One of the numerous issues that is under discussion in regards to immigration reform is the future of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, sometimes also referred to as the green card lottery. A number of legislators who are trying to get the nation’s immigration system overhauled want to see it scrapped, but others see it as a vital element in that system.
For 18 years now, since 1995, 55,000 immigrants per year have been selected at random to be given US citizenship via a permanent resident visa or green card. The application process is free and is carried out online, making it as simple as possible to put in an application. The registration period for the 2015 green card lottery closed recently, but people are already starting to prepare to apply next year, presuming the program continues if immigration reform is achieved.
To be eligible for the green card lottery, immigrants must have either spent two years out of the last five working in a qualifying occupation or be in possession of the equivalent of a high school diploma. The US Department of Labor has an accessible online database that helps individuals to work out whether or not they fit the eligibility criteria.
By only permitting people to apply from countries that do not already have large numbers within the United States, the green card lottery has proven to be an effective method that ensures the US continues to have a very diverse cultural environment.