A Lottery of a Different Sort

Millions of would-be immigrants are checking online this week to see whether they were selected for the Diversity Visa Lottery Program or “Green Card Lottery.”  The last application window was open only from October to November 2016 to nationals of a select group of countries with a low rate of US immigration.  Now comes the moment for those anxiously awaiting word on whether they have been selected for the opportunity to immigrate. 

Program in Peril

The lottery program requires winners to possess a high school diploma or two years of work experience.  Winners also ultimately undergo security vetting.  Yet, the program has become the target of Congressional review, citing terrorism concerns.  Two bills have been recently introduced to eliminate the program entirely.  President Donald Trump has routinely suggested that immigration policy should be limited to merit based programs, striking fear that this could signal the final year of the lottery.

Getting to the Green Card

Though 50,000 winners each year are randomly selected, not all will make it to the United States.  Many don’t follow up on the applications fast enough.  Others get caught in the bureaucracy of consular processing or adjusting status, if they are already in the US in another visa status. Winners should act immediately to seek legal assistance to facilitate the final steps of processing.  Ellis Porter can represent you to assure that your “winning ticket” is turned into a Green Card.