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You’ve heard about it and may have even visited some sites about it, but you’re still not sure what the Green Card Lottery is.  Look no further. 

We’ve designed this site – in clear, simple language – to provide you with the essential information about the lottery eligibility requirements. You will also be able to use our law office’s services to register for it.

If you’d like to read more about the lottery, visit our dedicated Green Card Lottery site.
The Green Card Lottery - DV-Lottery
What is the Lottery?

Every year the US Department of State (DOS) holds the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, which is more commonly known as the Green Card Lottery.  The lottery is designed to promote immigration from countries that historically have had low levels of immigration to the US (i.e., to diversify the immigrant population).

The lottery offers tens of thousands of lucky winners a unique opportunity to obtain a green card.  With a green card you can live and work permanently in the US and, after five years, apply for US citizenship. 

Normally, to obtain a green card you have to be sponsored either by (1) an immediate relative who is a US citizen or who already has a green card or (2) an employer who has offered you a job. The normal application process can take anywhere from one to fifteen years.  The Green Card Lottery offers a third, much quicker route for obtaining a green card and is often the only chance to get a green card for people who would not otherwise qualify for one.  50,000 green cards are distributed annually through the lottery.
May 2008
Lottery News
Our online registration for this year's lottery is open.
You can register directly through our office. Click on the "Direct Access" link.
Who is eligible to enter the Lottery ?
There are only two requirements to participate in the lottery. First, you must have been born in an eligible country.  Certain countries are ineligible because a large number of people from those countries have already received green cards within the past five years.  Each year we provide an updated list of the ineligible countries after it is released by the DOS.    

Even if you were born in an ineligible country, however, you still can participate in the lottery if either (1) you are married and your spouse was born in an eligible country, or (2) under certain circumstances, your parents were not born in your country of birth.

The second requirement for entering the lottery concerns your education.  You must have either (1) a high school education or its equivalent (defined by US law as the successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education) or (2) two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform.

There are no other requirements for entering the lottery… you don’t have to speak English; you don’t have to have family already living in the US; and you don’t need a job offer.

What service(s) does our office offer ?
For years our office has been submitting lottery applications and helping winners to obtain their green cards.  Our services include the following:
  • Confirming your eligibility to participate in the lottery.  For clients born in an ineligible country, there are often questions about their eligibility claimed through a spouse or parent.  Similarly, for those clients who did not complete secondary school, we will verify that their work experience meets the legal requirements.  If you have any question or doubt whatsoever about meeting the eligibility requirements, particularly as they relate to your education or work experience, it’s absolutely crucial that you verify your eligibility beforehand.  If you win the lottery and when later processing for your green card at the Embassy – see our dedicated Green Card Lottery site for a description of the green card application process – the Embassy determines that you do not meet the eligibility criteria, you’ll lose all of the green card application fees that you paid to the Embassy.  As the application fee payable to the Embassy is $775 per person, for a family of four that would mean a loss of $3,100!!
  • Preparing your lottery application.  Your lottery application must include information about you and your family members.  Incomplete or improperly prepared applications will be rejected.  Even worse, if your lottery application is selected, the Embassy could then deny your green card application, and in that case, the application fees paid to the Embassy would not be refunded!  Attention to detail counts.  Lottery applications are submitted electronically by Internet, and a digital ID photograph of each family member must accompany your lottery application.  If you do not have access to a digital camera, our office will transform your photograph(s) into the proper digital format.  Our office will ensure that your application fully conforms with the DOS regulations, and we will provide you with official proof from the DOS that your application has been submitted.
  • Use our office address as your contact address.  After the close of the lottery registration period, the DOS will randomly select winners by computer and then notify them by mail.  You can use our office address as your lottery contact address.  This option is particularly useful if you live in a country where the mail service is not reliable or if you are not likely to be living at the same address next spring.  If you are selected, the DOS will first notify our office, and we will then contact you immediately in order to begin preparing your green card application and avoid any delay.
  • Preparing and submitting your green card application. We’re first and foremost a law office, not just a nameless, faceless Internet site processing lottery applications. Winning the lottery is only the first step in getting a green card.  Winners must next submit their green card applications.  This application is much more detailed than the one for the lottery.  As part of the application process, lottery winners have to show that they meet all of the legal grounds for admission into the US.  Those with serious criminal records or previous immigration violations, for example, may be found ineligible to receive their green card.  By using our office’s services, Attorney Weiner will address any legal issues affecting your eligibility for admission to the US and will provide you with all necessary legal assistance. 
  • Providing legal representation until you receive your green card.  Lottery winners must receive their green cards before September 30, which is the end of the US fiscal year.  After that date the law strictly prohibits the processing of green card applications.  Further complicating matters, although there are only 50,000 green cards available through the lottery, many more winners are selected at the outset.  The 50,000 quota, therefore, could be reached before the September 30 deadline.  By using our office’s services for your green card application, Attorney Weiner will closely monitor the status of your application to ensure that it is processed as efficiently as possible.

How much does it cost?
Our fee for preparing and submitting your lottery application is $45 for one application and $80 for two applications (for a husband and a wife).  If you have a paid phone consultation with Attorney Weiner, we’ll prepare your lottery application(s) at no additional cost.  Please note also that the DOS does not charge any fee for the lottery.  

If you win the lottery, we will charge additional fees to prepare your green card application and to provide you with legal representation.  You also will have to pay a fee to the US government for the processing of your green card application.

Register for the Lottery through our office
To use our office’s on-line lottery registration page, click here.

If you prefer to print out the registration material and send it to us by mail:

          click here if you are in the US or Canada

          click here if you are outside of the US

Copyright (c) 1999-2008 Immigration USA - Edward Weiner, Attorney at Law - All rights reserved.

Direct Access

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