Each year the U.S .Government, through its green card lottery diversity visa program, makes available 50,000 immigrant visas to persons meeting the eligibility requirements. Winners of the green card lottery win the right to live and work in the United States.
Applicants for the green card lottery are initially chosen through a random computer-generated lottery drawing. Immigrant visas are apportioned among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration – and no visas going to countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the past five years. No one country can receive more than 3,500 diversity program visas in any one year.
If the winner files a successful green card lottery application, he or she can enter the US and exchange the immigrant visa for a green card, issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the winner is already in the US, he or she can get a green card from USCIS without leaving the country.