Regions and eligible countries for the Diversity Visa lottery
Media related to Green Cards (United States) at Wikimedia Commons
Applicants (including dependents) to the Diversity Visa lottery (for most recent eligible year with available data), as a percentage of each country’s population
Criticism and repeal efforts
However, the final version of this bill with amendments, signed into law on December 26, 2007, did not include the removal of funds for the program. Although H.R. 2764 was an appropriation bill and could only cut funds for the lottery during one fiscal year, this was the first time that both the House and the Senate passed a bill to halt the Diversity Visa program.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the green card lottery, is a United States government lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. The Immigration Act of 1990 established the current and permanent Diversity Visa (DV) program.
New immigrants to the United States (2017–2021), in family and employment categories, by country of birth
New immigrants to the United States (2017–2021), in diversity category, by country of birth
Attempts have been made to end the program since 2005.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service was formed as part of the Department of Labor in 1933, and in 1940 was moved under the Department of Justice along with the Nationality Act of 1940. During the 1940s the predecessor to the “Permanent Resident” card was the “Alien Registration Receipt Card” which on the back would indicate “Perm.Res” in accordance with the Immigration Act of 1924.
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act
Permanent resident card (2010)
2019 “public charge” restrictions on awarding Green cards
There have also been numerous cases of fraudulent emails and letters which falsely claim to have been sent by the Department of State and that the recipient has been granted a permanent resident card. These messages prompt the recipients to transfer a “visa processing fee” as a prerequisite for obtaining a “guaranteed” green card. The messages are sometimes sent to people who never participated in the lottery and can look trustworthy as they contain the recipient’s exact name and contact details and what appears to be a legal notice.
A welcome guide USCIS sends to a new immigrant along with their green card after immigration approval.
An applicant in the United States can obtain two permits while the case is pending after a certain stage is passed in green card processing (filing of I-485).
Application process for family-sponsored visa for both parents and for children
U.S. green-card holders have experienced separation from their families, sometimes for years. A mechanism to unite families of green-card holders was created by the LIFE Act by the introduction of a “V visa”, signed into law by President Clinton. The law expired on December 31, 2000, and V visas are no longer available. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to reinstate V visas, but so far none have been successful.
Improving the application process in obtaining a green card
The most common challenges that USCIS faces in providing services in the green card process are: (1) the length of the application and approval process, and (2) the quotas of green cards granted. USCIS tries to shorten the time qualified applicants wait to receive permanent residence.
Challenges with processing time of application
Many immigrants opt for this route, which typically requires an employer to “sponsor” (i.e., to petition before USCIS) the immigrant (known as the alien beneficiary) through a presumed future job (in some special categories, the applicant may apply on their behalf without a sponsor). The three-step process outlined above is described here in more detail for employment-based immigration applications. After the process is complete, the alien is expected to take the certified job offered by the employer to substantiate their immigrant status, since the application ultimately rests on the alien’s employment with that company in that particular position.
Green card lottery
Each year, around 50,000 immigrant visas are made available through the Diversity Visa (DV) program, also known as the Green Card Lottery to people who were born in countries with low rates of immigration to the United States (fewer than 50,000 immigrants in the past five years). Applicants can only qualify by country of chargeability, not by citizenship. Anyone who is selected under this lottery will be given the opportunity to apply for permanent residence. They can also file for their spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21.
If permanent residence is granted, the winner (and their family, if applicable) receives an immigrant visa in their passport(s) that has to be “activated” within six months of issuance at any port of entry to the United States. If already in the U.S. adjustment of status may be pursued. The new immigrant receives a stamp on the visa as proof of lawful admittance to the United States, and the individual is now authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. Finally, the actual “green card” typically arrives by mail within a few months.
Green card lottery scam
As part of immigration reform under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), as well as further reform enacted in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), eligible persons who properly apply for permanent residency based on either a recent marriage to a U.S. citizen or as an investor are granted such privilege only on a conditional basis, for two years. An exception to this rule is the case of a U.S. citizen legally sponsoring a spouse in which the marriage at the time of the adjustment of status (I-485) is more than two years old. In this case, the conditional status is waived and a 10-year “permanent resident card” is issued after the USCIS approves the case. A permanent resident under the conditional clause may receive an I-551 stamp as well as a permanent resident card. The expiration date of the conditional period is two years from the approval date. The immigrant visa category is CR (conditional resident).
The applicant receives an I-551 stamp in their foreign passport upon approval of their case. The applicant is then free from the conditional requirement once the application is approved. The applicant’s new permanent resident card arrives via mail to their house several weeks to several months later and replaces the old two-year conditional residence card. The new card must be renewed after 10 years, but permanent resident status is now granted for an indefinite term if residence conditions are satisfied at all times. The USCIS may request to renew the card earlier because of security enhancements of the card or as a part of a revalidation campaign to exclude counterfeit green cards from circulation.
The two-year conditional residence period counts toward satisfying a residency requirement for U.S. naturalization, and other purposes. Application for the removal of conditions must be adjudicated before a separate naturalization application could be reviewed by the USCIS on its own merits.
Differences between permanent residents and conditional permanent residents
1–6: birth date (in YYMMDD format)
7: check digit over digits 1–6
9–14: expiration date (in YYMMDD format)
15: check digit over digits 9–14
16–29: country of birth
30: cumulative check digit (over digits 6–30 (upper line), 1–7, 9–15, 19–29 (lower line))
Visa-free travel for U. permanent residents
If the green card is not relinquished, then the holder is subject to double taxation when living or working outside of the United States, whether or not within their home nation, although double taxation may be mitigated by foreign tax credits.