Those of you who are looking to immigrate to America and get in through the Green Card Lottery may be surprised to discover the overwhelming number of individuals that attempt to immigrate every year via this program. Millions of individuals seek to come to America and obtain their green card. Why? You know the truth because you, yourself, know that the United States has very much to offer in the way of opportunities (work, education, lifestyle, etc.). Yet, of the millions of people that try to get into America legally, only a small fraction ever qualifies to participate in the Green Card Lottery, also known as the DV Lottery. Millions disqualify themselves from the start because they fail to understand and follow the requirements.
So many people dream about coming to America, finding a good job, and establishing an independent and happy life. But to obtain the American dream, there is a considerable amount of red tape to conquer. What is worse is that many hardworking people looking to get into the United States via honest, U.S. immigration practices never get a real opportunity to succeed in the DV Lottery. The principal problems that come up include incorrect documentation, unacceptable photo submissions, and/or a total failure to meet the demands set by the U.S. Department of State. Even worse are situations that involve an individual being declined because of the country in which they were born: some people cannot enter the Visa Lottery—period—because they originate from a country that has been disqualified from participation.
To overcome these issues, it is important to ensure that you are qualified to participate. You may be surprised to realize which areas of the world are banned from participating in the DV lottery. The list of countries that are barred from participating changes from year to year, but countries that have been on the banned list for many years include Canada, Mexico, and Nigeria, for example. People born in these countries are ineligible to participate in the DV Lottery. (Remember to obtain the latest list of qualified countries to check which countries are currently eligible for the Green Card Lottery.)
Important: exceptions to the country-of-origin requirement do exist! If a DV Lottery applicant’s spouse (husband/wife) or parent (mother/father), or spouse’s parent was born in a qualified country, then the applicant can claim that qualified country as their own “country claimed” or “country of chargeability” to participate in the Green Card Lottery.
So apart from satisfying the country-of-origin requirement, what else does it take to qualify? How does someone take advantage of the Green Card Lottery opportunity? First, as already described, an individual must have been born in a country that is eligible (or at least be able to claim a country that is eligible). Second, in terms of one’s education, one must have completed high school, or one must have earned the equivalent of a high school (“secondary’) education. Documentable completion of a secondary school education is usually enough, but if the applicant did not complete this, he/she can still qualify to participate in the DV Lottery with a minimum of 2 years of work experience and this experience must have occurred within the last 5 years. Essentially, while there are several requirements to meet before one is eligible to participate, if the requirements are met, the individual is one step closer to qualifying for the DV Lottery and obtaining a United States visa.
A more recent addition to the list of DV Lottery qualifications is the passport requirement. In general, the applicant must have a valid and unexpired passport to participate in the program. Again, there are exceptions to this rule, for example, in cases where the applicant is an asylee or from a country where it is not possible to obtain a passport. There is additional information available for you to read about the passport requirement and exceptions.
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