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Old 07-02-2011, 05:20 AM
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Default The Green Card Lottery Fiasco

Silicon Valley Immigration Lawyer Blog Has Just Posted the Following:

The "lucky" person's path to a green card came to a head earlier this month when the results of this year's immigration green card lottery were invalidated. After thousands of lucky green card lottery applicants logged onto the U.S. State Department's website to see that they won, a few weeks later those same "lucky" people were told that the results of the lottery were invalid and that they were no longer green card lottery winners. According to the U.S. State Department, the lottery results were not valid because more than 90% of the winners were drawn from entrants submitted within the first two days of the 30-day registration period. This meant that the drawing was not "random", as required.

Each year approximately 55,000 people obtain a green card through the Diversity Lottery (or Green Card Lottery). Diversity Lottery applicants must come from a country with lower overall immigration to the U.S. (eligible countries are listed), and meet minimal education requirements. Applicants simply apply online through the U.S. State Department's website during a 30 day window in the Fall. There is not even an application fee. Then, the "winners" are randomly drawn by computer, and notified that they may apply for a green card within the following fiscal year.

As an immigration lawyer with full understanding of the long and arduous path to obtaining a green card through employment, asylum, and even through family, it has always seemed peculiar to me that another avenue to a green card is to play the annual green card lottery. Whereas the majority of employment-based green card applicants have at least a Bachelor's degree and usually require employer sponsorship, diversity lottery applicants only have to show that they completed high school or have at least two years of work experience. When the stated goals of U.S. immigration policy regarding legal immigration include attracting the best and brightest to the U.S., filling labor shortage needs, reuniting families, and providing a refuge for those seeking freedom from persecution, then holding a random drawing for green cards seems an anomaly.







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