Diversity Visa Lottery or Green Card lottery was introduced through the Immigration Act of 1990 to promote cultural diversity in the US. This program gives a chance to 50,000 applicants each year to apply for a US green card. The program is targeted towards attracting immigrants from countries that are the most underrepresented in the US.
However, currently, the program is facing severe opposition from Trump’s administration. The president claimed the program as a “horror show” because countries put in “some very bad people.” The covid-19 pandemic gave Trump a chance to suspend the program for 2020 winners who were planning to start their new lives in the US. On 4th September 2020, the US District Court dismissed Trump’s decision to revoke the program and ordered the embassies to provide emergency visa appointments to Diversity Visa Lottery applicants. Still, the situation remains critical for the Diversity Visa Lottery as Trump vows to end the program altogether. But Joe Biden promises in his election agenda to preserve the
“critical role of diversity preferences to ensure immigrants everywhere have the chance to become US citizens legally.”
These are testing times for immigration applicants, mainly due to covid-19 and the shift of political power from the Republicans to the Democratic party. Attorney Eric Price specializes in dealing with all immigration-related queries and problems. Contact him on email@example.com or 855-662-2772 to inquire about the recent developments in the Diversity Visa Lottery and seek help in your visa application.
What is the Diversity Visa Lottery?
Diversity Visa Lottery or the Green Card lottery was introduced through the Immigration Act of 1990 to promote cultural diversity in the US by giving a chance to 50,000 applicants each year to apply for a US green card. The program aims to attract immigrants from countries that are the most underrepresented in the US.
In this program, among all the applicants of the Diversity Visa Lottery, 50,000 participants are chosen at random by a lucky draw and are given a chance to apply for a green card in the US. There is no rigging in this program as all the applicants are selected randomly by a computer. This program’s winners are not guaranteed a green card, but they get a chance to apply for it.
Only the nationals of selected countries are allowed to register for this program. However, there can be some exceptions. For example, the applicants can apply on the basis of their spouse’s birth country if it is one of the selected countries. Or they can apply on the basis of their parents’ birth country if neither of them are legal residents in your own country of birth. The applicants for this visa must also fulfill the educational requirements of the program. The Diversity Visa Program applicants must hold a high school degree or two years of experience in their desired field during the last five years. However, the chosen field must require at least two years of training to be eligible.
This program is significant in promoting cultural diversity in the US as most US immigrants belong from a handful of countries like the Philippines, China, and Mexico. In contrast, many other countries in the world remain underrepresented. This program provides people from these underrepresented countries a chance to become legal citizens of the US.
How Trump’s Administration Has Handled the Diversity Visa Lottery?
Just like all other immigration policies, Trump’s administration opposed the Diversity Visa Lottery program. In 2018, he expressed his intention of ending the Diversity Visa Lottery program altogether. He stated that this program was a “disaster for our country” and that it grants visas not on the basis of merit but only on the basis of a lottery. The arguments he presented for this action were that the program only required its applicants to have a high school degree, which does not guarantee that the winners will positively contribute to the country’s economy. He also argued that this program puts national security in danger by admitting immigrants from states that sponsor terrorism. Despite his best efforts, the Session Court reverted his attempt to prevent 2020 winners from receiving their visas.
Although Trump’s efforts to eliminate the program failed, he was successful in introducing some restrictions. In his Presidential Proclamation 9645, Trump ordered to restrict the nationals of Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela, Syria, North Korea, Libya, Iran, and Chad from applying for the US Diversity Visa Program. Later, he added Sudan, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan, Eritrea, and Burma to this list in his Presidential Proclamation 9983.
Trump introduced the latest restriction to Diversity Visa Lottery amid the covid-19 pandemic. In his Presidential Proclamation 10014, he banned the entry of all Diversity Visa Lottery winners in the US who had not yet received an immigration visa by 23rd April 2020. As all diversity visa winners were supposed to receive their immigrant visas by 30th September, most of the 2020 diversity lottery winners were not allowed to enter the US. However, this proclamation was reversed by the famous Gomez v. Trump legal ruling that ordered the US government to continue issuing visas to diversity lottery winners as a goodwill effort.
Joe Biden’s Plan for Reaffirming the Diversity Visa Lottery
Joe Biden has made it exceptionally clear that he will support the Diversity Visa Lottery program during his tenure as the US President. He believes that the Diversity Visa Lottery program is critical to ensure a vibrant and robust immigration system of the US, and he intends to preserve this system. He also promised in his election agenda to safeguard the “critical role of diversity preferences to ensure immigrants everywhere have the chance to legally become US citizens.”
The steps he will take to reaffirm the Diversity Visa Lottery are not clear yet. Still, the chances are that he will revoke or make changes to the Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 to allow the nationals from the banned countries to apply for the Diversity Visa Lottery. Moreover, he promised to undo the travel and immigration ban on Muslim countries, including countries like Iran, Syria, and Yemen, the ones banned from applying for the Diversity Visa Lottery. So, there is a high chance that Biden will revert the changes made by the Presidential Proclamations 9983 and 9645.
Moreover, the chances are that the new government might add a strict education requirement for Diversity Visa Lottery applicants to ensure that they can financially support themselves. The government can also introduce a rigorous background check for the lottery winners to ensure US national security. Despite these strict regulations, the Diversity Visa Lottery Program will likely flourish during the four-year presidential tenure of Joe Biden.
What Effect Will Biden’s Plan Have?
Joe Biden’s plan for reforming the Diversity Visa Lottery program is bound to reap positive effects on the program. Many nationals from selected countries have applied year after year for the Diversity Visa Lottery program but never got selected. Biden’s presidency will bring good news to such applicants. The nationals from the countries banned during President Donald Trump’s tenure will be most likely allowed again to apply for the Diversity Visa Lottery Program once Joe Biden revokes these unnecessary restrictions.
Moreover, Joe Biden’s presidency will bring stability to the program. Trump’s administration established stringent measures for the winners of this lottery that are bound to change if and when Biden introduces his immigration reforms. The process is bound to become fairer for the applicants of this program during and after Biden’s tenure.
The speculations of introducing a new education benchmark and background check policy will ensure that the winners of this lottery are suitable enough to become US citizens. This reform will strengthen the US economy as well as ensure the US national security. Overall, Biden’s reforms will bring a positive change to the Diversity Visa Lottery program.
What Are the Next Steps?
The next step towards reforming the Diversity Visa Lottery Program would be Joe Biden taking his presidential auth in January 2020. He aims to work closely with Congress to introduce reforms in the Diversity Visa Lottery program. The instability brought by Trump to the program is bound to change under Biden’s leadership. The 2020 lottery winners will be awarded their promised immigration visas and green card under Biden’s leadership. This action will most likely be one of Biden’s first steps after being sworn as the next US president. Nationals of the selected countries must be confident when applying for the 2021 Diversity Visa Lottery program. They will not face the same fate as that of the 2020 diversity visa winners.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
Applying for the Diversity Visa Lottery program is a cumbersome, challenging, and intimidating process. Applicants in and outside the US will need professional help for their visa application process. Contact Attorney Eric Price today to seek all the professional help you need at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-662-2772.