Overview of the Diversity Visa Program
Every year, a small group of lucky individuals receive visas to the United States under the “Diversity Visa Program,” a program put in place by Congress about 20 years ago under Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Under this program, the U.S. Government authorizes approximately 55,000 visas each year. To put the program in perspective, the 55,000 applicants are chosen from a pool of as large as 9.1 million qualified entries – placing odds of being selected at less than 1%.
As implied by its name, the U.S. government instituted this visa program to encourage individuals from countries with historically low immigration rates to the U. S. to immigrate to the U.S. If there have been more than 50,000 immigrants from a single country in the past 5 years, natives from that country are automatically disqualified.
The current list of “disapproved” countries includes:
|Dominican Republic||Ecuador||El Salvador||Guatemala|
|South Korea||United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland)||Vietnam|
Note: China can mean different things to different people. Individuals born in mainland China are ineligible. Persons born in Hong Kong, SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.