What Is the Green Card (Diversity Visa) Program?
The U.S. Department of State operates a random computer drawing for those of who wish to enter the USA to take up residence, seek employment, study, conduct business, invest, retire, or join family members already in the United States. As the "diversity" name implies, the program was established to increase the numbers of immigrants entering the U.S. from underrepresented countries. This special green card category is reserved for immigrants born in countries that have very few immigrants entering the United States. Specifically, if a country has had more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the last five years, then those countries are ineligible for the program.
It is called a visa Program is because the U.S. must grant an immigrant visa to a foreign national before issuing a green card. The green card program is for anyone who wants to become a U.S. permanent resident. This also includes temporary employees, students, business people, visitors and others who are already in the U.S. Please note that a green card is not issued automatically by winning the Program, but is obtained after you submit additional documents, you are interviewed by a government official before you are given an immigrant visa. Winning the green card program just gives you an opportunity to receive U.S. permanent residency provided you follow and meet the requirements
Brief history of this program
In 1995, a permanent diversity Green Card Program system was established, awarding 55,000 immigrant visas to Program winners to enable family, employment/ investment, asylum/refugee immigrate to the U.S. After a while, the U.S. Congress increased this figure to as many as 95,000 visas and then reduced it to 50,000.
More so, in 1997 the U.S. Congress passed the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA),
which set aside an additional 5,000 visas solely for beneficiaries of this program
How Many participants win the Green Card Program Each Year?
There are 50,000 visas available under the green card Visa Program. However, about 100,000 applicants are initially selected as "winners." (To be more candid, the actual number of winners selected for Green Card Program -2013 was 105,628 due to NACARA.) Therefore, about twice as many winners were selected as there were visas available. This is because for the time past, about half of those selected change their mind or more often, fail to qualify due to problems with their application. It is also worthy of note that each person in the Principal Applicant's family gets one of the 50,000 available visas even if there is only one "chosen" from a family.