The odds of winning the jackpot in the Powerball lottery are 1 in 292 million. The odds of winning the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program – also known as the visa lottery – are better, though the numbers can still be daunting.
Big numbers mean long odds
The U.S. Department of State recently said there were 7,336,302 diversity visa entries (with their family members, it adds up to 13,191,296) registered for the 2022 lottery, which makes available 55,000 green cards (permanent resident visas) annually.
Winners were chosen by a random drawing divided among a half-dozen geographical regions.
Officials said that because it’s likely that some of the 55,000 winners won’t complete the visa process, there are additional foreign nationals selected, bringing the total to 119,021.
Note: permanent resident visas (green cards) allow foreign nationals to legally live and work in the United States permanently.
These nations did best
Here are the countries and the number of qualified applicants from each that benefited most from the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program:
- Egypt: 6,005
- Sudan: 6,001
- Russia: 6,001
- Algeria: 6,001
- Uzbekistan: 6,001
- Iran: 5,739
- Ukraine: 4,949
- Morocco: 4,138
- Nepal: 3,802
- Congo Democratic Republic: 3,347
Natives of Venezuela (1,800) and Cuba (975) benefited most In the Americas region.
The following is a list of countries that do NOT qualify for the visa lottery during the 2022 diversity visa cycle. It is important to note that this list changes for every year’s diversity visa cycle.
- Africa: Nigeria
- Asia: Bangladesh, China (including Hong Kong), India, Pakistan, South Korea, Philippines, and Vietnam
- Europe: Great Britain (United Kingdom). Great Britain (United Kingdom) includes the following dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
- North America: Canada and Mexico
- Central & South America: Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Jamaica.
Winners should act quickly
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said that those selected in the 2022 lottery can apply for an immigrant visa from Oct. 1 of this year through Sept. 30 of next year. Those selected are urged to act quickly and to bring to the visa interview proof of a high school education (or the equivalent) or proof that you have worked at least two years within the past five years.
Officials said registration for the 2023 edition of the visa lottery will begin soon.
As you can see, only a few intending immigrants to the U.S. enjoy good fortune in the visa lottery. Other intending immigrants rely on legal assistance to help them successfully navigate a complicated immigration system. We urge you to seek professional legal help when navigating the complex world of US immigration. Schedule a consultation with our office today.