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What Are the Chances of Winning the Green Card Lottery?

a U.S. visa card

The chances of winning a green card vary depending on the participant’s country. Each world region receives a certain number of green cards. For this reason, it is difficult to determine the chances of winning. In 2017, nearly 19 million people applied for the green card lottery, and only about 55,000 people were granted a visa. According to the Washington Post, fewer than one percent of applicants are selected and undergo background checks.

The Department of State computer system randomly selects lottery winners. Applicants selected then need to interview at the U.S. embassy in their home country. Those selected and cleared after the background check gets to obtain a U.S. permanent residency.

Who Is Eligible to Apply for the Green Card Lottery?

Your country of birth plays an important role when applying for the green card lottery. The goal for the green card lottery is to diversify immigration in the U.S. In 2016, nearly half of those selected from the green card lottery came from Africa. The top countries included Nepal, Egypt, and Iran.

Below is a list of countries that are excluded from the green card lottery:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • China (mainland)
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (except for Northern Ireland)
  • Vietnam.

If you have questions about the green card lottery or you have questions about helping a loved one obtain a U.S. permanent residency, contact our Dallas immigration attorneys today at (844) 299-5003!