The USA is known as the Land of Opportunities, and that too for many reasons. It is why many people are always trying and looking for several ways to move to the USA. However, not many people know is that they can also win the USA visa lottery, which helps them become a member of the United States.
This USA visa lottery is also known as the Diversity Visa Program and can help you get a green card. However, there are some steps you need to follow and things to consider when going for the USA visa lottery to win it. Today, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to win the USA visa lottery.
What is the USA visa lottery?
USA Visa lottery is, also known as the Diversity Visa Program, is a program that lets immigrants from all over the world obtain United States permanent residency. In addition, the program is managed by the US Department of State and was established in 1990.
The whole objective of the program is to help people living in countries where people do not migrate to the USA in a huge amount. In short, countries with near to the ground rates of migration to the United States of America.
This program or scheme is only held once a year, and the US Department of State receives nearly hundreds and thousands of applications. With that said, application forms are filled out online, which you can find online by visiting the Department of State’s official website. Besides this, there are several other steps that you need to follow to make sure you stand out against other applicants. We will discuss this in a bit as well.
What is the objective of the Diversity Visa Program?
As specified earlier, the primary objective is to encourage and help people living in countries were migrating to the United States of America is pretty low. The whole goal of the program lies in one central idea: to have a variety of immigrants throughout the states.
As specified, the program was developed in 1990. However, the work started way before that. In 1965, the United States saw fewer immigrants, particularly from Europe. With that said, Europe was previously one of the major countries with high migration rates to the USA.
It was no longer the case, mainly because the quote system was demolished. It caused numerous communities in Europe, such as the Irish, to travel to the states. However, this matter was looked at by the government of the USA and concluded that some amendments must be made to the existing Immigration Law.
In 1981, the government made amendments and stated the goal(s) of the Immigration Law.
- To help smaller communities in the USA to grow.
- To expand and develop the States’ economy by giving more work permits to the different communities, typically ones in a smaller amount.
- To promote multiculturalism.
From 1981-to 1988, the United States of America only delivered 5000 visas per year, keeping the objective of the newly formed Immigration Law in mind. Due to this, the US did not see any vast improvement as compared to 1965’s Immigration Law.
Then, later in 1989, the USA government established a program that stated that from now 50,000-55,000 would be given each year to people across the world. This program was known as today’s Diversity Visa Program or the USA Visa Lottery program.
What are the eligibility conditions to enter the USA Visa lottery program?
For those of you who do not know, there is a set eligibility criterion that you have to comply with to enter and win USA visa lottery program. Some of the points are specified below.
To fill the application to USA visa lottery program, you should have the country’s nationality from where less than 50,000 people have migrated to the USA over the past 5 years. Some of the countries with low migration rates to the United States of America are:
- South Africa
- The Philippines, and many more.
Countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the USA over the past years, such as Canada, India, etc., are not eligible nor entertained by the USA Department of State.
Besides your birth country, you should also have some qualifications to be eligible to go for the visa lottery program. The qualification criteria are as follows:
- The applicant(s) must have a high school degree. Applicants having a higher degree have a plus point.
- The applicant(s) must have 2 years of work experience in the field or a job that requires 2 years of training. This point is essential, as one of the primary goals of the USA Visa lottery program is to bolster the US economy through diversification of the labor market.
Hence, before applying for the USA visa lottery or Diversity Visa Program, make sure to first read the specified points and comply with them.
Other things you can do if you do not meet the eligibility conditions
There are some other steps as well that you can follow if you do not comply with the eligibility conditions but want to apply for the Diversity Visa Program. Some of those are:
If you are married and have a spouse that is not born in the same country as you. Instead, they are born in a country with low migration rates (less than 50,000 over the previous 5 years) to the states. You can apply through their country of birth.
Moreover, if one of your parents is born in a country that is eligible to apply for the Diversity Program, you can also apply through it. To do this, put one of your parents (who is eligible) birth countries in the application.
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What are the steps you need to follow to apply for the USA visa lottery program?
As specified earlier, there are numerous steps you need to follow to apply for the USA visa lottery program. Some of the most essential and required by the USA Department of State are specified below.
Access the platform
One of the first steps you need to follow when applying for the Diversity Visa Program is to access the platform where you can fill out the application form. You can fill out this form by going on the US Department of State’s official website.
Read the information
After visiting the US State Department’s official website, make sure to read the instructions or the information specified on the platform so you can fill out the form accordingly. It is worth mentioning that applicants can view in different languages. However, applicants cannot fill out the online application form in their native language. The application can only be filled out in English.
Fill out the online application.
Once on the USA Department of State’s official website, make sure to locate the form that says DS-5501. In addition, you cannot apply whenever you want as the Department of State announces some registration dates. Only between those dates can you submit your online entry.
Typically, the registration process starts between October and November. So, make sure to be aware of these months. After accessing the right form, make sure to provide the following information:
- Your first name is in the assigned column.
- Your last name is in the assigned column.
- Your country of birth is in the assigned column.
- Your current address and your date of birth.
- Your and your family’s current photograph.
- Passport and contact information, such as mailing address, phone number, and more.
- Your qualification includes your work experience.
- If you are married and have a spouse and children, all their information is on the application as well.
When filling and entering your details on the online application for the Diversity Visa Program, make sure to consider some things. Taking care of these things would help you fill out your application form without any inconvenience. Some of those things are:
- Only fill one form as you would be disqualified from the program if you will fill multiple application forms. The system is monitoring applicants, so do not try to do anything silly that would reduce your chance to win USA visa lottery.
- Have a clear digital photo of yourself and yourself. Unclear pictures can cause identity issues.
- Fill out the online application properly by entering all the required information. Any mandatory information not provided can get you disqualified from the Green Card Lottery program.
- When entering your country of birth, make sure to list the country where you were born, not the country where you are living at the moment. Some applicants enter the country where they currently live, which is not right. It is the latter that can cause you numerous problems.
However, if you live in the same country in which you were born, this does not apply to you.
- In the country of eligibility section, make sure to put in your country of birth. If you are not were born in an eligible country but have a wife, or a parent that was, then put their country of birth in this section.
- However, if you have not got a spouse or parents born in an eligible country, unfortunately, you cannot proceed with the application.
- If you have got a spouse, but you are not applying on their basis, fill out all their information. It is a piece of mandatory information that the USA Department requires of State. And remember missing any mandatory information can get you eliminated.
Make sure to list the expiry date of your passport as well, even if it has been expired.
These are some of the application guidelines that you should follow to participate in the USA visa lottery program.
Submit the online application
After filling out the online application, make sure to submit the form. Now, there are no rules and regulations about how you can submit the form. However, there are some after you do it.
After submitting your Green Card Lottery form, you will be provided a confirmation number on your computer screen. Make sure to take a screenshot of that or print off a copy. It is because you would only be able to view your confirmation number and name once only (after pressing the submit button).
Not saving your confirmation number would not allow you to log in to the portal and view your entry status. As for logging in, you need to enter your confirmation number. In addition, applicants who are selected in the USA visa lottery program are required to fill out the DS-260 application form to schedule an interview in the latter, which is also done after logging in on the platform.
Typically, results of the Diversity Visa Program come in May. So, make sure to be aware of this month.
Things you should avoid when considering applying for the USA Visa Lottery Program
Below-specified are some things you should consider when applying for the Diversity Visa Program.
- Only fill out your application form by visiting the US State Department’s official website. It is because many platforms claim they are in collaboration with the Department when they are not. And, take your money. The application form is free of cost on the official website, so stay away from any platforms that ask you for your money.
- Do not click on fake emails. Applicants who are selected for the further process are informed by the Department of State on the platform. So, if you get any mails stating you have won the lottery is either phishing sites or just malware that can potentially hack your system.
These are some of the things you should avoid if you want to make sure that your private information is in safe hands. Plus, there is no shortcut to winning the USA visa lottery, so do not take any, or it can get you disqualified or even blacklisted.
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What to do if you are selected?
You followed all the application guidelines and managed to win USA Visa Lottery. But now what? Well, winning the lottery does not mean you get a permanent residency in the United States of America. It simply means that you can now participate in the process of applying for a green card.
- Once selected, make sure you do not waste your time, as this can cause you to miss your chance of getting a US visa.
- It is because there are a lot of applicants that get selected. Moreover, acting quickly would also help you get your visa on time. Not getting your US visa by the end of the year for which you are selected can cause you to be disqualified from the Diversity Visa Program.
- If you are not in the United States, you will apply for a green card by filling out the DS-260 form.
- On the other hand, if you are in the United States but are not a permanent resident of the States, you would apply for your US green card by filing Form I-485 through USCIS.
- Applicants, after getting selected for the Green Card Lottery, also have to go through the security screening and pass it.
- During the security screening, the authorities look at all your records to find whether you have done any criminal activities or not. Major crimes done in the past can get you disqualified from the program.
After filling and submitting the DS-260, applicants are called for an interview by the Kentucky Consular Center. The Diversity Visa Program interview is held in a US consulate in your home country. With that said, you would be required to choose a US consulate when filling out the DS-260 form.
After being selected for the interview in the US embassy, make sure to check the date for your interview by logging in to the Entrant Status Check and then preparing for it. To prepare for your interview, make sure to follow the below-specified steps.
Be there on time
Be on the interview on time. Not arriving at the interview on time can cause you to face several troubles, such as your case being delayed.
- Bring all the required documents.
- Bring all the necessary documents such as:
- Your passport. Make sure to bring a few copies.
- Birth certificate.
- 2 visible recent photographs.
- Print the confirmation screen stating the time and date of your interview.
- Valid passport. Make sure that your passport is valid six or more months beyond the date for when you want to visit the United States of America.
Some additional documents that the US embassy may require you to bring are:
Original marriage certificate with a visible stamp from the authorities.
- Divorce certificate.
- If your spouse has been deceased, make sure to bring their original death certificate.
- Annulment papers.
- If you are a military person, then you may be required to bring military records.
Around 14 days before your interview session then, you might be called out for a medical checkup. The medical checkup is often done by a local physician that belongs to the US consulate. These checks up usually last for up to 1 to 2 hours.
After your consultation
When your session comes to an end, the interviewer will then inform you more about the details of whether your visa gets accepted or not. If you are approved for a visa, then they will inform you and will return you your passport with a visa soon. However, if you are denied the applied visa, then you will be informed simultaneously.
Approval of visa
If you receive your passport with a visa, then do check the printed details to keep a check if there is no mistake or if there is, then contact the higher authorities. You might also get a package that contains documents that you have to show to the US authorities.
You should check for the deadlines for admission in the United States. A visa for diversity has an extended deadline of about 6 months. Then you need to pay the fees to the citizenship or immigration center in the US to travel to your destination. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that certain vaccinations are required for children, and without those, they will not be allowed to travel.
Denial of visa
In some unusual cases, if your office does not have a good idea about your information and further details, then they might not accept your application. They will inform you about the denial of your visa, and if they want to know more about the missing documents, then they will ask for it as well.
Almost 120,000 names for the people who apply for a green card, but only a few, that is, approximately 45,000 people are selected. Other people who apply for the visa are then added to the waiting list and are provided with a number.
If you have a very high number, then do keep in mind that you have a lot of people ahead, and the majority of them have completed their form-filling processes. Therefore, the chances for you to Win USA Visa Lottery are quite low, and to get a green card is far more difficult than to win USA Visa lottery.
Chances of winning USA Visa lottery
Even if it seems odd to apply for the visa or even if it is random, there can be a few ways in which you can increase your chances of winning. Like, if you and your partner are both under the recommended criteria, then you both should apply.
This increases the winning margin for you and the other person as well. Moreover, there are no restrictions when it comes to the number of people applying for the visa. Hence, if your children meet the requirements, make them apply for it as well.
If you are in search of a perfect guide on how to win USA visa lottery, then do not forget to read the mentioned details. You can get help related to all the important aspects.