About 55,000 people each year win the US green card lottery, also called the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, allowing them to live and work in the US as permanent residents who might eventually become citizens. The program awards the visas on a random draw basis, which is why the program is known as a lottery. Individuals who are eligible to enter the US via the lottery program must be citizens of countries that have low US immigration rates.
More about US immigration:
- There is no charge to submit an application to the US green card lottery.
- Green card lottery winners who are not married to US citizens can apply for citizenship after five years of living in the US. Those who are married to US citizens need to wait only three years before applying for citizenship.
- For the 2013 lottery, people from countries that sent at least 50,000 immigrants to the US during the previous five-year period were not eligible. Among the countries whose citizens were not eligible for the 2013 lottery were Canada, Mexico, Brazil, India and South Korea.