If I should get a green card in the lottery, how long can I stay in my home country before moving to the US, before the green card becomes invalid?

  • 2
    First of all, you can only become a permanent resident (get a green card) in the US. When you immigrate, you get an immigrant visa from a US consulate, and only when you enter the US using that visa, do you become a permanent resident. Are you asking about if you go to the US, get a green card, and then move back to your country?
    – user102008
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 23:49
  • 2
    Immigrant visas are valid usually for 6 months, unless your medical examination will expire before that. On another page, it said you can petition to get an extension but it will need to be for a reason that's beyond your control.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 23:52
  • So i will have to get a "regular" working visa before, then move to the USA and apply for or win a greencard? Edit: I just found this post which was very helpful. Thank you both! Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 11:20
  • No, you do not need a second visa if you win the DV lottery. Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


Once you get your visa, it is valid for six months. Visas will only be issued during the financial year (October-September period) for which the lottery was held. Once the visa expires, if you didn't enter the US and convert it to a green card (i.e.: got a stamp on it at the port of entry) - it expires, and your win vanishes, you will no longer be qualified for the green card you've won.

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