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Get a Green Card in just a few steps

The Green Card Lottery has successfully taken place every year since 1994. Each year, participants get closer to fulfilling their American dream. Learn all about the Green Card application process, from applying to relocating to the USA in detail.

1. Applying for the Green Card Lottery

You can apply for the Green Card Lottery year-round with The American Dream either online or per post. All applications are submitted to the US authorities, generally between October and November every year. In these four weeks, people from around the world can apply for the Green Card Lottery through the portal provided by the US authorities.

Throughout the year, we take the time to process your Green Card application personally and individually. We will get in contact with you if we have any questions and make corrections before submitting your application  to the US authorities. This way, you will not risk being disqualified because of a formal application error.

Infographic: 4 steps to the Green Card

You will receive an official participation certificate from us as a confirmation that your application has been successfully submitted to the US authorities. This participation certificate will also be electronically uploaded into your personal customer account.  

2. The Green Card Lottery drawing

In May or June of the following year, about seven months after submitting the applications, the US government announces the winners of the Green Card Lottery. Winners are randomly selected by the US authorities. Those who participated in the lottery with The American Dream will receive written notification of their results.

You didn’t win this year? Then try again! More than 21.000 The American Dream winners can assure you: it's worth it!

Infographic: Green Card Lottery Process

3. Delivery of your winner documents

If you are one of the lucky winners, we will confirm the status of your win by mailing you a confirmation certificate, the original notification from the U.S. State Department, and our winner documents.

Furthermore, you will receive our 56-page winner’s guide carefully complied by our Green Card experts. This guide details the entire Green Card application process, including instructions on how to complete the DS-260 online form. Do not hesitate to contact The American Dream any time if you have questions.

In addition, every winner of The American Dream gets access to the exclusive winners community, including a private Facebook group and the USA expat forum with over 50,000 contributions, serving as an in-depth knowledge database and archive that answers all questions involving immigration to the United States. For many of our more than 21,000 winners, this community has been one of the most important sources of help on their way to the USA.

Take your chance to win a Green Card! Apply now

4. Applying for the Green Card

The immigrant application is made online via the DS-260 form after you have received your Green Card winning notification. In the form, you must provide extensive personal information.

Only when the carefully and completely filled out DS-260 form has been submitted to the responsible US authority (Kentucky Consular Center or "KCC" for short) will your application be further processed.


You should file the DS-260 form within a few weeks. The USA experts of The American Dream will gladly handle this task for you. Please have a look at our rate options.

Picture of a US Green Card

If you choose the respective tariff, the Green Card will even be sent to your home.

5. US consulate invitation

The timing of your invitation to the US Embassy or Consulate for the Green Card interview depends on your "case number" (the lower, the earlier) and the submission of your DS-260 form. In addition to your mailbox, check your emails regularly.


Before your interview, you must pass a Medical Examination with a Panel Physician.

6. Activation trip to the USA

After your successful interview appointment, you will have several months to enter the USA for the first time to activate your Green Card. The maximum time frame of 6 months allowed for this purpose starts counting from the date of your medical examination.


Round-trip airfare for the Green Card activation trip to the USA is included in The American Dream's SMART and VIP rates!

You do not have to immigrate to the USA immediately on your first entry as a Green Card holder. It is common to first take a longer vacation to get to know your new home country or even return home (e.g., to save time or money) right on the day of your activation arrival.

Man and woman standing with suitcase at airport happily waving US flag

Entering the USA for the first time as a Green Card holder is a big moment.

7. Getting the Green Card

Your Green Card will be mailed to the United States address you provided three to six months after your activation trip. Unfortunately, you cannot use an address outside the US for this purpose.


If you don't know anyone in the USA, the team at The American Dream will be happy to receive your Green Card at our New York office and forward it to your home address as part of our VIP service.

8. What to do after getting the Green Card

As a proud Green Card holder, you can enjoy many benefits. For example, the Green Card smoothes the path when applying for jobs and looking for housing in the USA, allows you to enter and leave the country without restrictions, and lets you plan your move to the United States without hassle.

Do you have any further questions about the Green Card Lottery, applying for a US immigrant visa, or taking your first steps in the USA? Then feel free to get in touch via our contact form!

We keep our fingers crossed for your Green Card application! With a little luck, you will soon be one of our more than 21,000 The American Dream winners and can fulfill your dream of living in the USA!

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