My Green Card – Step 1

So, it’s time to keep my promise of describing how I came to possess the immigant visa, and here’s the first segment of it:

Why does USA run the diversity visa lottery?

                The DV lottery, more commonly known as the Green Card lottery, is a program invented by US government to give opportunity for immigrants from around the world to work and live legally in USA. America loves diversity. You know, the famous idea of a melting pot. America prides herself in the ideas of tolerance towards different religions, races, cultures, and general protection of minorities.

                Around a million immigrants come to USA each year. Mostly, they are family-based immigrants, which may cause the situation where immigrants come just from a few countries. To make it more diverse, we have the Green Card lottery. Hence the name “diversity visa.”

                Basically, it’s a program that ensures all countries are given equal chance to send willing and determined people to United States.

                Basically, it’s a program that keeps America diverse. At least in theory.

What are the rules of DV lottery?

                In order to quality, you need to fulfill two conditions: you need to come from an eligible country, and have required education or work experience.

                The first condition just means that there cannot be too many immigrants – for other qualifications than DV – from a particular country. In numbers – in a particular year there cannot be more than 50 000 legal immigrants from your native land. If there are, your country is excluded that year and you need to wait for another one.

                The first lottery took place in 1995. Poland was excluded from the lotter of 1998, then from lotteries from years 2007-2012, and included back in 2013. I took part in 2013, and 2014 lotteries, I forgot about it for 2015, and won for 2016.

                As for the second condition, it simply means that you need to have graduated from high school or equivalent of high school. You can also have a minimum of two years’ experience in a job that requires training. I have both, so that was not a problem.

                There are around 50 000 visas to be given, but one country cannot have more than 7% of all visas. After all, it’s all about equal treatment and diversity J

Entering the lottery

                Registration in lottery is open every year at the beginning of October; the registration is open for around a month (this year, for 2017 lottery, it was opened from 1st October till 3rd November). The tricky part is that you register for the next fiscal year, which will began next October.

                So, I registered in October 2014, and it was for fiscal year 2016. Fiscal year for USA visas lasts from 1st October till 30th of September. For my case – 2016 started on 1st of October 2015, and will end on 30th of September 2016.

                In the registration, you just state some simple facts about yourself, like the address, name, education, work experience, etc. And of course you need a photo J

All the information are available under this link:

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/diversity-visa/instructions.html

Checking the results

                …Occurs in May next year. For me, it was May 2015 – for fiscal year 2016. The time limit for this is rather long – you have until 30th of September 2016. Which is the end of fiscal year, so after that time it won’t matter anymore. Thank God for this long period, because I simply forgot to check! I made a vow a few years back that “I will be playing this game till I die – or win,” and then one year I forgot to register, the other I forgot to check.

Thankfully, fate decided to forgive me this little inattention. When I finally remembered to check, it was already around the middle of June.  To my great surprise I saw the notification that started with the following, blessed words:

                “You have been selected for further processing in the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program.”

                What did it feel like? Well, mostly, disbelief. Then, panic. Seriously. PANIC. Because, after all, what happens after you’ve won? A lot of waiting, and a lot of uncertainty. Both of which, especially combined, if you deeply care about something, are a perfect way to become panicky J

                To be continued…

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