Winning the Green Card Lottery and getting the Green Card are two different things. One cannot simply win the lottery and then decide to apply for the the Green Card in a few years. He or she must move quickly to secure their spot. Once the Green Card is given, it will be 5 years before applying for citizenship assuming the person qualifies.
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The person who won the green card has deadlines to comply with. If he/she does not file paperwork on time and move to the US, he /she will lose the green card. Also, to qualify for citizenship, a permanent resident has to reside in the US for 5 years, and be physically present for at least half of this time.
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J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.