What is the Diversity Visa Program?

The Diversity Immigrant Program offers individuals from nations with relatively low levels of recent migration to United States the opportunity to apply both for a permanent residency (USA Green Card) and a visa.

Around 50,000 diversity visas will be issued annually. The program received more than 11,000,000 applications in FY 2020. Due to the high level of interest, applicants are randomly selected and invited to apply for a visa abroad or file an application to adjust status in the U.S.

The Diversity Visa Program protects and promotes diversity within the U.S. Immigration System. The Diversity Visa Program not only provides opportunities to immigrants from around the world, but also allows for more diverse talent and contributions to be made to the U.S. community and economy. It is a chance for many immigrants to live the American Dream.

Where do diversity visa recipients come from?

The majority of diversity visa recipients are from countries that are underrepresented by other immigration programs. In the beginning, diversity immigrants tended to come from European countries. Over time, however, this has shifted more towards African countries. The share of Asian immigrants has also increased. In contrast to other immigration programmes, Latin American and North American nations have only represented a small percentage of diversity immigrants throughout the program’s history.


Bar chart with six data series. View as data table, REGION OF ORIGIN FOR DIVERSITY VISA RECIPIENTS, FYS 1995-2020 The data ranges from 1995 to 2020. The chart displays values on the Y-axis. Data ranges between 6017 and 55058.

This program played an important role in facilitating migration from Africa. The Diversity Visa Program, which began in 1995, has allowed more than 480,000 Africans and their families to immigrate into the United States. Since the program began, more diversity immigrants from Africa have immigrated to the United States than any other region. In recent years, the majority of African immigrants have entered the United States through the Diversity Visa Program.

“Diversity Visa recipients tend to have a higher level of education and to contribute more to the U.S. economy than immigrants who come through other programs.”

How does the Diversity Visa Program benefit America?

The Diversity Visa Program contributes to a rich diversity of cultures in the United States and preserves equitability within the U.S. Immigration System. The diversity of the United States is reflected in its food, music and languages. It also reflects the perspectives and cultures that make up our communities. Diversity in classrooms, workplaces , and other places of work promotes a feeling of belonging and fairness, while also promoting individual and team achievement.

Research has shown that diversity increases wages and productivity of U.S. born workers. Diversity visa recipients are well-educated, and they contribute as much to the U.S. workplace as other immigrants. An analysis of survey data collected in the early 2000s reveals that diversity visa holders had higher educational attainment and higher English proficiency levels than other immigrants.

The same data analysis shows that immigrants who received diversity visas had lower unemployment levels than other immigrants and also had comparable wages and wage growth.

Every year, 50,000 visas for diversity are available.
A random lottery is held due to the large number of applications.”

How does the Diversity Visa Program work?

The Diversity Visa Program is open to immigrants who were born in “low-admission” states, which are those that had fewer than 50 000 immigrants in the five previous years. State Department updates the list every year. Individuals may be eligible if either their parents or spouse are from a country that qualifies.

In order to qualify for a diversity visa, applicants must either have a high-school diploma or the equivalent or two years’ experience in a position that requires two years training.

Every year, there are 50,000 diversity visas available. The issuance of diversity Visas is further limited by per-country caps, similar to caps for employment- and family based visas. This means that no more than 7 percent can be granted to an individual from one country in a given year.

A random lottery is held to select dv lottery program application. After being selected, an applicant must undergo a thorough background check, provide proof of their education or work experience, attend an interview with an immigration officer, and generally be admissible according to immigration law. The lottery winners can request that their spouses or children join them.

If they fail to do so, they could lose eligibility.

Why did Congress create the Diversity Visa Program?

The Diversity Visa Program was created by Congress as part of Immigration Act 1990 to promote diversity and provide opportunities to immigrants from countries that are underrepresented.

The Immigration and Nationality Act 1965 laid the foundation for the modern system of immigration. It implemented a “preference” system to give priority to aspiring immigrants who already had family ties and job opportunities in the U.S. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 shaped the demographics of immigration for decades to come.

In the late 80s, Congress tried a diversity-based program to deal with perceived obstacles that immigrants from certain countries faced (primarily Ireland), as a result the 1965 Act. The Immigration Reform Control Act, passed in 1986, set aside 5,000 visas “for natives of foreign countries whose immigration to the United States has been adversely affected” by the 1965 Act. The policy was extended until 1990 and the cap of 15,000 visas was increased. Irish immigrants received approximately 40%.

Diversity Visa Program is in many ways the continuation of the policy. Like the previous preference system, it opened up the doors to immigrants from other regions of the world.

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