adopted in accordance with the laws of your country, unless a child is already a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident. List all children even if they no longer reside with you. The online registration wizard will walk you through all these requirements.

Is the photograph required for each family member?
Yes. You have to include a photograph of yourself, your spouse (wife or husband) and each child listed on your application.

Are there any specific formatting requirements for the photos?
Yes there are the online registration wizard and instructions will guide you through these requirements.

The USGCLS Service
What is the USGCLS service?
The USGCLS service was set up to provide information about the Diversity Visa Lottery Program and assist individuals with preparation and submission of their applications. USGCLS is a private entity and is not affiliated with the US Government. There is no requirement to use the USGCLS service to enter the lottery. As part of the service, the online registration wizard walks you through the eligibility requirements, makes sure you provide all of the information required, makes suggestions on how to increase your chances based on the information you provide, and creates a customized application form based on your entries and the instructions provided. Your application will then be submitted to the State Department by USGCLS.

Does using the online USGCLS service improve my chances of winning?
Using the services of USGCLS can not improve your chances of being selected from all qualifying entries. All qualifying entries have an equal chance of being selected. However, using the USGCLS Service can SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING A GREEN CARD. For more information about the USGCLS Advantage, click here.
USGCLS is certified by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, one of the top three independent accounting firms in the world. For the latest PWC report, click here.

How much time does it take to complete the online registration process?
The entire registration process should take about 5 minutes.

How much does the online service cost?
The processing fee is based on the number of entries you sign up for - in order to increase your chances if you are married we suggest you should submit separate applications for yourself and your wife (the registration wizard will automatically suggest this and other options). You may also register for automatic resubmission for the upcoming years each year, new submission instructions are posted by the US Government. If you select this option, the service will automatically check your application each year to see that you have provided all of the information required in compliance with the current instructions. Click here for a list of the processing costs.

Are there any additional fees?
No. Except for processing fee for the use of the registration wizard and the submission service, there are no additional fees to enter the lottery. If you win, you must pay a fee for an immigrant visa and a separate visa lottery surcharge to the State Department.



       
  
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USGCLS is a private entity not affiliated with the US government. Copyright 2014 USGCLS. All rights reserved.