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The Facts About the Green Card Lottery

The Facts About the Green Card Lottery

The Green Card Lottery, also known as the Diversity Visa Lottery, is an annual program that grants 50,000 green cards to individuals from countries with low immigration rates to the United States. The lottery has been a topic of discussion in recent years, with politicians and citizens alike debating its effectiveness and fairness. In this article, we will explore the facts about the Green Card Lottery and provide updated information on the program.

What is the Green Card Lottery?

The Green Card Lottery program was established in 1990 as part of the Immigration Act. Its purpose is to promote diversity in the United States by granting green cards to individuals from countries with low immigration rates. Every year, the program grants 50,000 green cards to eligible individuals ed at random from a pool of millions of applicants.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Green Card Lottery, you must meet certain criteria. You must be a native of a qualifying country, which is determined by the Department of State annually. You must also have at least a high school education or two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience.

To enter the lottery, you must submit an electronic application during the designated registration period, which usually runs from early October to early November. Applicants are allowed to submit only one entry per year, and multiple entries will result in disqualification.

ion Process

Applicants are ed at random through a computer-generated drawing. The Department of State uses a complex formula to ensure that the 50,000 green cards are distributed among six geographical regions, with no more than seven percent of the green cards going to any one country.

Winners are notified by mail between May and July of the following year. They must then apply for a green card and undergo a rigorous background check and interview before being granted permanent residency in the United States.

Controversies Surrounding the Green Card Lottery

The Green Card Lottery has been a controversial topic in recent years due to its perceived fairness and effectiveness. Critics argue that the program allows individuals with little to no connection to the United States to bypass traditional immigration channels and gain access to the country. They also argue that the lottery fails to attract individuals with skills and education that could benefit the U.S. economy.

Proponents of the program argue that it promotes diversity and allows individuals from underrepresented countries to achieve the American dream. They also argue that the program provides a way for families to reunite, as many green card lottery winners have family members who are already living in the United States.

Changes to the Green Card Lottery

The Trump administration has been vocal about its opposition to the Green Card Lottery. In 2017, President Trump advocated for reducing legal immigration to the United States, claiming that it would benefit American workers. He also proposed eliminating the Green Card Lottery entirely and replacing it with a merit-based system.

In 2019, the Trump administration introduced new rules that would make it more difficult for immigrants to obtain green cards. The new rules, which were set to take effect in October 2019, would require immigrants seeking green cards to prove that they will not become a burden on the U.S. healthcare system or other social services.

However, the implementation of the new rules has been delayed due to legal challenges from immigrant rights groups. As of this writing, the future of the Green Card Lottery and other immigration programs remains uncertain.


The Green Card Lottery is a highly debated topic in the United States, with critics and proponents arguing over its fairness and effectiveness. However, the program has been in place for almost three decades and has granted green cards to thousands of individuals who might not have been able to enter the United States through traditional channels. As the immigration debate continues, it will be interesting to see how the future of the Green Card Lottery unfolds.

Many people who play the lottery within their state often think of what they would do if they were to win big through the lottery. Imagining having all of their numbers picked as part of the random drawing, they envision large sums of money coming their way and quitting their day jobs to pursue a life of luxury. For people from foreign nations who wish to live and work in the United States, there is a lottery that may not earn them a lump sum of millions or the house of their dreams, but they will be a step closer to their vision of achieving the American dream.

There are restrictions on the countries of origin of people that can enter into the green card lottery as well the time of eligibility to enter for a Diversity Visa and the number of people who will eventually become a green card holder. First, there is the issue of how many; 50,000 applicants will be successful to earn a green card through the lottery provided by the United States government, which is conducted once a year, usually towards the last quarter of the year. Second, there is the issue of who may apply: the green card lottery is only open to applicants from countries from which low numbers of immigration to the United States are annually tallied.

Naturally, this would tend to preclude larger countries and countries with many residents. Canadians, Chinese, Indian and Japanese immigrants are among those typically ineligible become a green card holder through the DV program. Also, there are restrictions on the types of workers that will be acceptable in the application for a green card; not just everyone will be capable of submitting a ticket to the green card lottery, though millions of people eager to be a green card holder will apply each year.

Even with all the potential restrictions and the simple fact that one could possibly invalidate their ticket if they are not careful with the details of their application, the green card lottery is particularly notable for not excluding people on the basis of economics. Although potential winners are still subject to visa processing fees if they become a green card holder, there is no fee to enter, which should encourage some tentative applicants to try their luck with the Diversity Visa lottery. Also laudable are the low wait times considering the wealth of applicants. Possibly, a winner could find out in less than six months that they were successful in their bid.