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US Green Card Lottery 2018 opens for Sri Lankans

The application period for the 2018 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2018) also known as Green Card Lottery offered by the US would be commenced tonight from 9.30 till November 7 same time, for the applicants from Sri Lanka and Maldives, the US Embassy in Colombo said today.

The programme would be open for online registration for free of charge and eligible applicants would be randomly selected at the first phase of the procedure.

“Once selected, the applicants would be called for an interview. Unless an applicant is called for an interview, there is no requirement to make a payment. For the interview, a fee of USD 330 would be charged,” Deputy Consular Officer of the Embassy David Wagner told a news conference.

He said the DV was offered for immigrants to become legal permanent residents (LPR) of the US. Commenting on the process of the lottery, he said the applicants who registered this year would be interviewed in 2017 and would receive Green Cards in 2018, if selected.

“This is a great opportunity to work and live in the US legally. Those who have successfully passed the GCE A/L examination, have a degree from an approved university or have two years of minimum work experience in certain occupations are eligible to apply. Any applicant, born in Sri Lanka or Maldives, should make sure that they have fulfilled all criteria prior to apply,” Wagner said.

He said applicants could go online to the Entrant Status Check page on May next year to see if they had been selected for the DV program.

Under the second phase, the applicants who were selected would be asked to submit additional information and would be notified when they are selected for an interview.

“The in-person interview would be held with a US Consular Officer, who will decide if the applicant is eligible to receive the visa,” he said and warned applicants to beware of scams, of persons or companies which claim to offers Green Card Visa.

Consular Wagner said applicants could only send in one application as multiple entries would result in disqualification and advised to keep with them the application confirmation number received after applying.

A total of 50,000 individual applications had been received from Sri Lanka for the lottery programme last year and about 200-400 applicants had been selected.

The Embassy requested applicants to reach US Embassy Colombo’s website at to find out more about the program, including qualification requirements and detailed instructions on how to apply in Sinhala, Tamil, and English. They way to apply is online at  (Lahiru Pothmulla)