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Everything You Should Know About the Green Card Lottery 2021

It is well-known that the United States has the most immigrants compared to any other country in the world. But, did you know that over 40 million people living in the U.S. were born in a different country?

The population of immigrants is extremely diverse and continues to be because of things like the Green Card Lottery. For those who want to receive a green card, the lottery is one way to make that happen.

What is there to know about the Green Card Lottery 2021? Read on to find out.

What Is the Green Card Lottery?

The Green Card Lottery is a chance for those who want to live in the U.S. to get permanent residence and work permits. Each year, the lottery allows 55,000 people across the world to permanently live and work in the USA.

Those living in eligible countries have a great chance of getting a green card if they go through the application process without errors. A green card will grant the winner almost every right that a USA citizen has.

Who Can Participate in the Green Card Lottery?

Along with living in an eligible country, there are certain requirements one must meet to enter the green card lottery. In 2019, a rule was made to exclude people without a valid passport from the lottery.

You are eligible for the lottery if you have a valid passport and at least 12 years of formal primary and secondary schooling. However, there is another option.

You can also have a valid passport and at least two years of professional work experience that required two years of training. The experience must have been gained within the most recent five years.

A handful of companies are not eligible for the Green Card Lottery. Here are some of them:

  • Brazil
  • Dominican Republic
  • Great Britain (except Northern Ireland)
  • Honduras
  • Colombia
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • South Korea
  • Vietnam

There are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you were born in an ineligible country, but your spouse was born in an eligible country, you can join the lottery.

If you were born in an ineligible country because your parents were visiting, you can participate if your parents were born in an eligible country.

It is important to note that the list of eligible countries changes every year depending on immigration statistics. For the 2022 visa lottery, Canada is not an eligible country.

Green Card Lottery 2021

The winners of the Green Card Lottery 2021, also known as the diversity visa lottery program, were announced in July. More than 13 million people applied for the Green Card Lottery last year within a thirty day application period.

The Green Card Lottery results were chosen through a randomized drawing from six geographic regions. These countries have sent fewer than 5,000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years.

The countries selected for the 2021 visa lottery were:

  • Egypt
  • Sudan
  • Russia
  • Algeria
  • Uzbekistan
  • Iran
  • Ukraine
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo

After being accepted for the Green Card Lottery in 2021, winners will undergo the same admission requirements as the traditional green card applicants around the world.

2022 Lottery

Those selected for the 2022 lottery can apply for an immigrant visa from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022. The winners must act quickly because the number of visas will dwindle by the end of the year.

The Green Card Lottery Procedure

The lottery process takes on eight steps from the Green Card Lottery application to receiving the green card and moving to the United States. Here is a summary of each step in the procedure:

Application

You can register for the Green Card Lottery year round unless you participate on your own through the website of the US authorities. If you choose the latter, you only have four weeks between October and November to apply.

Winner Draw and Notification

The drawing for the winners and notification is completed from May to June of the following year. If you applied through an agency, they will send you a comprehensive winner’s package.

Official Green Card Application

After receiving a notification that you won, you have to complete the official green card application. This needs to be done as soon as possible after the notification.

An agency can help you complete documents and detailed forms. They might even finish the process for you.

Interview Appointment

After applying, you will be notified of an interview appointment. The time frame of this step depends on the case number.

Before an appointment, it is essential to go through a medical examination by an approved USA government medical examiner.

First Entry to the USA

The first entry to the USA or activation trip needs to happen no later than six months after the medical examination. However, there is not a minimum length of stay.

During this trip, you will gain a stamp in your passport that identifies you as an official green cardholder. If you prefer, you can fly back home immediately after receiving the stamp.

Receiving Your Green Card

It can take up to six months to receive a physical green card, but with the stamp in your passport, you will have the same rights as a green cardholder. Your green card will be sent directly to your home.

You can track the delivery of your green card by signing up for a Case Status online account. This will provide you with automatic case updates, including the tracking number for your travel documents.

You can also register for informed delivery through USPS to track packages, set up alerts with an email or phone number, and enter delivery instructions.

If the tracking information shows that your green card was delivered, but you have yet to receive it, contact the local post office immediately. The travel documents are sent to the address provided on the application.

Moving to the USA

The last step is moving into the USA as a legal green card owner. If you worked with an agency during the process, they can aid you with any questions you have about working and living in the USA.

Green Card Lottery Application Process

There are a lot of documents needed for supporting evidence during the Green Card Lottery application process. You’ll need the following information for your Form I-485:

  • Two passport-style photographs
  • Birth certificate copy
  • Form I-693 (report of medical examination and vaccination records)
  • Copy of nonimmigrant visa passport page
  • Copy of passport page with parole stamp or admission entry
  • Form I-94 (arrival/departure record)
  • Certified copies of court records (if the applicant has been arrested)
  • Copy of the principal applicant’s selection letter for the green card lottery
  • Copy of receipt for diversity lottery processing fee
  • Form I-601 (application for waiver of grounds of inadmissibility)
  • Applicable fees

Keep in mind that this application must be filled out before the fiscal year is over. Visas cannot be carried into the next fiscal year.

Can You Increase Your Chances of Winning the Green Card Lottery?

If you win a green card in the lottery, your family members will also receive a green card. Your family members that are eligible for this perk are your spouse and any children under the age of 21 who are not married.

Even if you are not married when you win a green card, you can get married then apply for the green card with your spouse.

Because your family can receive a green card if you win, both you and your spouse should apply at the same time. This is one of the only ways to increase your chances of winning the Green Card Lottery.

This double chance comes with a bonus advantage. The spouse also receives a discount for participation.

It is important to remember that participants in the Green Card Lottery can only apply once per year. Applying as soon as possible can also increase your chances as there are benefits of applying early to the Green Card Lottery.

Should You Apply for the Green Card Lottery?

Although the Green Card Lottery 2021 is over, there is time to apply for the lottery in 2022. You can also apply for the following year, 2023, once it opens up. Check government sites for more information about applying in 2023.

The application process might be time-consuming, so it is best to have an agency by your side who can help. To better your chances of winning, apply early and with your spouse if you have one.

If you want to legally come to the United States, winning the Green Card Lottery is one way to do it. After winning, you will enjoy most of the same perks as a U.S. citizen.

Are you looking for other great articles that cover health, finance, business, and much more? If so, check out our other informative blog posts.

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