The Diversity Visa Program, sometimes called the green card lottery, headed up by US immigration, kicks off today and is a glimmer of hope for many immigrants who wish to start a new life abroad in the United States. The green card lottery grants each winner a permanent visa to live and work in America.
From the US Department of State’s website:
The Congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available 50,000 diversity visas (DV) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
It is free to submit an application, but many applicants are being swindled by companies charging processing fees. Joe O’Brien of Crosscare Migrant Project warns applicants of these scams and says, “People need to be extra vigilant about companies and websites charging a fee for processing applications. All applications go through the one official route which is a US Department of State website at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Applications can only be made online via this site and there is no charge to submit an application.”
Winners of the Green Card Lottery will be chosen randomly although applicants will still need to meet strict visa eligibility requirements. The lottery will allow 50,000 people, out of about 12 million, to discover if the United States really is the land of opportunity.
The lottery opens today and will run through November 3, 2010. Winners will be announced between May and July 2011.