Traditionally, applicants apply for a green card and permanent status by applying through employer sponsorship or family sponsorship. However, there are other ways to apply for permanent residency in the US. One of the more unique ways is by applying to win a green card in the US green card lottery.
Officially known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program, the green card lottery allows qualified candidates to enter a random draw for green cards. Each year, the DV program makes a number of green cards available through this program. If you are qualified, you can enter via the official DV program website, which is also the website where you can find out whether you are eligible for the DV lottery.
The aim of the DV green card lottery program is to make green cards available to residents of countries which are under represented in US immigration. Each year, the DV program website lists the countries eligible for the program. If you are from the country listed, you can enter that year’s lottery. The goal of the program is to make US immigration more diverse, so you have a better chance for eligibility if your country does not see many immigrants moving to the US.
It is important to note that there is no way to increase your chances of winning the lottery. The draws are completely random and only those who are eligible to compete have a chance of winning a US green card. Each year, some fraudsters claim that they can increase your chances of winning or can give you a chance of winning the lottery even if you are not eligible to participate. These are false claims and The Department of State has repeatedly warned petitioners about this type of fraudulent activity.
If you do not win a green card through the DV program, you can try again another year, as long as you are still on the list of eligible countries. You can also try to secure a green card through family sponsorship, employer sponsorship, or other means.