The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes it possible for up to 50,000 people to obtain immigrant visas each year. People call this program the green card lottery because the participants are randomly drawn from all applications.
It is really important to read and understand the application instructions. Your country of birth, your education and your work experience are the main qualifying factors.
Where were you born?
To be eligible, applicants must be from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. However, if you were born in a country that is currently ineligible, but your spouse was born in an eligible country, you may apply.
How much education have you had?
To qualify based on the education requirement, you must have a high school education or a comparable amount of 12 years of formal education. Certificates such as the G.E.D. do not satisfy this requirement.
What is your work experience?
If you do not qualify based on the education requirement, you might qualify based on your work experience. If you have had at least two years of professional work experience within the past five years in a job that involved at least two years of formal training, you might qualify. The U.S. Department of Labor determines qualifying occupations.
The application is the first step in the program. An interview and request for documents will follow if you pass the application step. Disqualifications occur when there are mistakes with the application, information is missing from the application or a person submits more than one application per year.