In 1990, the US Immigration & Naturalization Service created a unique kind of visa for those who do not qualify for regular immigration preference parameters. The Diversity Visa, which soon became known as “the Green Card Lottery” or “the Schumer Program” , is – in fact – a computer-generated drawing of 50,000 immigrant visas each year.
Initially the entire procedure – application and notification – was administered by mail, moving to its present online form in 2005.
To be eligible, applicants must be born natives of an eligible country – the list which changes each year based on the number of immigrants currently from that country in the US. The higher the number, the lower on the list of eligibility that country is; and a country that sent over 50,000 immigrants to the US in the prior five years becomes inelligible for that year. Furthermore, no single country may receive more than 7% of the total visas for that year.
Second, candidates must have a high school graduation certificate or at two years of working experience in a job that requires a minimum of two years training. They must also be able to demonstrate means of support, the lack of a criminal record and good health.
To apply for the Diversity Visa drawing one applies online in accordance with an 18-page, 40-point set of instructions. Registration usually runs between October and the beginning of November, and a mistake in the procedure renders the application invalid. On the other hand, one may apply reepeatedly year after year – disqualification one year has no bearing on entering the drawing the next.
Results of each drawing appear on the US Government website. If succesful, the applicant is invited to a consulary interview, following which – if successful – your visa will be inscribed on to your passport. You will also receive a sealed immigrant packet that must be presented pon arrival to the US Customs & Border control. The visa itself is valid for six months, by which time you will receive your permanent Green Card work and residency permit.
CIS Application’s team of specialists are highly experienced in immigration services, and ca help you immigrate, work and study in the US. All visa applications are serviced by a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).