Green Card Lottery Draws

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Joel Fulleda

Author and references


  • What is the Green Card
  • Who can participate in the draw and what are the requirements
  • How much does it cost to participate in the Green Card lottery
  • What is the official website?
  • When does the draw take place?
  •  How to know if you are extracted
  • Practical instructions for completing the Green Card application
  • The latest news on the Green Card lottery
  • How to get the Green Card without participating in the lottery

The procedures for request the Green Card for the year 2021 and the subsequent draw ended in the past few months. If you arrived late, however, do not despair because inAutumn 2020 the new one will start lottery for 2022. The official dates have not yet been announced but the deadline should still be by mid-November 2020.

What is the Green Card

La Green Card it's a "immigrant" visa, which allows you to move to the United States and to look for work. This is why it represents the most concrete opportunity and also the simplest way for whom wanted to change his life and live his American dream.

Each year the United States Congress makes available 50.000 Green Card, which are extracted from the countries that historically have a low rate of emigrants to the USA. In fact, the purpose of the program, as can also be seen from the name “Diversity Visa”, is precisely to bring people of various nationalities to the United States and further enrich an already deeply multi-ethnic society.

To ensure that this happens, countries that have sent more than 5 people in the previous 50.000 years are excluded every year. Eg. Chinese, Canadian, Mexican, British, etc. citizens cannot participate.

Visas are distributed in six geographical areas, where a single country cannot receive more than 7% of the total number of available visas.

Who can participate in the draw and what are the requirements

Spaniards can also participate in the draw for the Green Card this year requirements required, besides nationality, are:

  • have at least a high school diploma certifying a course of study of at least 12 years or in any case equivalent to the American one in terms of duration. In any case, it is essential to already have the qualification at the time of sending the application or two years of experience in the past 5 years, in a job that requires an internship period of at least two years. To find out which works fall into these categories, the official website is available.
  • Married couples (even same-sex ones) have an increased chance of winning, as both spouses can submit the application. If one of the two is drawn, the Green Card will also be given to the partner.
  • It absolutely is it is forbidden to submit more than one application. All unmarried children under the age of 21 must also be included in the application.

For couples who are not married before the Green Card is issued, afterwards everything becomes more difficult because you have to apply for reunification, with much longer deadlines.

How much does it cost to participate in the Green Card lottery

Participation is completely free, if you post your question to the official website. If, on the other hand, you use agencies that submit the application on your behalf, then you will pay for their service.

What is the official website?

It is one of the questions we are asked most often, as there are many services that allow you to make the request for a fee.

As written in the previous paragraph, if you use the official website, the application is free.

Go to the official site.

When does the draw take place?

Generally, the lottery draw takes place in May of the year following registration. For 2021 it should have taken place on 5 May 2020 but, due to the emergency linked to Covid-19, it was then postponed to 6 June 2020. The results can still be consulted on the official website until 30 September 2020.

 How to know if you are extracted

Once you have completed the application, it is very important to keep a printout of the confirmation page that contains a unique number, which will be used to check if you have been drawn.

The only way to know if you are drawn is through the official website, by going to “Entry Status Check” and entering your details and the confirmation number obtained during registration. On this page you will find all the info on the extraction procedures.

At this stage, no communication is received by e-mail. If you have been extracted, you must respond to the notification received within the Entrant Status Check. Then you will receive an email regarding the visa issuing appointment.

In case you have lost your confirmation number, a tool has recently been available to recover it.

The next phase then includes a series of medical examinations and an official interview that takes place in Spain at the United States Consulate in Naples. The lucky ones will be notified of the appointment a few weeks in advance and it should take at most a couple of days to complete all the formal procedure. The interviews will end by the end of September 2020.

It is not taken for granted that whoever is extracted is actually eligible to obtain a visa. In fact, in the interview phase, it is necessary to produce evidence that shows that once in the US, you do not become a burden on the public purse.

I just have to wish you good luck for your american dream!

See you in the USA!

Practical instructions for completing the Green Card application

The data to be provided to submit the application are:

  1. Name and surname (exactly as it appears on the passport)
  2. Gender
  3. Birthday: day, month, year
  4. City of Birth
  5. country of birth
  6. Country of eligibility (for Spanish citizens it is always Spain; it could be different for those with dual citizenship and maybe one of the two is not eligible.)
  7. Photography: it is one of the data that most often invalidates the application, as it must meet certain requirements. See detailed instructions for the photo.
  8. Mailing address: In care of (c / o):
    • With
    • City
    • Province
    • Postal code
    • Country
  9. Country where you currently reside
  10. Telephone number (optional)
  11. Email address (after being extracted if you respond to the notification of your selection, you will receive communications from the State Department at this address). Instead, no email is sent to notify you if you are extracted.
  12. Higher level of education currently achieved
  13. Marital status: single, married to a non-American citizen, widower, divorced. You must enter the name, date of birth, gender, city of birth and country of your partner, along with a photograph
  14. Number of children: enter the required information for all children under 21, even if they do not live with you and do not have to move to the US.

Instructions for the photo

It must be like a passport photo and therefore:

  • the photo must be in color
  • white or very light background
  • front image
  • group images are not valid
  • the photo must not be out of focus
  • Glasses are NOT allowed
  • no hat
  • the photo must be in JPEG format
  • it must weigh a maximum of 240 KB.
  • the minimum resolution is 600×600 pixels; max 1200×1200 pixels
  • the proportion must be square
  • if you scan the photo, do it at a minimum resolution of 300dpi
  • the photo must be 24-bit.

The latest news on the Green Card lottery

Who knows what new features have not been introduced compared to previous years. The most important mainly concerns health insurance. In fact, within a month of arriving in the United States you will have to prove that you can afford one. This requirement was added with a new law wanted by President Trump in late 2019. So, once you are sure that you are a lottery winner, you will need to have at least a policy quote that fits American standards before taking the interview at the Consulate.

How to get the Green Card without participating in the lottery

However, the lottery is not the only way to get the coveted Green Card but there are at least a couple of easier and faster ways.

The first method is to make you sponsor from a close relative who already lives in the United States. The family member must be a US citizen and be at least 21 years of age. You can then apply for the Green Card for parents, brothers, sisters and children. Simply connect to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website and sign up for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

The other way to get the Green Card is to business reasons, that is, through the support of an American employer. The most common visa is identified by the code E1 and this possibility mainly concerns people who work in the fields of science, sport and the arts.

Instead, managers, investors and all high-profile professionals with a relevant academic background that makes them attractive to large companies can apply for E2, E3, E4 and E5 visas. The form to fill out is the I-140 I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers.

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