For those unacquainted, “green card” is a colloquialism for US permanent residency. I’m sure the cards were all green once, but nowadays they’re a little more sophisticated and just retain splashes of the color.
Every year, the US Government allocates 50,000 green cards to citizens of select countries that don’t have a high immigration rate to the United States. The basic principle behind this is to make the country a more diverse place through immigration. Mexico, Canada, the UK and China are but a few countries whose residents aren’t eligible for the lottery next year, although it differs from year to year. Tough break gang.
More than 12 million people worldwide entered the lottery in 2012, and just under 12,000 of those were Australians. Out of those 11,699, there were 900 selected to go through to the next round. Of those, 292 won green cards. I’m not much of a mathematician, but the figures from previous years (which are all published online) point to odds of about 1-in-3 for an Aussie to score themselves a green card once they get through the lottery part. Them’s pretty good odds!