How can I get a Green Card? The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649) amended INA 203 to provide for a new class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” (DV immigrants). The Act makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
From the State Department: “Alien petitioners for the Diversity Visa Program will no longer be permitted to submit a petition by mail. Instead, the Department will require that all petitions be submitted to it in an electronic format, using an Internet website dedicated specifically to the submission and receipt of Diversity Visa.“
How can I get a Green Card?
There are three ways to obtain a Green Card:
- Based on a job in the USA
- Due to a family reunion
- By winning the DV Lottery
There are different requirements depending on which category is chosen.
In general, a Green Card application must be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Since 2004, this application can only be submitted online. After the immigration authorities have reviewed and approved the application, a consular procedure is usually followed by the US consulate in the home country. The consulate then reviews all documents submitted by the applicant. Alternatively, a status adjustment can be made directly in the USA if the applicant is already there.
Which forms have to be submitted depends on the Green Card category the applicant is applying for.
In which country were you born?
Can I bring my family if I win?
Unmarried children under 21 years of age, under certain circumstances also adopted children and stepchildren, and spouses can also receive a Green Card at the same time as the main applicant.
Older children can receive a Green Card by making a later application as part of a family reunion.
Married children, regardless of age, parents or siblings can only receive a permanent residence permit through a relationship with a US citizen. This means that the Green Card holder can be naturalized after three or five years and then apply for a Green Card for his or her family members.
Should the family status change during the course of the Green Card application, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must be notified immediately.
This applies primarily to marriages that are entered into during the Green Card process, as well as to natural, adopted, and stepchildren born or added during this time. Therefore, to increase your chances of getting a Green Card, both spouses should always participate in the DV Lottery!
How to become US citizen?
Green Card holders who wish to obtain American citizenship must meet the following requirements:
- Minimum age of 18 years
- pass the English test
- pass the naturalisation test – also known as the Civics Test
- “Good Moral Character” > The behaviour testifies the respect and observance of the American laws
- for at least three months prior to the application, the residence was in the same US state or USCIS district
- You have resided in the USA as a Green Card holder for at least five years and have spent at least 30 months in the USA within the last five years
you have lived and been married to a US citizen for at least three years and have spent at least 18 months of that time together in the USA
If you meet these requirements, the N-400 form can be submitted online to the USCIS. After the application has been processed and the fee paid, fingerprints must be taken. This is followed by an interview at the USCIS office, during which, among other things, the English test and the knowledge test are carried out.
If you pass the test, you will be invited to the naturalization ceremony. Here the Green Card is handed in and the American passport is handed out.
In the course of this, the social security data should be changed and your right to vote should be registered.