Maximum amount of Green Cards given


Six regions in the world, millions of applicants and over hundreds of thousands of lucky Green Card winners. Every year the U.S. authorities responsible for the Green Card Lottery release statistics detailing the distribution of DV-Lottery winners.

Immediately noticeable is that some countries have a lot more winners than others. Why do the number of Green Cards winners differ so much from country to country? Below, we would like to give you an explanation of the annual Green Card winner statistics and how they are calculated.

Table of content
Maximum limit of Green Cards per country
Winner distribution with Africa as an example
Green Card distribution based on experience
Green Card distribution per continent

Maximum limit of Green Cards per country

The principle idea behind the Green Card Lottery Program is to give people who would not normally have the chance, the possibility to win an immigrant visa and emigrate to the USA. The program is designed to be fair to all nationalities and keep the USA diverse. That is why a certain number of Green Cards are designated for each continent and each participating country every year.

  • The maximum number of Green Cards available for any eligible country is 3,500, which equates to around 7% of all Green Cards. 
  • Europe and Africa are the two continents with the highest Green Card quotas. Both receive about 20,000 Green Cards each.

Winner distribution with Africa as an example

Why then do the Green Card statistics show that winner distribution is not equal among countries? Some countries, especially in Africa, have a much higher number of winners than the maximum number of 3,500.

This simply has to do with the fact that Green Card Lottery winners are chosen at random. Within Africa, most of the applicants come from Ethiopia, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and the Congo. If, for example, 10% of the participants in Africa are from Ethiopia, then 10% of the winners within Africa will be statistically from Ethiopia.

That is why it is possible for there to suddenly be five times as many Green Card winners in Ethiopia as in, for example, Germany. The likelihood that every winner in Ethiopia will continue with the Green Card application or fulfill the requirements is extremely low.

The reason behind this is as follows:

  • Not every winner continues with the Green Card application process.
  • This may be the case for winners who do not wish to carry on with the Green Card application process or may not meet the requirements necessary to get a Green Card. This is the case in many African countries.
  • Often winners do not have the necessary education or work experience to fulfill the requirements
  • Moreover, it is difficult for many African winners to provide evidence of having enough financial means for a fresh start in the USA.

Green Card distribution based on experience

It is more likely that winners from European countries will meet the requirements necessary to continue with the Green Card application process. Therefore, almost 20% fewer winners are notified in Europe than Africa. Around the world, around 100,000 winners are notified and from these 100,000, the U.S. authorities expect that around 50,000 will be qualified applicants. In short, more winners are notified every year so that the U.S. authorities can actually issue the 50,000 Green Cards available. The U.S. government calculates the number of Green Card winners to notify every year based on decades of experience. From previous statistics, they can calculate how many “extra” people to notify to make sure that everyone has a fair chance to win. This way, qualified winners who want a Green Card will not be left out.

Furthermore, the calculations also take application mistakes into consideration. Even simple mistakes can lead to a winner being disqualified, especially if you apply for the lottery on your own. The American Dream has over 20 years of experience and would only be too glad to help you on your way to a Green Card – from applying to the lottery to having an immigrant visa in your pocket.

Green Card distribution per continent

The good news is: The strict allocation of Green Cards for each separate continent keeps the results of the Green Card Lottery for each continent fair. In Europe, for example, the chance to win a Green Card is around 1:25. The more America-fans who participate per country, the higher the chances to win a Green Card.

What are you waiting for then? Fulfill your very own American dream and take part in the Green Card Lottery.