Friday, June 14, 2019

The New Diversity Visa Restrictions


Hillary Marston for Immigration Impact looks at recent restrictions on diversity immigrant visas, a visa category that which President Trump has specifically criticized.

Last week, the U.S. State Department announced a new rule that changes the Diversity Visa Program, a lottery system that grants 50,000 foreign nationals the opportunity to apply for an immigrant visa number. Applicants must come from an underrepresented country that has low rates of immigration to the United States. The lucky ones, after applying for an immigrant visa abroad or to adjust their status in the United States, get the chance to become a lawful permanent resident.

The new rule adds hurdles for noncitizens who seek to enter the lottery. Previously, lottery applicants submitted an online form to the State Department. The new rule—effective June 5—generally requires applicants to have a current, unexpired passport. The rule also automatically disqualifies entries that do not accurately include all required information or documents, including the digital image or photo requirements. This would effectively invalidate any entry that contains inadvertent errors.


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