A significant number of people dream of living in the USA. For most, however, this dream remains unrealized, as American immigration policy has become increasingly stringent. One of the few avenues to the American dream is the Green Card, officially known as the “Identification Card for a legal resident of the USA without American nationality”.
How Can a Green Card Benefit Me?
As a Green Card holder, you can legally and permanently reside in the USA, work, study, access health services and government social assistance, or even travel visa-free to countries that have treaties with the USA. With a few exceptions, you have nearly the same rights as any native-born American. However, voting or getting elected are among the exceptions.
If you are selected in the lottery and successfully complete the entire process, your spouse and any unmarried children under 21 will also become eligible for a visa. Therefore, if every family member applies, the chances of winning are considerably increased. Children over 21 must apply separately.
After five years, the lottery winner can also apply for USA citizenship. While the card itself can’t be revoked, except in some cases, maintaining residency in the USA is necessary.
The Green Card Lottery
Essentially, all you need to win a Green Card is an extraordinary dose of luck. Every year, the USA Department of State conducts a lottery to select approximately 50,000 people from around the globe to receive a Green Card, provided they meet other requirements. Applications for the lottery are usually accepted towards the end of the year, and both Czechs and Slovaks are eligible to participate.
If you’re already excitedly pondering whether you’ll reside in Florida or California, temper your enthusiasm. According to statistics from previous years, the chances of being selected range between one and two percent for European residents.
Precautions to Avoid Falling for a Scam
Firstly, note that applying for the lottery through the official website https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ is free. If you’re asked for a registration fee or a processing fee on a website, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fraudulent, but it’s not an official site. Essentially, someone is attempting to profit from your desire to immigrate.
Such enterprises have a sophisticated system whereby filling out just one page of the form, including your phone number, puts you on their radar. Based on my experience, you can anticipate a morning phone call (Saturday at 7:00 am), during which they’ll try to convince you to complete the form and submit the application. They’ll argue that your chances of winning are significantly better with them and that the fee is a small price to pay for the opportunity to live in America.
Another ploy by unscrupulous businessmen is to claim that registering through their website drastically improves your chances of winning. It doesn’t! This is merely another trick to extort money from you.
You might also believe that submitting multiple entries will increase your odds of winning. This is incorrect. Each person is allowed to submit only one entry per year, and submitting more than one will result in permanent disqualification from the lottery. There have been several instances in the past where a winner was found to have violated this rule and had to unpack their bags.