Learn All About the Visa Lottery
The Visa Lottery, also known as the Diversity Visa Program, is a program that grants visas to people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States. The program was first established by the Immigration Act of 1990 and has since then been administered by the Department of State.
To learn all about the Visa Lottery, it is important to know its history, the eligibility criteria, the application process, and the statistics related to getting a visa through the program. This article will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of all these aspects of the program.
History of the Visa Lottery
The Visa Lottery was created to promote diversity in the immigrant population of the United States. The program was established in response to the Immigration Act of 1965, which eliminated the quotas on immigration visas that favored western and northern European immigrants.
This move towards diversity was further enhanced by the Immigration Act of 1990, which created the Diversity Visa Program. The program provided 55,000 visas annually to people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States.
The program was initially designed to provide visas to people from countries that had low immigration rates to the United States, which included the countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. However, the program has gone through several changes, including the inclusion or exclusion of countries from the program, since its inception.
Eligibility Criteria for the Visa Lottery
To be eligible for the Visa Lottery, an applicant must fulfill certain criteria. The eligibility criteria for the program are:
Nationality: The applicant must be a native of a country that is eligible for the program. The Department of State publishes an annual list of eligible countries on its website.
Education or Work Experience: The applicant must have completed high school education or have two years of work experience in a job that requires at least two years of training or experience.
Satisfy the Health Requirement: The applicant must meet the health requirements for immigration to the United States. If the applicant has a contagious disease, it may result in ineligibility for the program.
No Criminal Record: The applicant must have no criminal record.
The Application Process for the Visa Lottery
The application process for the Visa Lottery is straightforward and can be done online. The application process typically takes place during the months of October and November, with the results announced in May.
Here is a step-by-step guide to the application process:
Step 1: Check eligibility
The first step is to check whether you are eligible for the program. The Department of State publishes the list of eligible countries on its website. If your country of origin is not on the list, you are not eligible to apply.
Step 2: Prepare the necessary documents
To apply for the program, you will need to provide your personal information, your education or work experience, and your health and criminal records. You will need to have a passport-style photograph, which is less than six months old.
Step 3: Complete the application form
The application form for the program is available on the Department of State’s website. You will need to fill out the form completely and accurately. Any mistakes may result in disqualification.
Step 4: Submit the application
Once you have completed the application form, you will need to submit it. You will receive a confirmation number that you can use to track your application status.
Step 5: Check the results
The results of the Visa Lottery are announced in May of the following year. Applicants can check their status on the Department of State’s website using their confirmation number.
Statistical Overview of the Visa Lottery
Over the years, the Visa Lottery has provided visas to people from various countries across the world. The following are some statistical overviews of the program:
In the year 2019, the Department of State received 14.7 million applications for the program. Out of these, 83,884 visas were granted, with the majority of them going to applicants from Africa.
In the year 2020, 15.5 million applications were received, with 55,000 visas being granted to applicants from the eligible countries.
In the year 2021, the number of applications decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of State received 6.7 million applications, with 55,000 visas being granted to applicants from the eligible countries.
The Visa Lottery is a program that promotes diversity in the immigrant population of the United States. The program grants visas to people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States. The eligibility criteria are straightforward, and the application process takes place online. Over the years, the program has provided visas to thousands of people from various countries across the world.
As an applicant to the Visa Lottery or simply as an interested reader, it is important to keep updated with the latest immigration laws and regulations. The Department of State is a useful resource for all kinds of information on immigration laws, regulations, and visa programs in the United States.
What is the Visa Lottery?
The Visa lottery, also known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa, is a program instituted by the United States’ Federal Government to organize and place limits on the amount of Permanent Residence Cards offered to non-residents of the United States. The goal of the Visa lottery is to evaluate which country produces the most immigrants and encourage those countries with low immigration totals to immigrate through the issuance of a special visa.
The Visa lottery is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State. The Visa lottery works in accordance to the terms outlined in Section 203© of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Through observance of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 was amended to include a new class of immigrants referred to as “diversity immigrants.”
This new classification extended 50,000 permanent resident visas (per year) to citizens of countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. This classification is crucial to acknowledge—the Visa lottery awards specialized visas to only individuals from specific countries that possess low immigration rates to the United States.
Eligibility Requirements for the Visa lottery
Those individuals born in any country or territory that has sent more than 50,000 immigrants to America in the previous five years are not eligible for the Visa lottery.
Natives from the following countries are ineligible to receive a DV-2011 visa in the Visa lottery: Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, South Korea, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
The entry period to apply for the DV-2012 Visa (the Visa lottery visa for 2011) was from October 5, 2010 to November 3, 2010.
The number 50,000 “non-residents” is partial and only refers to people who immigrated via a family-sponsored or employment visa. The amount thus does not include other visa categories such as asylum seekers, refugees, or previous diversity immigrants.
Distribution Process for the Visa lottery
The Visa lottery distributes visas based on a regional basis; each region sending fewer immigrants to America in the previous 5 years will receive more diversity visa opportunities. Currently, Africa and Europe account for about 80% of the visas in the lottery.
Additionally, no single country is permitted to receive more than 7% of the total number of visas.
More ‘winners’ are selected in the lottery than there are visas available. As a result, those who win the lottery are not guaranteed an immigrant visa to the United States.
To receive a DV-Visa, the non-resident must meet all eligibility requirements under United States’ law to qualify. The winner of the lottery must be interviewed before the 50,000 green cards may be distributed.
Requirements include a high school diploma or its equivalent (or two years of work experience in a specialized occupation.)
Legal Implications for the Visa lottery
In December 2005, the House of Representatives added an amendment to abolish the Visa lottery. As a result of mounting fraud and the added susceptibility for terrorist entry associated with the lottery, policy makers wished to abolish the program. Although the Senate never approved the amendment, numerous bills have been offered to eliminate the Visa lottery.