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What Is the Diversity Lottery?

What is the American Diversity Lottery visa?

The Diversity Lottery, also commonly known as the Green Card Lottery, is a program that issues green cards through a random lottery process for applicants from countries that are underrepresented in the US. While it was originally intended to benefit Irish and Italian immigrants, who were restricted from immigrating by a 1965 Immigration Act, it is actually mainly used now by immigrants from Africa and Central Asia.

The Congressionally mandated program provides 50,000 green cards annually to individuals who have been selected from a random drawing. This amounts to about 5% of the immigration stream. Persons entering the lottery must meet certain requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the US, but they do not need to have any other type of family sponsorship or employment offer in order to obtain the visa - just a lot of luck.

The Diversity Lottery program came under attack by the Trump White House in 2017, who claimed that the Diversity Lottery is "A program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit or the safety of the American people."

Others consider it to be more consistent with the founding philosophy of our country, that people who just have a lot of gumption can succeed.

If you have any questions about the Diversity Lottery in the United States, please contact us for help.