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Do I Become a U.S. Citizen If I Win?

U.S. citizenship is not automatic.

No, you do not gain U.S. citizenship if you are selected a winner in the Green Card Lottery. What you get is U.S. permanent residence. You can request U.S. citizenship after living in the United States for 5 years.

U.S. citizenship checklist.

People applying to become U.S. citizens must meet several requirements.

  • They must have been permanent residents for 5 years (or 3 years if married to a US citizen)
  • They must be of good moral character (no felony criminal convictions)
  • They must be of sound mind in the judgment of immigration officials
  • They must have knowledge of the U.S. Constitution
  • They must be able to speak and understand English (unless they are elderly or disabled)

Applicants must also get a passing score on a simple citizenship test. This is a 10-question oral test and the applicant must answer 6 questions correctly to pass.

One exceptional way to become a U.S. permanent resident is to apply to the American Diversity Visa (DV) lottery program, which allows hopeful U.S. immigrants to apply for a drawing to become a permanent resident.