As many South Carolina residents realize, a green card can be an important factor for an individual who wants to remain in or immigrate to the United States. They may be surprised to know that some green cards are granted by lottery. Each year, the nation offers 50,000 visas through its lottery program, allowing some potential immigrants to bypass the typical application process.
The fiscal year is used as the basis for application to this program, and an applicant must enter prior to the November deadline. Once the entry period concludes, the State Department selects winners. However, winning status still does not guarantee the selected individuals their green cards. The selection process puts each lottery winner in queue for possible acceptance based on whether a slot is still available when that party's turn to complete the related application occurs. The number of candidates selected in the lottery is approximately double the number of green cards available. In some cases, applicants have trouble with the paperwork required to continue through the steps of the program. In other cases, selected individuals are not prepared to make the transition.
The lottery is limited to those who are natives of certain countries that have traditionally low immigration rates to the U.S. A person may apply if they have been born in an eligible country. A child or spouse of someone born in an eligible country may also be eligible for the lottery. A high school diploma earned in the U.S. or abroad is also necessary to qualify through this immigration program.
An individual who is considering naturalizing might view a lottery as a helpful avenue for beginning the process. However, difficulties with paperwork might make legal advice and assistance in filing necessary forms an important need.