Become a Permanent Resident Through the Diversity Immigrant Visa

Green Card LotteryWhile Democrats have taken the majority in the federal government, immigrating legally remains a drawn-out and overly complicated process. Applying for an employment-based or family-based permanent residency can take decades, and it costs thousands of dollars. Each time you apply for an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, you consent to undergo extensive background checks.

Those seeking out legal immigration help in Los Angeles do have an exciting opportunity to become a legal permanent resident. This process is competitive, but those who are lucky will be able to stay in the United States in order to diversify the U.S. population.

People who are wondering how to immigrate legally can enter the green card lottery. Each year, 55,000 immigrants are chosen in the green card lottery to receive the diversity immigrant visa.

Diversity Immigrant Visa

The diversity immigrant visa program, also known as the green card lottery, is a lottery program done by the United States government where winners receive a United States permanent resident card. The green card lottery program has been in place since 1990 in an attempt to make the population more diverse. Like most immigration programs, attempts have been made to shut down the green card lottery, though they have never been successful.

In order to get a diversity immigrant visa, you must enter the green card lottery, conducted yearly by the Department of State under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

This visa is given to 55,000 immigrants from specific countries annually so that the United States population becomes more culturally diverse. Around 12 million people applied for the green card lottery in 2019.

The diversity visa lottery has an entry period, which is typically just a few weeks long. However, you can start preparing your application long in advance.

The only way to apply for the diversity visa lottery is to complete the entry form on the Department of State website, and unlike family visas and criminal victim visa applications, this form is free of charge. Applicants may also have to pay non-refundable Diversity Visa Fee once they go through with the process. It may be helpful to meet with a Los Angeles immigration lawyer prior to applying since they can double check your application.

Many deceptive immigration agencies in Los Angeles will charge applicants unnecessary fees or falsely claim to increase their chances of winning, so it’s important to be wary of those who may only pretend to help. Make sure to do your research and choose a reputable immigration attorney in Los Angeles with a long track record of helping people achieve their American Dream.

Who Qualifies?

Applicants are selected from countries with low numbers of immigration in the past five years. Each of the eligible countries receives about 7% of the visas given out in each lottery. If someone is both chosen in the lottery and manages to get through the application process, their spouse and children who are under 21 and unmarried can apply for U.S. lawful permanent residence along with them.

In order to immigrate through the diversity visa program, you must show that you:

  • Have been selected for a diversity visa by DOS’s lottery
  • Have an immigrant visa immediately available at the time of filing an adjustment application (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)
  • Are admissible to the United States

As you already know, this visa is meant to make the population more diverse by letting people apply from certain countries that have not had a high U.S. immigration rate. The specific countries that foreigners can apply from are updated each year. Rather than clearly list the countries that are eligible, the Department of State lists the countries that are not eligible. If you are from a country that is not included in the list below, then you are eligible for the diversity visa.

People from the following countries are not eligible to enter:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China (Including Hong Kong SAR)
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland)
  • Vietnam

To qualify for the green card lottery, applicants must also show that they will be a productive resident in the U.S. This means you must show

  • You have a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • You have at least two years’ experience in a job position that normally requires at least two years of training or experience
  • You do not have to have a U.S. job offer, but lottery winners will need to prove that they’ll be able to support themselves financially once they are in the country.

Even if you win the green card lottery, you are not guaranteed to receive your visa. You must continue through the legal process. Make sure to keep an immigration labor attorney in Los Angeles on hand so that you don’t misstep during the process.

About Alami Law

At The Law Offices of Amira Al-Alami we understand the daunting obstacles that you may face on your path to citizenship. The legal system is complicated and complex. A small mistake can result in a major setback that limits your chances of starting a new life in the U.S. In most cases, immigration can affect one’s entire life whether it is seeking new opportunities or prioritizing the safety of you and your loved ones. We provide a wide range of services for all immigration matters, such as:

  • Green cards
  • Citizenship
  • Removal
  • Naturalization
  • Work visas
  • Victims of violence

Why choose this firm? As an immigrant herself, Amira can resonate with each and every one of her clients. The foundation of this firm is built on communication and trust. It is both Amira and her staff’s desire to prioritize each case to get immediate results. To schedule a consultation, call 1-626-469-5807 or email Additionally, we offer a WhatsApp line: 818-434-6241.