LOUISVILLE, Kentucky. After a devastating terror attack in New York, Donald Trump called to put an end to the diversity visa lottery program. According to U.S. News & World Report, Trump used the terror attack to promote his desire to shift U.S. immigration to a more merit-based system.

Yet, what is the diversity visa? The New York Times notes that the diversity visa program has been under debate in Congress for years. According to NPR, the diversity visa lottery program targets immigrants from countries where immigration to the U.S. is low. In order to qualify for the program, potential immigrants are required to submit birth certificates, reference letters, marriage records, financial statements, English test results, and criminal record results. Individuals applying for the program may also have to undergo an extensive interview.

Critics of the program claim that people who win the lottery take the place of those whom family wish to sponsor for other countries. One Cornell Law professor complained that his own family members would have to wait as long as twenty years to get a visa, while a lottery winner could come to the country in just 2 years

Citizens of Nepal, Egypt, and Iran are listed among the lottery’s main beneficiary countries. One man from Nigeria wrote to the Times, explaining how winning the visa lottery changed his life.

Supporters of the visa lottery program claim that they would not have been able to make it to America without it. The program was initially designed to help Irish immigrants enter the country. In the 90s, the program was expanded to include other countries.

Individuals who have gone through the visa vetting process claim that it is extensive. Individuals report that they had to supply addresses of places they lived for the last ten years, tax returns, pay stubs, copies of diplomas, and other information. Individuals also had to undergo medical exams and interviews in which the information they provided in forms was cross-examined.

While many people who have come to the U.S. under the program support it, some do agree that changes could make the program better. Some individuals believe that aspects of the process should be merit-based.

The debate about the program is likely to continue for some time. As it stands, it remains an option for certain individuals. If you or a loved one is considering immigrating to the U.S., it may be wise to speak to a qualified immigration lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky, like the O’Brien Law Group. Our firm can review all of your immigration options. The diversity visa program is a lottery, meaning that people may have to reapply for many years before they win the lottery. In some cases, other paths toward a green card may be more efficient.

If you or a loved one is applying for a green card in Louisville, Kentucky, visit the O’Brien Law Group today to learn more. Our green card lawyer can review your case and help you understand your options.

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