Diversity Visa: Green Card Lottery.
Each year, the United States allocates 55,000 immigrant visas for the Diversity Visa Program, commonly known as a “Green Card Lottery”. This lottery is designed to allow aliens who come from countries with low rates of immigration and who may not otherwise qualify for immigration to the United States through family or employment to obtain legal permanent residency. The State Department’s National Visa Center holds the lottery every year and the winners are chosen randomly from all qualified applications.
If the applicant wins the Diversity Visa Lottery, the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 can obtain green cards at the same time the green card is issued to the primary diversity visa immigrant.
A lottery winner may apply for an immigrant visa in his home country or apply for adjustment of status if a winner is in the United States in another lawful status.
Lottery winner who is unlawfully present in the United States generally is not eligible to apply for adjustment of status, unless he or she qualifies under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. In this situation consulting an immigration attorney is very important.
All DV visas must be issued by September 30 of the fiscal year.