Five Important Things to Remember When Applying for the DV Lottery

Want to immigrate to the United States permanently?

First things first: there is no foolproof way to increase your odds of winning the DV lottery in the United States. It’s completely arbitrary. But four out of ten “winners” didn’t fill in their applications appropriately, resulting in forfeited wins. Those applicants’ applications are immediately deleted without further review, making room for the applications of the new, lucky winners.

Because of this, the real chance of winning is about 2%. If you have a spouse, they can also play, making your chances of winning 4% better. To ensure you qualify for the green card lottery, below are five tips for submitting your DV Lottery application and general information on the green card lottery.

Information about how the DV Lottery works in general

Green certificates are issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). As a holder of a green card, you are permitted to reside and work permanently in the United States. Although there are numerous ways to obtain a green card, including through family, employment, asylum, or refugee status, not everyone qualifies.

Even if you meet the requirements, you may have to wait up to 20 years for certain family or job status categories. The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, also called the “green card lottery,” could be for you if you don’t qualify or want to roll the dice while you wait.

But before you sign up for the green card lottery, you should find out if you are eligible based on your country, level of education, or work experience.

Country Requirements

Diversity visas are given to residents of countries in six geographic areas with historically low immigration rates: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and the Southern Americas (including South America, Central America, and the Caribbean states). Each year, the US government makes changes to the list of countries and puts them in the Diversity Visa entry guidelines.

You may still be qualified for the DV program if your partner was born in an eligible country, both of your names are on the duplicate entry, and you both plan to enter the United States at the same time.

You may also be qualified if you were born in a country that isn’t eligible, but one of your parents was born in an eligible country or was a legal resident of that country at the time of your birth.

Education and Work Experience

To apply for the green card lottery, you must meet certain standards about your education and work experience, as well as your place of birth. You must have a high school diploma or similar or two years of experience in a recognized trade within the last five years.

The US government can use the US Department of Labor’s O*NET online database to find out if your work experience is enough.

General Tips

Follow instructions; don’t try to save time by taking shortcuts. Do not think some entries aren’t needed. If your grasp of English isn’t good, get help. Please don’t use a photo your uncle took with his smartphone as a substitute.

And if you give false information, whether by accident or on purpose, the US government will call you a liar, which means you’ll never be able to get a US visa again.

Here are the five most important things you need to know about applying for the DV Lottery:

Pay careful attention to the details.

If you make a mistake typing in your information or leave something out, you won’t be able to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery.

Submit a Valid Photo

You must include a photo of yourself and your other applications that was taken in the last six months. The shots you send in must show your face and be taken against a simple background.

You are not permitted to conceal your hair unless you do this for religious reasons. Failure to supply a photograph that conforms with these requirements may result in your application being denied. Your best chance is to hire a professional photographer to take your shot.

Do not submit multiple DV Lottery applications during the same registration period.

All applications will be rejected if you apply for the diversity lottery more than once during an open registration period. While you are not permitted to submit two applications in your name, your spouse may do so and list you as a relative. Even if each spouse just applies once, it will increase your chances of winning.

Eligible Kids Should Apply

There is no limit on the number of family members who can apply if they meet the requirements. If any of your children have met the standards for schooling or work experience (which usually means they are between 16 and 18 years old), they should also enter the lottery. If they win, they won’t be able to bring you to the United States right away, but it will make it easier for you and other family members to come here.

You and your 20-year-old son, for example, are both qualified for diversity visas, so you both apply. Imagine that instead of you, your son wins. He comes to the U.S. and gets himself set up as a legal permanent resident. After five years of living in the United States, your son can become a citizen. Then, since he is a US citizen, he can ask for you to move to the US because you are his close cousin.

If both spouses are eligible, they should both apply.

If all qualified wives sign up for the lottery, your family’s chances of winning will go up by a lot. Those who are accepted can bring their spouse and children under 21 who are not married.

If you and your partner both live in New Zealand, work in skilled jobs, and have finished high school, you have twice as much chance of winning as a family. You and your spouse can each submit one application in your name. A proof number will be sent to both of you. If one of you wins, the other one is immediately entered as a derivative partner.

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