How does the Green Card Lottery Work? / FAQ

usa green card familyA Green Card or US Green Card Lottery Card is called a Permanent Residence Visa of the USA.

The Green Card will give you the legal right to work and live permanently in the United States. Diversity Visa holders get education, health, and many other benefits.

If you win a Green Card, you can become a USA Citizen at some point in the future but you are eligible for the same rights as a US Citizen. The Green Card does not change your originating countries citizenship.

Which persons can apply for the Green Card Lottery?

In order to register for the Green Card Lottery the person applying must be a native of an eligible country. The applicant should have either a high school education or similar. The person applying should have two years of work experience in the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training experience.

If a person does not meet all of the above standard requirements, he or she should NOT enter the Green Card Lottery.

You do not have to speak English. You do not need to have relatives in the USA.

Can I apply if my country is excluded from this year’s Green Card  Lottery?

If a person is born in a country that is not on the Diversity Visa list for this year but his/her spouse was born in an eligible country that person can claim his/her wife or husband as being from the same country together. Therefore allowing the applicant who is not from an eligible country to become eligible immediately. As an example a person born in an excluded country such as South Korea may still apply if his or her spouse was born in Hong Kong or Taiwan. Also, if one of the parents is from an eligible country then the child of one or both of those parents may apply despite the age, that person will qualify for the diversity visa lottery.

What education do I need to win the Green Card lottery?

United States of America law requires that every person applying for the Green Card Lottery must have at least a high school education or the equivalent education in the past five years. People wishing to apply must have two years of work experience in a career that requires two years of study. The way the US Government defines the “high school education or similar” is a completion of twelve years of elementary and secondary education in a similar level of education in the United States or successful completion in another country of elementary and secondary education similar to a high school education in the USA. When you have your immigrant interview after winning the lottery you will need to present document proof of a high school education.

Can I submit more than one application?

You may submit for you, your spouse and your children under 21. This will double your chance to win if both you and your spouse are eligible to submit a visa application for the Green Card Lottery Visa.

What age do I need to be to apply for the US Green Card Lottery?

There is not a minimum age to apply for the Green Card Lottery. You may apply at any age.

How are the winners drawn?

The National Visa Center separates all applications into 6 different sections. After the end of the application period, the US Green Card Lottery computer randomly selects cases from among all the emails in the various geographic regions.

Important to note:

Entries that do not have all required information in the proper order with the photos being sized and formatted specifically to the government’s specifications will be rejected!


See the number of Green Card Lottery online entrants, broken down from 2007 -2012, in this PDF (opens in new window).

See the number of selected Entrants from recent DV Programs in this PDF (opens in new window).