There are millions of people who apply for permanent residence to the United States each year through the Green Card Lottery. The Green Card Lottery is a process where 55,000 people will get their green cards. The green card lottery 2021 is the next available opportunity for participants to get their shot at this drawing. In 2017, more than 23 million people applied for the green card lottery.

Many participants make errors in their applications that cause them to be disqualified. These errors are as simple as not providing the proper passport-size photos with the application. Rejected applicants aren’t told what they did wrong which can be frustrating because they could end up making the same mistake over and over again. Let’s look at what you need to know about the Green Card Lottery so you know what to expect.

What Is The Green Card Lottery Program?

The Green Card Lottery is also known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program. It is a unique program that’s one of a kind in the world in which 55,000 Green Cards are given away each year to allow the dream of living/working in the United States to come true.

The idea behind the lottery was to keep the United States a diverse county. The Immigration Act of 1990 brought on the Green Card Lottery to help those who come from countries with a low immigration rate to move to the United States. 1994 was the first year that the Green Card Lottery was held. The winners of the lottery are randomly selected, therefore giving everyone who enters the same chance of emigrating.

How Does The Green Card Lottery Work

The Green Card Lottery takes place once a year, usually between October 1st and November 3rd. The lottery is free to enter. Starting in 2003, applicants were able to start applying online. Applicants must be from an eligible country and meet education or work experience requirements. Winners of the lottery must pay a fee to the U.S. embassy or consulate when they are permitted to apply.

You can register for the Green Card Lottery and update your personal details any time during the year, but you must make sure to meet the application deadlines so you don’t miss your chance to participate. It’s ideal to register as soon as possible since late entries are not accepted under any circumstance.

Application Requirements For The Green Card Lottery 2021

The requirements for applying to the 2021 Green Card Lottery are as follows:

  • Born in a country where natives qualify to enter
    • For those that aren’t eligible according to this requirement, there are two alternative ways that you might qualify:
      • Your Spouse was born in a country where natives are qualified to enter. You can claim your spouse’s country of birth as long as both of you are named on the selected entry, eligible for and issued a diversity visa and are able to enter the United States at the same time
      • Either of your parents or legal resident at the time of your birth was born in a country where natives are eligible to enter. In this instance, you may claim the country of a parent as long as the country is eligible according to the program.
  • Meet the education/work experience that is necessary for the program:
      • A high school or equivalent education (completion of a 12-year course of formal elementary and secondary education); or
      • At least two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of experience or training to perform. You can determine qualifying work experience through the Department of Labor’s O*Net Online database.

Countries Excluded From The Lottery In 2021

Since the Green Card Lottery’s goal is to encourage diversity, there are countries that may be excluded each year. In 2021, there were more than 50,000 natives in the past five years who immigrated from the United States from 18 countries. Natives from these countries will be excluded from the Green Card Lottery 2021. These countries are:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China (mainland born)
  • Columbia
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
  • Vietnam

Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan-born natives remain eligible.

Speak With Pride Immigration For More Information

Ensuring that you entered your information accurately for the Green Card Lottery will alleviate any concerns of being disqualified. It’s particularly critical to ensure accuracy since you are never told if a mistake costs you the chance. If you’ve been lucky enough to win the lottery, there’s more paperwork ahead as well.

If you are planning on entering the Green Card Lottery, you should work with an experienced team that can work with you throughout the process to make sure it’s handled the right way. Contact Pride Immigration and let us know how we can help you.

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Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.
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