First things first: The green card lottery 2018 (DV-2020) is NOW OPEN!
Second things second: There is only one official website for entering the green card lottery: https://dvlottery.state.gov/. DO NOT TRUST ANY WEBSITE THAT TELLS YOU OTHERWISE. The official information about DV-2020 can be found at Travel.State.Gov.
Third things third: It does not cost any money to apply for the green card lottery. DO NOT TRUST ANY WEBSITE THAT TELLS YOU OTHERWISE.
Fourth things fourth: There is no fast-track or any more “reliable” way to get a green card from the green card lottery other than applying on the official site. DO NOT TRUST ANY WEBSITE THAT TELLS YOU OTHERWISE.
Fifth things fifth: The “DV-2020” lottery means that you will find out if you won the lottery in mid-2019 (with interview and entry in 2019/2020).
Sixth things sixth: The Trump Administration has thrown around ideas of stopping the green card lottery, yes, but there have been no official steps to do this, so we expect the 2020 lottery to open very soon.
Seventh things seventh: We normally expect the process to begin in early October, so we are still on schedule. The details below suggest October 3, 2018 until November 6.
Eighth things eighth: The green card process is long and windy, including the application. For the best guide on everything green card be sure to check out BritSimonSays for a step-by-step Green card guide!
Update from BritSimonSays (9/24):
DV-2020 details will be officially published tomorrow. As has happened before, some embassies have “jumped the gun” and announced it early, and the unpublished notice is available through the federal register. So the details below are accurate and will be made official tomorrow (in the USA – so could be Wednesday in other parts of the world).
The registration period will open on October 3, and close on November 6. There are NO CHANGES to eligible countries from last year. The result checking period will start on May 7 next year.
I will publish some tips for entering over the next week – but for goodness sake ONLY enter through the official page and DO NOT let anyone enter your details for you!
Link to the federal register announcement.
Update from Travel.State.Gov (10/3):
Applicants must submit entries for the DV-2020 program electronically at dvlottery.state.gov between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, October 3, 2018, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Do not wait until the last week of the registration period to enter, as heavy demand may result in website delays. No late entries or paper entries will be accepted. The law allows only one entry per person during each registration period. The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries. Individuals with more than one entry will be disqualified.
Update from BritSimonSays (10/3):
The registration period for DV2020 is about to open (about 1 hour from now) – so a few pointers to help make it successful.
Best of luck with your application! I know it’s stressful as many people are really keen to get into the U.S. and start their new lives as expats, but be patient, read as much as you can, and consult with an immigration lawyer if you have any serious concerns or queries.
Getting this process wrong, or any immigration process wrong in America can have long-lasting detrimental effects.
To read a story about one of America Josh’s readers, check out A Green Card Success Story by an Australian Expat.