FAQ: DV Lottery Green Card

The USA can be truly called a dream country for some people. More and more people nowadays wish to move to the USA, however, only lucky ones can find a reason to stay there. Once a year everyone has a chance to participate in a DV lottery, or, so called, green card lottery. A green card lottery is a chance to settle in the USA as it gets you a legal right to stay and work in the US.

Which country cannot participate in DV lotteries?
As known for today, DV lottery 2022 eligible countries are all countries except:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Vietnam
  • The Philippines
  • The United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • China (mainland-born)
  • Peru
  • Pakistan
  • Colombia
  • Nigeria
  • The Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Mexico
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • India

What diploma is needed for a DV lottery application?
Firstly, you should have completed and received a high school diploma when applying for a green card. For an actual submission of the application it is not important, however, if you win one, then you need to submit an evidence. If you’ve chosen to have an apprenticeship after a few years of school, then you need to have “a minimum of two years’ work experience (within the past five years) in a profession which requires at least two years of training”. So, in other words, if you successfully completed your make up courses and have a diploma and a recent work experience, there is no need to go to school for the diploma.

What are the DV lottery photo criteria?

  • Technical requirements: JPEG only; minimum file size is 240 KB; 600x600px; 24-bit in color
  • The photo should be taken no more than 6 months before applying for a green card
  • A person on the photo should look straight only, a face is seen clearly and not covered by hair or any accessories, the facial expression is neutral.
  • No shadows on the photo – this means not only shadows on the face, but also on the background and aside from you
  • No other objects should be in the photo
  • Glasses, scarfs, and hats are not permitted
  • The background must be white/light grey color only
  • Clear resolution is a must – no digital alternations are allowed, so if you want to zoom the picture after you’ve taken it, you will be disqualified due to the incompatible photo submitted

As well, if you have any children after 21 or if you are married, you will need to put a full information about your family member as well. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have an up-to-date passport style photo of your family members too.

Revealing time: DV lottery status check
After the application, make sure you’ve printed out the details on the screen which contain your contact details and unique reference number that you will need later. Results are available mid-May till September so at this time it worth checking an official website with a reference number you’ve taken note of when applying back in October/November. If you see a message that you are invited, congratulations, you are the lucky one!

Is middle name the same as father’s name?
No, they are different things in the US. If you don’t have a middle name (eg Anna Victoria Berg, Victoria is a middle name), just tick a box underneath.

What if I have several middle names on my birth certificate?
Typically, in the US they put only initial of the middle name on most documents (eg driving license), so just choose the one you use most of the time.

If I have several names, can my middle one be my first name?
No, it can’t. Later you will need to prove your identity, and therefore your first name should always stay first. For example, Mary Lucy Grace Smith can be registered as Mary Grace Smith, but not as Lucy Grace Smith.

What if I am a transgender?
Unless you are a registered transgender and your documents are officially changed, you will need to put your physical gender when doing an application.

I am HIV positive, does this matter?
No, luckily for you this is no longer a ground of inadmissibility.

What if I am an LGBT person?
You are welcome to apply. If you have the same-sex partner, you should include him as a spouse in your application as well.

What if there are several cities with this name in my country?
Don’t worry about this, just fill in the name, please, don’t put any extra information in this field.

What if my city has been renamed recently?
Put the name of the city like in your birth certificate first, then dash and a new name (eg Leningrad – St. Petersburg)

Should it be my mailing address written down?
No, it is just the mail address for correspondence, it can be your friend’s one or your rental postal address.

Should I submit my application from the eligible country only? Is it IP-tracked?
It doesn’t matter where on the globe you are now as soon as you have a stable internet connection to fill in the form.

What if I am married but we don’t live together?
According to your documents, you are still married, therefore, you should tick married. Otherwise, you will be penalized.

What if we live together for several years?
Unfortunately, only legal documents are considered, therefore you are not married according to those.

What if I don’t take my child with me to the USA?
Despite your future plans, you need to put them in the application anyway.

What if my spouse has children from the previous relationship? They are not technically mine, right?
Officially you are some way related to them, therefore you should include his children in your application as well unless they’ve been adopted.

Can I submit several applications?
No, this will not only not increase your chance of winning but remove you from participation. Only one application is accepted from one person

Do I need to check the official website regularly?
It is worthwhile checking the website after results are revealed several times. Sometimes some applications are not accepted further, and the program chooses new winners.

What if I forgot to take note of my reference ID?
Unfortunately, there is no way to restore it for now. Try one more time next year, but be more careful this time.

Can my spouse apply as well?
Yes, there are absolutely no restrictions on that, each person can submit one application.

Are there any hidden fees?
Participation is free and doesn’t require any charges to be paid. However, if you win, you should be prepared to pay fees for the paperwork required and the interview being conducted

How often does the DV lottery happen?
Once a year, starting from mid-October till early November. Always check dates on the US government immigration page in September for more precise information.

What if I applied for an immigrant visa in a different category already? Can I be a participant?
Yes, there are no restrictions on this if you are eligible.

How much time we have to receive a DV visa starting DV lottery reveal dates?
You have one calendar year exactly to do this, from 1st October to 30 September next year to complete the paperwork and health checks and do the interview. After this date, you will need to participate again if you want to receive a green card and the whole process will need to be repeated.

Do I need to know English to submit an application?
For submitting itself it is not a requirement. However, remember, that at the end you need to persuade your interviewer that you will be a good match to an American society, and your chances if you don’t know English are smaller, so it worth starting attending courses as soon as possible after applying.

What if something happens with the main applicant? Can his/her spouse still go or…?
Unfortunately, in this case, your DV application is terminated and the other winner is chosen. It means that nobody from the family listed in the application will be able to go.

Can I do some parts of the application now and some tomorrow?
Unfortunately, there is no safe button in there, so worth checking your internet connection and make a tea prior to the start. All information required is needed to be filled in one go.

If I win and get through the interview, is there any support available to me?
You can always ask for advice, however, there are no subsidies for transport, healthcare and housing expenses. Moreover, you will need to provide an evidence that you are able to pay for them and will not become a public charge in the US once you are there.

Are there any age restrictions?
Technically not, however, in practice due to educational requirements people under 18 are often disqualified from further participation after the interview stage.

What are the next steps?
Winning a green card doesn’t mean that you are going to the US next week. It means a year of hard paperwork, diplomatic interview and about $1000 of cash (hopefully, not wasted ones).

In the end, the decision to let you in or not is from the officer who interviews you, so you need to convince him why you need to go to the US and what skills you can bring to the country. Don’t try to lie – everything you say can be checked and if the truth becomes revealed at the end, you will lose your chance to participate.

Once you approved, you will need to have a full health check conducted. In order not to spend more money here, better to take a note from your GP and translate it into English first in order to get rid of not necessary vaccinations. And only after all the above, you can go to have your fingers scanned to be present on your green card.

Hope this helps you on your way to the dream! Good luck with your application and check what else you need to know before moving to the USA here.