The visa lottery: what happens with the drawing of documents to emigrate to the United States

Embassy of the United States in Argentina.

Millions of people around the world apply to the Diversity Visa Program each year, hoping to receive one of the 50,000 Diversity Visa cards. permanent residence that grants the Department of State of the USA. popularly known as visa lotteryis a draw for people from countries underrepresented in immigration.

In recent years, uncertainty has been created around it, as a result of legal obstacles and the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. Notwithstanding that, and although under attack and with difficulties, the visa program will continue.

The first big barrier he had to face was a rule issued in 2019 by the government of donald trump. The passport rule (passport rule), as it is known, required applicants to have a valid passport beforehand, simply to apply. The measure affected millions of people around the world, especially those with low resources and residents of rural areas.

How to obtain a resident visa in the United States
You can win a green card in the diversity visa lottery. (Epoxydude / Getty Images)

The passport requirement made the application process so difficult that the number of applicants fell from 14.7 million in 2018 to 6.9 million in 2019. Despite the efforts of the administration of Joe Biden for keeping the rule in effect, a federal court in D.C. He removed it last February.

The hardships did not end there: since the beginning of the pandemic, the government expressed difficulties in completing the admission process of the selected people. Arrears skyrocketed and, according to the National Visa Centermore than 380,000 visas are pending processing to date.

Not all delayed visas are from the Diversity Program, but something serious is happening with the lottery. Once the person is selected, they have one year to claim their visa and complete the requirements to enter the country. The delay has caused thousands of applications to expire, leaving them in legal limbo.

A graph showing the increase in US visa applications still to be processed.
The graph shows the increase in pending immigration applications at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services between fiscal years 2013 and 2022. A drastic increase can be seen from fiscal year 2020. (Muzaffar Chishti and Julia Gelatt / MigrationPolicy .org)

That is, someone could have been selected in the lottery in 2020 and still be waiting for their visa. Worse still, he doesn’t even know if his process will be honest. Given the inaction of the federal authorities, some lawyers have decided to take the path of the courts.

It is in the middle of this climate that the 2023 lottery is approaching. The custom is that it takes place in the boreal autumn, between October and November. However, the site to submit the documentation in electronic format does not yet offer a date. The lottery is named after DV-2024.

Be careful when looking online for services for the Diversity Visa Program. There are dozens of sites that offer to fill out the application and guarantee that it will be submitted without errors or delays. It is common for many of these services to be scams. The application is free and is available on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website (USCIS) clearly explains how to complete it.


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