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The Diversity Immigrant Visa aka The Green Card Lottery

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The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DIV) is a method for entering the United States and gaining permanent residency via a government regulated lottery drawing. This drawing is eligible to people of all nations of the world, except those whose home country has seen at least 50,000 of its citizens immigrate to the United States in the previous year.

There are 50,000 of these types of visas handed out annually. They are distributed on a regional basis, awarding the nations with the least number of U.S. emigrants the largest number of visas. Still, no single country is allotted more than 7% (3,500) of the total DIV visas.

Residents of the following countries are currently not eligible to register for the next wave of DIV dispersal due to their emigration numbers:
Brazil – Canada – China (mainland-born) – Colombia – Dominican Republic – Ecuador – El Salvador – Guatemala – Haiti – India – Jamaica – Mexico – Pakistan – Peru – Philippines – Poland – South Korea – United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories – Vietnam

To enter the lottery, the applicant must: be a citizen of a country other than those listed above, and meet either the education or work experience requirement of the DIV program. To meet the education requirement the applicant must have either a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education. To meet the criteria for the work requirement the applicant must have at least two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. Ultimately, the U.S. Department of Labor’s ONet online database will be used to determine qualifying work experience.

While this method of gaining a green card visa (permanent residency) is an attractive option for some, there are several other visa categories that interested persons may be eligible for. One is commonly known as the or . Qualified applicants can invest through a Federally Designated Regional Center. If the investor and their investment fulfill the USCIS requirements the investor can gain lawful permanent residency in the United States.

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