Green Card Lottery

Written by Abby Luttrell
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Each year the United States government holds a green card lottery to award U.S. residency to foreign aliens. These lotteries are drawn according to country. In other words, each country is apportioned a certain number of lottery visas.

How Are The Lottery Visas Awarded?

These lottery visas are drawn at random, and the winners begin a process to apply for their INS green card. Different countries have different quotas of visas for the green card lottery. For example, small countries like Denmark and Ireland may have more lottery visas available than a populous country with many immigrant applications, such as Mexico or China.

To apply, an immigrant must fill out forms detailing their family, profession and background with the INS. These chances for U.S. immigration visas are so precious that many people consult a U.S. immigration attorney to guide them through the process. The process concludes with the lottery drawing, and the applicant is notified if he or she has won.

Once the applicant has won the green card lottery, he can make an application for getting a green card. A green card will allow the immigrant permanent residency status in the United States as well as permission to work. The green card lottery should be resorted to if the more conventional means of securing a green card, such as employment or family sponsorship, have failed.


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