What Are the Chances of Winning the Green Card Lottery?


Chances of Winning

“A green card is your ticket to realize your own unique American Dream.”

A green card is issued by the US government, which lets you live in the US permanently. While a green card gives you the US citizen’s primary rights, it is not that easy to get. You can get a green card through several ways like family, employment, as a refugee, or asylee. But there’s no guarantee that everyone will qualify. Here comes the diversity visa lottery, a free procedure, and you only have to try your luck. It is also named “a .” green card lottery.”

What is a Green Card Lottery?

The US Department of State administers a green card lottery program to select 50,000 people randomly. These randomly chosen people are granted green cards to obtain permanent residency in the United States. Each region of the world gets 7% of the diversity visas, and people are selected from the countries with low rates of immigrants. According to the stats, more than 50,000 people are selected for the lottery because many people do not proceed with the application procedure. Even if they move, they do not complete it. 

The green card lottery is about luck, and luck depends on chances. So, when we talk about luck, a question pops up: What are the chances of winning a green card lottery?

What Are Your Chances of Winning the Green Card Lottery?

Green card lottery issues 50,000 visas annually, based on the lower number of immigrants from each country. This lottery is carried through random withdraw. Your chance of winning the green card lottery depends upon your eligibility by government and education. According to the stats, the chances of winning the green card lottery lie somewhere between 1:25 and 1:75, depending upon the region and year. But the US has introduced new passport regulations, which will eventually decrease the number of participants. If you fill out the application form with the correct information, you have a higher chance of winning because more than 40% of applicants are disqualified due to incorrect application procedures.

While it is essential to state the chance of winning precisely, you should take a look at the numbers:

  • For Diversity Visa Lottery 2018, 14.7 million people qualified for the lottery. Out of those 14.7 million, 116,000 people were asked to file applications for one of the 50,000 green card visas.
  • In 2018, only 0.79% of the applicants received a qualification notification. The detailed stats are available on the Department of State website.

The results state that all the qualified applicants have an equal chance of winning as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. 

Eligibility to Win Green Card Lottery

Before running to know exact chances, you must understand that you are eligible. You must fulfill two eligibility criteria before applying.

  • Eligible by country
  • Eligible by education

Eligible by Country

Green cards or visas are granted to countries with low immigration rates over the past five years. The list of eligible countries is likely to change every year. Do not worry; if your country is not suitable, you can still enter the lottery if:

  • Your spouse is from an eligible country; both of you can enter the lottery under the same country name. You both will have two entries, which increases the chances of winning.
  • Your parents were the legal residents of an eligible country at the time of your birth, and then you can enter the lottery. You can enter either the country name of your father or mother.

Eligible by Education

The second requirement is being eligible for education. To qualify for the green card lottery, you have to be a high school degree holder. If you are not a degree holder, you will have to acquire relevant work experience of 2 years. 

Chances of Winning Green Card Lottery by Country

The chances to win a green card vary from year to year. As each year, the number of immigrants from the same country may exceed the specified number. Each country or region receives a certain number of green cards. The average chances of winning a green card are 1:25 to 1:75, depending upon the area. However, it’s more important to focus on ensuring your eligibility to win a green card.

How to Apply for Green Card Lottery?

  • The simple process includes submitting an entry application online. Most of the questions in the application form are easy to understand. You have to include correct information like documents, country name, photos, and passport. After applying, you will have a confirmation number. This number is the only way to check whether you got elected or not. Now, wait for the random selection of the winners!
  • Once selected, you have to do things quickly. Because the visas are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, you must not delay the process because so many applicants and tickets are limited. You will have to confirm your qualification, and once visas are available, you will apply for them by submitting a form. This form can either be DS-260 or I-458, depending upon your residency. The man thing is to submit the form as early as possible.
  • Lastly, prepare yourself for the interview. The interview is the last step, where after presenting yourself, you become a US citizen. 

How to Increase the Chances to Win the Green Card Lottery?

Everyone looks for shortcuts to win, and of course, people look for ways to increase their winning chances. In the past, some people tried to enter more than once. US department of state then implemented a system that automatically disqualifies people who submit more than one entry. 

However, you can increase chances by entering through a legally eligible family member. It is commonly said, if one wins, then the whole family wins. You can apply this quote here as well!

  • You cannot enter the lottery multiple times; to increase the chances of a win, you must enter all your eligible family members in the lottery. The winning member can bring both the spouse and unmarried children with them.
  • For example, both you and your spouse are from an eligible country with having a higher education degree. As a family, you are two members; you both enter the lottery as two. If one of you wins, the other will join as a derivative spouse. How cool is that!
  • Likewise, if you have four family members who meet eligibility criteria, they all can apply; there’s no such limit. This will only increase your chance to win the green card lottery without investing a single penny.
  • Eligible children can also apply for the lottery. For example, your 20 years old child wins the lottery, and he gets to enter the US. After spending five years, he will become a lawful permanent resident of the US; then, he can petition you.

Winning the Green Card Lottery

Winning the lottery doesn’t mean that you will win a green card. It means that if you are lucky enough to win the lottery, you will get a chance to apply for a green card.

For 50,000 visas, almost 1,25,000 applications are withdrawn, and they are put on the waiting list. If you end up on a waiting list with more than 50,000 applicants ahead who have completed their paperwork, you will not win the green card. You must have your paperwork completed right after the shortlisting, and then the rest is your luck! The best thing is to apply early.

Tips to Win the Green Card Lottery

There are no such tricks and tips to win the green card lottery. You have to follow simple tips to avoid your chances of disqualification. Because if you disqualify, you no longer have a chance to win!

  • Enter Correct Details: You have to pay close attention to putting the right information. The smallest spelling mistake or typos may result in disqualification. Read the instructions carefully because the rule to upload photos is very strict. Many people get disqualified from the lottery because of incorrect photos.
  • Check Your Eligibility: As discussed above, no eligibility means no lottery! To enter the USA green card lottery, check your eligibility. You must be eligible by country and work experience.
  • Third-Party Immigration Services: You can take help from third-party to ensure that your application is filled correctly and error-free. Many private organizations thoroughly go through your application by considering the US department of state’s regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have tried to answer some of the common FAQ regarding the green card lottery and its winning odds.

  • Is Green Card Lottery Random?

Yes, the green card lottery is random. An automated computer program randomly selects the winners. However, the winners are not notified; they have to check their status.

  • Is the Green Card Lottery Free of Cost?

Entering the lottery is free. You do not have to spend a penny. But, right after selection, you have to pay a fee to apply for the green card.

  • How Do I Know If I Win the Lottery?

The application registration and selection procedure are online. No emails or letters are issued to the winners. The results become available on the DV lottery website in May, and applicants can check their winning or rejection status.

  • What Is the Next Step After Winning the Green Card Lottery?

If you win the lottery, you have to apply for a green card using the DS-260 form. In the form, you will have to provide your detailed information and your family members, etc.

  • Can I Apply for Green Card Lottery Without Passport?

Since 2019, the US department of state has made new passport regulations. You can not take part in the lottery without having a legal passport.

  • Which Countries Are Not Eligible for Lottery 2022?

Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, and Peru are not eligible for the diversity visa lottery 2022.

  • How Hard Is It to Get Green Card?

Highly skilled and close family members of the US get the chance to obtain a green card. The wait for a green card is more than ten years for some lottery program applicants. Simultaneously, some of the lucky people get it within weeks.

  • I Am 18; Do I Have the Chance to Win Green Card Lottery?

Yes, you can apply and win the lottery. There is no such age limit to apply for the lottery. However, due to education and work experience criteria, you must be 18 years old. The lottery program disqualifies persons who are under the age of 18.

  • Can A Husband and Wife Fill the Lottery Application Separately?

Yes, without a single thought! A married couple can submit a lottery application separately. The best thing is if one is selected, the other can go as a derivative spouse.

Bottom Line

No doubt, entering a green card lottery seems fascinating. It has no fee, and it’s an online procedure, but it has strict rules. It would help if you considered thinking twice before applying for the lottery. You can only use it once a year, and if you do not read the instructions carefully, you will undoubtedly miss your chance to win.

Unfortunately, many people get into scams to increase their chances of winning the lottery. Many people and online sites claim that they will win the lottery for you by exchanging false information. People tend to get congratulation emails that they are selected. This is 100% false and harmful!

The US lottery program is free of cost; nobody can collect a fee. A computer program selects the winners; therefore, no one can win the lottery for you. Neither can they assure that this trick will win the lottery.