Are you dreaming of moving to the USA? I guess you wouldn’t have clicked here if you weren’t? Well join the club – there’s millions of us wanting to live the dream. And the Green Card (Diversity) Lottery is the only way many can get that opportunity.
I’ve had someone ask about what tips I can give for anyone planning on applying for the Green Card Lottery. So, given the 2019 registration period is coming up, I decided to offer my key tips when applying for the lottery. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but I think this is what you NEED TO KNOW before you apply.
***UPDATE*** – The dates for the 2019 Green Card Lottery have been announced. You can apply from October 3, 2017 until November 7, 2017. Read the information below, visit www.dvlottery.state.gov between those dates and you’ll be all set to go.
- Don’t pay: it’s free – This is tip number one. Usually, about this time of year, social media is swamped by ads about the Green Card lottery. Don’t fall for them… they are a scam. You don’t need to pay for your Green Card lottery application – the process is free until you are called for an interview. THE ONLY SITE you need is: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov (A handy guide is all official US Government sites’ addresses finish with “.gov”. Anything else is a scam).
- Have a professional photo taken this year – One of the essential parts of the DV Lottery is having a recent photo which meets the photo requirements (listed here). Additionally, from last year, the Department of State says you can’t reuse a photo from previous years. So go out and get a professional photo taken. It might be a few dollars, but why risk it should you be successful? You don’t want the stress I write about here.
- It’s a lottery, remember that – I see a lot of people online trying to find out how they can guarantee they’ll get a Green Card. That’s missing the point. It’s a LOTTERY. Each year, somewhere between 50,000 and 55,000 visas are offered through the program – and last year over 15 million people applied (23 million including their derivatives). The reality is, for some regions, it really is a once in a lifetime chance. So don’t sell your house, car or do anything until you have that visa in your hand (for more about it, check out Britsimon’s article here).
- Be honest – One of the main reasons for dismissal at interview is that people weren’t truthful on their original application. If you’re married, don’t pretend you are single. If you have children make sure you include them all. Not being truthful is the best way to guarantee you’ll be disqualified.
- If you’re married, have your partner apply too – There is one way you can legally improve your chances of being selected. If you’re married, make sure you partner also applies. That then doubles your chances of being selected. If the odds are over 100:1, you can make them 50:1 if you both submit applications.
- Submit one application and one application only – This is a golden rule of the lottery. If you’ve clicked “apply” and got your confirmation number – that’s it. There’s nothing more to do. Applying again will automatically disqualify you from the draw. So when you get the confirmation relax and look forward to the draw.
- Write down, copy, screen grab and everything else your confirmation number – See that number on the confirmation page. You’ll need that in May to found out if you’ve been selected. Write it down, copy it, do everything you can to store it and then keep is safe until May – when the lottery is announced.
- And finally relax – Remember, this is a lottery. There’s nothing you can do once you click the submit button. If you’ve been honest, filled everything out correctly and had a professional photo taken, it’s no use stressing out about your chances. Set an alarm for the first week in May and keep your fingers crossed that you too can live the American dream.
So there’s my top eight tips. Did I miss anything? Please offer your tips below.