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Diversity Immigrant Visas grant permanent US residency to 50,000 Immigrants a year

In an interesting article, Annalisa Merelli of QZ explains the history and current standing of the Diversity Immigrant Visa program (DV).  I won’t go through the entire article, but if you’re interested in learning more about the program, check out the article by clicking on the link at the end of the article.

Have you ever heard of the Diversity Immigrant Visa program?  "Since 1994, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has put on an annual lottery with the ultimate American dream as the prize: each year 50,000 green cards, or permanent residency permits, go to winners selected at random (sort of—there’s a quota system organized by area of origin) by a computer and then processed by the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky.“  Each year 14 million people from around the globe apply for the program with less then 1% granted residency. 

The catch for successful applicants is that individuals have six months to "drop everything” and move to the country.  In order to qualify for the program, applicants must “have a high school diploma (or comparable work experience), and [must]…be a citizen of a country that has sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the previous five years.”  Outlires include “Canada, Mexico India, Nigeria, the UK, and mainland China.

While originally for Irish, Italian, and Polish immigrants (see the article for more), the program has evolved into an opportunity benefiting Africans.  As the above chart displays, within the last few years, African immigration through the program has matched that of European settlement.  The program has gotten so much traction that many African’s believe the arrange is meant specifically to bolster Africans looking to move to America.

Although some within the government are moving to eliminate the program, there are benefits.  For starters it is a low acceptance rate and has only been beneficial to those involved with it.  In addition, in terms of economic stimulus, it can have positive impacts. In a report it was revealed that "30% [of] foreign-born American resident start their own businesses, compared to a US average of 13%—overall, 28% of US businesses are owned by immigrants.”  With so many people willing to drop everything and move to America, it shows assertiveness and a belief in the country.  Small programs like the DV are a boon to our nation and help to control an influx of immigrants while awarding qualified applicants from around the globe.

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