woman with diversity visa

What Is the Diversity Visa Lottery?

America has long been known as the land of opportunity. For this reason, many people desire to come live in the United States. Unfortunately, though, this can be a difficult dream for many to see realized. 

Only Select Countries Are Eligible

In an effort to provide equal opportunity for individuals around the world, the U.S. government offers a Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program). The DV Program, also known as the “green card lottery,” allows individuals from across the globe (in countries that are generally underrepresented in legal migration to the U.S.) the opportunity to immigrate here and obtain a green card. The list of countries eligible for the program varies from year to year, as the country of origin must have sent fewer than 5,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the last 5 years.

These visas provide people with the opportunity for a better future by becoming a U.S. citizen and the rights to live and work in the U.S. There are 55,000 “winners” chosen at random by a U.S. State Department computer.  However, no single country can receive greater than 7% of the available visas in a single year. In 2020 more than 13 million people applied for the Program. 

Many Past Winners Have Yet to Immigrate

Due to increased U.S. immigration bans and worldwide travel bans in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the winners of the DV Program had their lottery tickets canceled. For many of these winners, this meant that they had quit their jobs and sold their properties in vain. Many are still waiting for their visas to be reactivated. 

However, under the current administration’s Build Back Better reconciliation bill, leaders in the House are working on restoring the diversity visas of previous winners. This depends on whether or not legislation is passed, and remains to be seen. 

Also noteworthy is the fact that the U.S. economy often looks to skilled labor from international immigrants to remain fully intact.  Despite the fact that it is referred to as a lottery, those who “win” and come to the U.S. generally come here and contribute greatly to society. It is anything but a free handout. 

The Law Office of Ronald L. Freeman Helps Those in California Who Wish to Obtain a Green Card or Naturalize to U.S. Citizenship

If you or a loved one is looking to obtain a green card or naturalize to U.S. citizenship it can be complicated and intimidating to handle on your own. Sometimes you only get one real opportunity to obtain legal permanent residence in the U.S. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced San Bernardino and Riverside immigration attorney who understands the immigration process and can help to walk you through it.

At the Law Office of Ronald L. Freeman, our San Bernardino and Riverside immigration attorneys will work to help you through various immigration processes. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!