More than 55,000 people benefit from the program annually, allowing winners to apply for visas from countries with low levels of immigration to the United States.
What is that?
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program awards up to 55,000 individuals annually with Green Card visas, which grant permanent residency in the United States and are a pathway to citizenship.
Immigration opponents complain that the program brings people to the United States to compete for jobs, and even immigration advocates realize that the program does not tailor applicants to needs in the United States.
Visas are granted by random selection in selected countries to those eligible to promote immigration from countries with a low immigration level to the United States.
How it works?
Individuals in countries identified by the equivalent with a sufficiently low level of immigration to the United States can apply for a visa at certain times of the year. Most of the lottery recipients reside outside the United States, but few are legal in the United States with other visas.
Visas are also distributed to regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America (excluding Mexico), Oceania, South America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The program is administered by the Department of State.
Although individuals are selected to obtain visas at random, they still have to meet the security and eligibility requirements that all immigrants must clarify in order to actually obtain the visa.
Specifically, the recipient of diversity must have at least a secondary education or equivalent training and at least two years’ work experience in a job requiring at least two years of training or experience within five years of the application date. It must also be acceptable to the United States – categories of inadmissibility for the United States generally include links to terrorism.
The process also includes a face-to-face interview.
How it started
The last bill was passed by Senate 89-8 and House of Representatives 264-118.
CNN’s Madeleine Stix, Jennifer Hansler and Mohamed Darwish contributed to this report. Tal Cuban also contributed to this report.
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