The USA Green Card Lottery or to give it its politically correct title the Diversity Immigrant Visa, is the United States government lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card.
The USA Green Card Lottery costs nothing to enter (other than your admin costs), there is no financial reward at the end of it, and yet for millions of people around the world it is the most valuable lottery on the planet.
Every October, around 50,000 people are granted a US residence visa by lottery. The Department of State, who administer the lottery, receive 14,000,000 applications from around the world each year. Most of these people have no ties to the USA. Since 1995 when the lottery was initiated over a million people have been granted US citizenship through the USA green card lottery.
In much the same way as any national lottery, the draw is made by computer. Recipients of this ‘Golden Ticket’ though do not need to have sponsorship, employment or family in the USA. They are required to have a reasonable standard of education though. High school or equivalent.
Citizens of countries that have been granted 50,000+ visas in the previous five years though, are ineligible. Unfortunately that currently includes the UK, together with Canada, Mexico, India and China.
Why Was The USA Green Card Lottery Created?
The USA Green Card Lottery went into effect in 1995. This followed a change in the US immigration act of 1990. Initially US immigration was heavily weighted in favour of European migrants, the current system seeks to promote more unrepresented ethnic groups.
The original idea came about following a large influx of Irish immigrants in the late eighties. A time when Irish republican groups were beginning to dissipate.
USA Green Card Lottery Under Threat
Since taking office President Donald J Trump has been making noise about ending the USA Green Card Lottery. President Trump favours a merit based system. A system which is largely backed by the Republicans. The trigger for his decision largely stems from the deadly truck attack in Lower Manhattan last year. This act of terrorism, in which eight people were killed, was carried out by an immigrant from Uzbekistan who was himself a product of the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program.
A simple Google search will uncover thousands of US Visa agents and Attorneys willing to help prospective applicants…. for a price. However, for anyone possessing the required level of education the process itself is not complicated. I have included a link to the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, on the official US Department of State website below.