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Cameroon and Liberia lead selectees for last year’s green card lottery

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Africa once again had the highest numbers of winners for the calendar year 2013 green card lottery (“DV-2015”) with 57,635. This represents a whopping 47% of the overall numbers. Cameroon and Liberia tied for the greatest numbers of winners each at 5,000. In all, 182 countries were eligible for the lottery.

The remaining top 20 countries in order of the greatest numbers of selectees were Iran (4,992), Nepal (4,991), Egypt (4,988), Ethiopia (4,988), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (4,943), Ukraine (4,679), Uzbekistan (4,368), Russia (4,103), Turkey (3,688), Kenya (3,534), Sudan (3,484), Ghana (3,381), Algeria (3,076), Albania (2,946), Morocco (2,844), Moldova (2,809), Guinea (2,314), Sierra Leone (2,182), and Cambodia (2,079).

The European region came in second with exactly 40,000 selectees. Ukraine led Europe, followed by Uzbekistan and Russia. Asia; South America, Central America, and the Caribbean (which are lumped together in the Diversity Visa Program); and Oceania (the Pacific region) came in last with 18,605, 3,999, and 3,499 winners respectively. In North America, only the Bahamas is represented. The Bahamas had 14 winners.

Venezuela led the entire South and Central American region with 1,556 winners followed by Cuba with 1,480.

This year there were no winners from six countries: Brunei, Luxembourg, North Korea, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, and Vatican City. Countries that admitted over 50,000 people to the United States in the last 5 years were ineligible for the 2013 lottery. This included the following countries (and islands): Anguilla, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (Mainland Born), Columbia, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn, South Korea, St. Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland), and Vietnam.

Applicants eagerly await the opening of the 2014 lottery in October. Unfortunately, the very survival of the annual Diversity Visa Program may depend on immigration reform failing to pass. This is because the entire program was eviscerated in Senate Bill S.744 as part of the proposed immigration reform package.

The good news is if the law does finally pass, it may not go into effect until January 2017. If so, the green card lottery might be good for the next 3 years.

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