23 November 2010

Record 15 million apply for US Visa lottery

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A record 15 million people from around the world submitted applications for the US green-card lottery this year, it has been revealed.

US Visa

Past winners of the diversity US Visa lottery include musicians, professional athletes, cab drivers and internet entrepreneurs.

The lottery is a US Visa diversity program that offers a quick path to legal, permanent residence for 50,000 people a year from countries with low rates of migration to the US. The lottery winners are selected purely by chance.

This year the lottery drew nearly 25 per cent more entries than last, the US State Department said.

In the final hours of the month-long enrollment period, which this year closed November 3, entries were rolling in at the rate of 62,000 an hour.

The visa lottery was launched in 1990 to promote diversity in the immigrant population, and is now open to people from almost anywhere in the world, except countries that already boast a large number of nationals in the US such as Mexico, China, India and the Philippines.

Visa Lottery winners eventually qualify for US citizenship. 

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their ESTA applications to the US Embassy.

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