The US green card lottery, which allows an alternative entry to US immigration in 2013, opens for registration this week.
06 October 2011
US visa lottery opens for 2013
Applications for a diversity visa (DV) for immigration to the US in 2013 will be accepted from this week.
The United States Department of State began accepting US applications from people from nations under-represented among America's migrant groups on Tuesday 4 October. The DV application program - known colloquially as the 'green card lottery' - provides an alternative entry path to the standard family and employment-based routes to US immigration.
American immigration lawyer Aggie Hoffman said there are many benefits to attemtping to gain a US visa throught the green card lottery.
"The DV lottery is one of the easiest, relatively quick, and least expensive ways to obtain US resident status," she wrote in the Huffington Post.
The DV is only open to prospective migrants from national or ethnic groups that number less than 50,000 in the United States. Countries of eligibility change as the mainstream immigration patterns determine.
Citizens of the UK and Canada among others - including China, Brazil and South Korea - are excluded from making an application via the DV lottery as the number of immigrants from these countries already in the US is deemed sufficiently high. Australians and New Zealanders are eligible to apply for a green card.
Applicants must register for the lottery before October 4 2011. Beyond country eligibility, applicants must demonstrate that they have completed secondary school or an equivalent edcuational qualification, have two years work experience in an occupation that requires at least 2 years training and that the work experience as gained in the past 5 years.
50,000 visas are up for grabs via the lottery and recipients are selected by a random process pending eligibility criteria. However, the lottery is highly competitive with more than 14 million applications received for the 2012 intake.
The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their ESTA visa application.