By Our Reporter
Hopes by Nigerians to participate in the United States Diversity visa (DV) lottery in 2022 have been dashed. this is because the US has barred Nigerians from participating in the lottery because over 50,000 Nigerians have immigrated to the US in the last five years.
A statement published by the US State Department on its website, stated that Nigerians are not eligible for the 2022 visa lottery which entitles winners to lawful permanent residency status in the United States of America, popularly known as green card. The statement did not explain how the US government calculated the number of Nigerians alleged to have immigrated to the US in the last five years; neither did it say whether family re-union by family members of Nigerian-born US citizens were factored in the calculation.
The 19-page document titled: “Instructions for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2022)” stated that: “In Africa, natives of Nigeria are not eligible for this year’s Diversity Visa Program.” However, natives from other African countries are eligible to apply, but “persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.”
“Applicants who are selected in the program (selectees) must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a diversity visa. The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing. The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.
“For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. “Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible,” the document read in part.
Here are the essential things to know about the upcoming DV-2022 green card lottery
- When does registration for the lottery begin?
Online registration for the DV-2022 green card lottery begins at noon on Oct. 7 (Eastern Standard Time) and ends at noon on Nov. 10.
- Which countries’ natives are eligible to enter this year?
Natives of all countries qualify except Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible. In changes from last year’s lottery, natives of Peru may enter, but natives of Guatemala and Honduras may not. You may enter if you are married to a native of an included country even if your country is on the excluded list.
- How come, year after year, my home country is left off the lottery eligibility list?
- A country’s nationals are not eligible for the lottery if 50,000 individuals or more have immigrated from that country over the prior five years.
- If I win the lottery, can my family immigrate with me?
- Your spouse and unmarried children under age 21 can get green cards when you win the lottery no matter where they were born.
- Are there other requirements?
- Yes. You must have at least a U.S. high school degree or its equivalent. Additionally, you must have worked (within the last five years) at a job for at least two years in which two years training or experience was required.
- If I am in the United States without lawful status and I win the lottery, can I get a green card?
- Usually, no. If you win the lottery, you need to travel home to get your immigrant visa. If you have been in the U.S. more than 180 days, you may face the “unlawful presence” bar and not be allowed to return for three years. A lottery win is good for one year only. The law provides for a limited waiver of the three-year bar, but you would unlikely be able to get the waiver before your right to a green card expired.