Going to the USA with the Green Card Lottery

Every year, the dream of immigrating to the USA becomes a reality for millions of people. 55,000 of them alone come to America via the Green Card Lottery, organized by the US government every year. We explain how the lottery works and how you can apply.

Living and working in the USA

Having a Green Card allows you to live and work in the United States of America without any restrictions. Unfortunately, for most people, it is not so easy to get. If you have no family in the USA and no American employer, the only way to obtain a Green Card is through the Green Card Lottery.

How the Green Card Lottery works

The good news is that the chances of winning the annual lottery organized by the US government are excellent. Nevertheless, the principle of chance prevails here. This means that while some people win on the first try, others have to wait for their Green Card for several years.

The application process must be carried out without errors because you will not receive any feedback from the US government if there is a mistake in your Green Card application.

If you win the Green Card Lottery, you will need to file an immigration application and have a visa interview at the US Embassy or Consulate.

It usually takes at least 1.5 years from the day you apply until you can finally move to the USA. However, some Green Card winners commute between their home country and the United States during the initial period and then move within the first few years.

Why is there a Green Card Lottery?

Like no other country, the USA stands for diversity and opportunity. Immigrants from all over the world shall get a chance for a better life in the United States and help shape and develop the USA in their way. In doing so, however, balance among populations is essential.

That's why the US government allocates 55,000 immigrant visas each year within specific country quotas that are recalculated on a regular basis. In this way, the U.S. Department of State ensures that immigration remains balanced. The list of participating countries is also revised periodically for this reason.

If an excessive number of people have immigrated to the USA from one country, it is put on the reserve list for some time. Thanks to the random principle, all participants from one country have the same chances - regardless of their qualifications or other characteristics.

How to participate in the Green Card Lottery

The entry requirements for the Green Card Lottery are low. Do you have a passport and a high school diploma or equivalent? Then you can apply.

Even without a high school diploma, you can qualify if you can prove two years of work experience in a profession that requires two years of training. In addition, you must be born in one of the countries currently participating.

Also, during the online application process, you must upload a photo of yourself and any family members named in your application. Green Card Lottery photos must exactly match the current photo requirements of the US authorities, or you will be automatically disqualified.

Green Card CheckAre you eligible?

When is the Green Card Lottery held?

The official registration deadline with the US government is early November. However, the digital application form is only open for a short period between October and November, creating time pressure (and a few technical hurdles). The application process is less stressful if you apply through The American Dream, where you can register throughout the year and will later be guided through the entire visa process.

The drawing of Green Card winners by the US government takes place every year between May and June.

Green Card Lottery: Your family can come, too!

Are you married, or do you have unmarried children under 21? Then your family can move to the USA with you when you win the Green Card Lottery. It is also possible to get married once you have received your winning notification.

By the way, a famous trick among married couples is to double their chances of getting a Green Card by having both partners enter the lottery simultaneously. However, it is crucial that each person only plays once a year. If you apply twice in the same lottery round, you will be disqualified automatically.

Moving to the USA with a Green Card

It is very likely to win the Green Card Lottery. Therefore, you should always participate in the lottery in parallel with all other efforts to obtain a Green Card.

Getting a Green Card through a job or marriage is, of course, also a way to emigrate to the USA. Still, the bureaucratic hurdles, horrendous costs, the authorities' strict requirements, and the sometimes decades-long waiting times quickly lead to the failure of such a project.

With the Green Card Lottery, a little patience, and the friendly Green Card advisors from The American Dream, your dream of living in the USA will soon come true! We keep our fingers crossed for you!