There are several ways to get a green card and move to the US.
The easiest is to play a special lottery. To participate in it, you only need to graduate from school, have a passport, a photo and correctly fill out an application. We will tell you how to do this so as not to be mistaken.
What is a green card
A green card is an identity card that confirms the status of a permanent resident of the United States — a resident. This is an analogue of our residence permit and an intermediate stage in obtaining US citizenship.
The rights of a green card holder. The document gives the right to live permanently in the country, freely enter and leave it, officially work or open their own business, receive education, use insurance and social security, and apply for family reunification. After 5 years of residence in the country after receiving a green card, its owner can become a US citizen.
Responsibilities of a Green Card Holder The green card holder must comply with US law, pay taxes and live in the country for most of the year. If you leave the country for more than 6 months, the card will be canceled.
The difference between a green card and citizenship and visas. A green card is not a passport, it does not confer US citizenship. Its owner cannot participate in elections. He continues to be a citizen of his country. He does not have the right to visa-free entry to most countries of the world, like the Americans.
The green card is valid for 10 years. Then it can be extended.
How can I get a green card
There are several ways to get a green card.
Marry a US citizen. To do this, you need to build a relationship with an American and prove that the feelings are real and the marriage is not fictitious.
Reunite with family members. The method is suitable for those who have close relatives in the United States: spouses, parents, children. It is theoretically possible to reunite with siblings, uncles, aunts and nephews, but in practice this is unlikely.
Get a work visa. Such a visa is issued at the invitation of the employer for 1-3 years, after which it can be extended again. While in the country, you can apply for a green card. The method is suitable for sought-after specialists.
Come as an outstanding specialist. This method is suitable for people with extraordinary abilities who have achieved success in their field of activity: musicians, artists, artists, presenters, scientists, athletes. Your uniqueness will be checked according to 10 criteria, including international awards, fame, author’s publications, high income, leadership of a large organization. You must meet at least three of them.
Get politicalpolitical asylum or come as a refugee. The method is suitable only for those who really cannot stay in their native country because of the danger or war that threatens them.
Invest in the American economy. To do this, you need to invest in the US economy the amount of 900 thousand dollars and create 10 jobs within two years.
Winning in a special lottery is the most universal way. Suitable for those who are ready to count on luck. To participate in the drawing of a green card, it is enough to fill out a special form on the website.
There are several ways to get a green card and move to the US
What is the diversification lottery in which green cards are played
Diversity Lottery (Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery, or simply DV-Lottery) is a special program of the US Department of State that allows almost anyone to get a green card. As part of the program, 55,000 immigrant visas are raffled each year, according to which winners can enter the United States and apply for a green card.
The purpose of the lottery is to encourage immigration from countries from which less than 50,000 immigrants arrived in the United States in the previous 5 years.
The lottery is held annually from the first of October to the beginning of November. To participate, you must fill out a special form on the official website of the lottery. It’s free.
Winners are automatically selected by a special program using random numbers.
The winning Russians are interviewed at the American embassy in Moscow.
Who can participate in the green card lottery
Any citizen of the country can do this if she participates in the draw. Here are the requirements:
Be born in a country whose residents can participate in the lottery this year. If you are married to a foreigner, you can participate by country of birth.
Graduate from high school or work for 2 years in a profession that requires two years of vocational training within the last 5 years.
Be mentally healthy, get the necessary vaccinations, not suffer from socially dangerous diseases, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, leprosy, active tuberculosis, and not take drugs.
Have no outstanding convictions and do not violate the US visa regime.
There are no formal age restrictions. But given the need to finish school or work for 2 years, it is unlikely that people under 17-18 will be able to participate in the lottery.
Knowing English is not required.
You can participate in the lottery even if you have applied for other categories of immigrant visas, such as work visas. Participation in the lottery will not prevent you from obtaining a tourist visa to the United States. When interviewing with the consul, you cannot hide the fact of participation in the lottery: this will not affect his decision, but the consul may regard the concealment of participation not in your favor.
You cannot transfer the winnings to another person.
What documents are needed
Only a passport. This requirement was introduced in 2019 — before, a passport was optional. You will also need a photo that meets the requirements of the lottery, I will talk about it below.
Applications are accepted six months before the draw. If you win, you can go to the USA next year. In 2020, applications were accepted in the fall, the drawing took place in May 2021, and you can travel to the United States on a won visa only in 2022. Therefore, lotteries are numbered in Latin letters DV and the year the visa was issued. The 2020 lottery was called DV-2022.
Applications for participation in the lottery are accepted from early October to early November. The DV-2023 lottery was held from October 7 to November 9, 2021 inclusive. You can’t apply later: the registration forms simply won’t open. The specific day of application is not important.
What are the chances of winning
The chances are small. In 2019, 11,830,707 people from all over the world applied for the DV-2021 lottery, of which only 132,404 won. The specific chances of winning depend on the country of the participant, but on average it is 1.11%, or 1 in 89. Russians this probability is 2.31%. If you apply with your spouse, the chances are doubled because the winner can take the family with them.
My wife and I applied 5 times and have not won yet. I know people who have won the first time, and those who have been unlucky for 10 years in a row.
How to register an application for participation in the lottery
There are many fake sites on the Internet that pretend to be a lottery site or its representative office. The only official site is dvprogram.state.gov, the rest are scammers.
The questionnaire is filled in Latin letters in English. Be careful with the transliteration of Russian words into English. If in doubt about the spelling of a word, check it against the ICAO transliteration rules.
You have 60 minutes to complete the questionnaire from the moment you open the page. If you do not meet, the system will delete the application — you will have to fill it out again. The process takes 5-10 minutes for one person. It is better not to leave filling out the application for the last day, and especially for the last hours.
There is a chance that the site will be overloaded and you will not have time to apply. The questionnaire must be completed to the end — partially completed applications will be disqualified. Errors and typographical errors can be checked and corrected before submission. After submitting the questionnaire, it is impossible to correct the data.
Before filling, read the official instructions in English. In Russian, there is an unofficial instruction for filling out the questionnaire for participation in the DV-2020 lottery, but there is not enough information about the section on the passport.
The application form for participation in the lottery consists of two parts — for the applicant and his spouse, spouse or children.