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Many mourn the end of the Diversity Immigrant Lottery Visa

In previous posts we have written about some of the many ways that individuals from other countries might be able to secure a visa to enter the United States. For the last 24 years one of those ways has been via the Diversity Immigrant Lottery Visa. Also referred to as the Green Card Lottery, people from many different nations have taken advantage of the program. It is particularly appealing to individuals from countries in Asia and Africa.

Those who entered the green card lottery in 2013 began checking to see if they were selected on the first of this month. While some of those individuals were likely celebrating their selection, others may be looking to the future with sadness. This is because the program is slated to end in 2015.

The program's demise is directly tied to the decision to reform the current immigration system. At the same time it was decided that the program, which provided 50 thousand immigrants with visas each year, would be eliminated, another program, the H-1B skilled worker visa program was expanded. Though the skilled worker visa program does not automatically provide a green card, it may be obtained with the support of an employer.

Some have taken issue with the change noting that those who are eligible for an H-1B visa must have a professional background in one of several fields. The Diversity Visa does not have these types of requirements. This change leaves some fearful that certain individuals may not be able to make their way to the U.S. because of a lack of qualifications.

There are multiple different kinds of visas that someone seeking to enter the country might use. To learn about them, an immigration lawyer is the best place to start.

Source: KALW, "African immigrants worry with elimination of Diversity Visa," Hana Baba, May 8, 2014

Examiner, "Green card lottery entrant status checking begins May 1 for DV-2015 registrants," April 29, 2014

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