With the United States 2010 Diversity Visa Lottery (DV-2010) underway, it's time to take a look at last year's selected applicants.
Every year, the United States Department of State hands out 55,000 permanent residence visas through a random lottery system to citizens of countries with low rates of immigration to America. Also known as the Green Card Lottery, the Diversity Visa program gives people from all over the globe a chance to contribute to the ethnic and cultural diversity of the world's largest melting pot.
Over 9.1 million qualified entries were received by the US Department of State during the DV-2009 submission period (12pm 03 October 2007 until 12pm 02 December 2007).
While the number of immigrant visas available under the Green Card Lottery is limited to 55,000, it is expected that many poeple will not act on their selection under the lottery. Therefore, over 99,000 qualified applicants were selected to apply for an immigrant visa with the expectation that the US Department of State will be able to utilize all of the 55,000 visas from this pool.
Africa, with 53,439 (53 percent), was by far the continent with the largest number of selected applicants. 28 percent of selected applicants (27,875) came from Europe (including Eastern Europe and former Soviet nations). Asia accounted for 14 percent (14,014). North and South America yeilded a total of 1930 selected applicants, with 40 percent of these (772) applying from countries and territories in the Caribbean. Oceania (including New Zealand, Australia, and Pacific Island nations) had 1,803 selected applicants.
The top country of origin for people selected under the DV-2009 drawing to apply for immigrant visas was Ghana (7322). It was followed by Nigeria (6041), Bangladesh (6023), Ukraine (5502), and Ethiopia (5200).
Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Greenland, Nauru, Vanuatu, and Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the smallest countries to have DV-2009 Lottery selectees, at one each.
Currently, the DV-2010 Lottery is underway. Applications for this year's Green Card Lottery may be submitted until the deadline on 01 December 2008.
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