Trump Promised to End it, but the Visa Lottery Will still Raffle off 50,000 Green Cards

Despite President Donald Trump’s promises to eliminate the diversity visa lottery, thousands of people from around the world will still have the chance to legally immigrate to the United States and achieve the American Dream through the program.

The U.S. State Department, which administers the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, better known as the visa lottery, announced Tuesday that it will go ahead with the lottery for 50,000 visas available for Fiscal Year 2020. The winners will be drawn from random selection.

The lottery is one of the most popular visa programs for foreigners who lack sponsors in the United States and want to immigrate here legally. But President Trump has assailed the program, saying that the “worst of the worst” are selected in the cost-free process.

Applicants must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to qualify, according to the State Department, which distributes the green cards among six geographical regions.

Online registration for the 2020 program begins on Oct. 3 and concludes on Nov. 6. No single country can receive more than 7 percent of the visas.

Authorities noted that people who submit more than one application for this period will be automatically disqualified. They also warned of fraudulent websites posing as providers of official information asking for money to “winners of the lottery.”

Read more about common immigration scams to avoid in the United States

Foreigners from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S. can sign up at when the period opens, and complete the entry form for free. They should do this early in the registration period, authorities said, because excessive demand later will slow the system down.

Applicants for the 2020 visa lottery must meet two requirements to participate:

* First, they must be born in qualifying countries. The countries not eligible this period are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland), and Vietnam.

▪ They also must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, or two years’ work experience over the past five years in an eligible field that requires at least two years of training.

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