I see some advertisement about something like Green card regularly. What does it mean? Is it a real lottery with prizes or just another spam in the web?
How can it be that a country just gives a chance to somebody to live there according to some lottery?

closed as off topic by Beaker, hippietrail, VMAtm, Kate Gregory, Dori Jul 21 '11 at 2:14

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  • Sorry, despite the answer I kinda think it is a bit off topic, so I tossed a close vote. I'm willing to have my mind changed though. – Beaker Jul 20 '11 at 7:08
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    Yes this is an immigration question which we've discussed on meta. Please feel free to contribute to the debate there if you wish: meta.travel.stackexchange.com/questions/147/expat-questions – hippietrail Jul 20 '11 at 7:29
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    @hippietrail You are soooo envious. – VMAtm Jul 20 '11 at 7:52
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    I didn't even realize it was you asking when I pointed to the meta discussion but that should also be helpful for others. Now if you had only put a bount of 556 on it I might have submitted an answer instead d-; – hippietrail Jul 20 '11 at 8:02
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    Reasons to close: ① Not constructive: a simple Google search gives the immediate answer; see Wikipedia or the US Dept of State. ② Off-topic: easily discovered by searching. ③ Not a real question: nothing is really being asked here beyond "Can someone else Google this for me?" ④ Between mentioning an advertisement and the phrase "Green card lottery," it has a spammy feel. – Dori Jul 21 '11 at 4:55

Yes, it is a real thing. It is to encourage immigration from countries that have low immigration rates to the US. There are tens of thousands that are given each year. I want to say around 50,000. The idea is to increase the USA's diversity.

If you 'win' the lottery, you receive a 'Green Card' or permanent residency in the United States.

EDIT: True (via Hippietrail), you should be very careful. I believe Russia was on the list last year, but you must check that. Although Ukraine I know tops for number of lottery issues in Europe. Warnings about the program can be seen here.

The registration is here.

  • Any official information? Maybe website or apply rules? – VMAtm Jul 20 '11 at 7:27
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    There are many borderline websites which offer to help you apply for a fee. They are close to being a scam and indulge in spammy practices but they seem to get away with it. Different countries have different allotments. 20 years ago at least it was very easy for Irish people to get them. I knew people that got them and didn't even bother using them. The numbers surely change every year. The last one was ruled invalid due to some computer glitch and re-drawn. – hippietrail Jul 20 '11 at 7:32
  • Edited with more information – Beaker Jul 20 '11 at 9:31
  • The first link doesn't work any more; do you know where is the actual page for the first link now? – user13267 Sep 21 '16 at 11:31

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