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Returning hope to diversity visa lottery winners

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2021 | immigration |

Each year, thousands of foreign citizens from around the globe apply for a prized U.S. visa through the government’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program). Many winners relocate to California. The idea of the DV Program is to give internationals from countries typically underrepresented in legal migration to the U.S. a chance to immigrate here. Their bids for these coveted visas give them a chance for better futures by becoming U.S. citizens with all the rights of entitlement to live and work here freely. Most applicants will not be chosen, but a U.S. State Department’s computer will randomly choose 55,000 lucky internationals.

The setbacks

Under the previous presidential administration, immigration efforts on many fronts ceased. Coupled with a worldwide pandemic travel ban, the border was closed, and diversity visa winners waited in vain as their lottery tickets were canceled. Some individuals had plane tickets. Some people sold properties in anticipation of leaving their native countries, and some winners quit their jobs. However, years later, those winning visas have not yet been reactivated.

There is hope

However, the current administration is working on these matters, and the promise of living in the U.S. for the previous winners may still be a possibility. Under the Build Back Better reconciliation bill, leaders in the House Judiciary are working on restoring these diversity visas to those who had won them in the lottery. If they are successful in getting the legislation passed, those winners could receive their long-awaited opportunity to take advantage of their win.

The saga of these internationals is in limbo right now, but the administration of the current president understands that an injustice has occurred. Aside from this, the U.S. economy is dependent upon skilled labor from international citizens. So while the gift of a U.S. visa through this program is charitable, these visa winners’ presence in the U.S. is not charity. They come here to work and become productive members of society.