Whenever I tell anyone that I won the green card lottery, the expression on their face is priceless
They all ask the same question; How?
Well, I keep giving them the same answer; it was easy. All I had to do was spend 5 minutes of my time to enter online using a professional immigration service to handle my application.
My life changed from there on.
The green card lottery does exist even though the flashing banner ads you see on the internet telling you that you’ve won are all scams. No need for the doubts, I am a living testimony. The name of the program is The Diversity Visa Lottery, and this is the only legit way for foreigners who cannot meet up with the other stringent criteria for entering the United States can enter, live and work here.
This is the process:
You have to be born in one of the countries considered to be eligible. This is the not the same as being a citizen. You can be a citizen of one of the countries but still not be eligible; you have to be born in one of the eligible countries See list of countries here. Your continent of birth has a massive influence on your chances of winning. For instance, people who were born in Oceania have a far better chance of being accepted. Last I checked, one in seven applicants from this continent get accepted although, a friend of mine did his research and found the percentage to be lower than mine.
To apply go to www.usgreencardoffice.com/apply it’ll only take 5 minutes of your time
It surely won’t take more than a couple of minutes.
Attach an image, and if your application is approved, you will be informed via email.
And now all you have to do is wait.
Anytime from May, you will receive a phone call and an email with the results. If you weren’t selected, you could apply again immediately (just like I did) and if you are among the lucky ones, your email will read “you’ve been selected for further processing” this means you have won the lottery.
What happens after you’re selected?
A welcome letter containing your case number will be sent to your email. The number is made up of a year, a couple of letters, a few zeros and some numbers at the end. The numbers at the end represent your rank, or in other words, it is an indication of how far down the list you are. The person with rank number 1 will be interviewed a year after the application in October after which others on the list will be interviewed by rank.
Your welcome letter will include a link to the US Government website with some information. There are some forms you need to fill out but dont worry US Green Card Office Support will assist you all the way.
At this point, you can only wait till they get to your number. My number was 2954. It wasn’t until the following December that I was called for the interview. As a result of the fact that you signed up for the Visa bulletin in May of the previous year, the entries of the past year will still be the ones processed and this can help you project how long it’ll take before it gets to you the following year.
You must understand that being selected for further processing doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a visa, however, at that point, you are not far from getting it.
As a candidate that has been selected for further processing and you are a high school graduate without a criminal record, it is almost certain that you’ll be approved. Your paperwork just has to be meticulous. However, some individuals might be so unlucky that their visas will not be issued before September 30 which is usually the end of processing. It doesn’t happen often but can still happen to a few people. If the number in your bulletin isn’t too far off, then you don’t have the risk of missing out through such an unlucky manner.
And then what?
The process continues, and when it gets to your turn, you will receive an email with a lot of paperwork and a fixed date for your interview. Mine was set for May and the letter arrived in Marts.
Get as much supporting evidence as you can including things like criminal reports and a series of medical test. It’s cumbersome but definitely doable.
You turn up to your local US Consulate
You wait in a sterile waiting room and when it gets to your turn, you will be called up to a counter with glass divider, similar to that of a bank teller. They will review your paperwork and ask you a couple of questions. In my own case, the interviewer was friendly and the questions asked were logical questions. Questions like “when do you intend to move? What kind of job do you think you’ll do? Where will you live?” etc. this interview isn’t one for stripping people or requesting the third degree. The whole idea of the interview was to know if I had a plan for myself before leaving. Also, the interview is an avenue to clear up any doubts or unclear statements in my application. She collected my passport and told me they would send it via a courier within a week.
Is that all?
At this point, you’re almost done. You will be given a few more paperwork to fill out to apply for a social security number. This is just an immigration cover that makes you a legal resident just like any other family born over there.
The Immigration officer will return your passport to you with a shiny new visa in it. He will also hand you a package to give to the immigration officer when you arrive.
At this point, you are free to book your flight and leave. You must depart within six months of your medical test; however, they understand and make provisions for people who aren’t ready to permanently relocate. All you have to do is book a short trip to any part of the US before the expiration of that six months. In my own case, I tried to explain to the arrival officers and the consulate that I wasn’t ready to move permanently, but none of them even batted an eyelid which implied that it was a normal procedure.
Less than three months after you arrive the US, your social security number and the actual green card will be sent to your friend’s address, so make sure your friend doesn’t change address without letting you know. If you are really unlucky, your package will get lost in the mail before getting to the address and if that is the case, you can count it as your first taste of the American bureaucracy.
There are a lot of hoops, so by this point, you couldn’t be more ready to begin your new life in The United States of America. Have a safe journey :o)
If you have any question about the Green Card Program, you can contact US Green Card Office Support on https://support.usgreencardoffice.com