Cerebral Shangrila

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Green Card Lottery

The US Green Card represents the pinnacle of achievement, a culmination of academic & professional journey, for most middle class Indians. Countless sacrifices, immense dedication and perseverance have gone into fructifying the " Green Card" dream. Though my personal story with the US " Green Card" is one of " Sour grapes", I am always fascinated by the US Green Card system which in my opinion has been the most aspired symbol for immigrants and a tremendous source of strength for the American Economy.

On a lighter vein, I was browsing the web today and found myself in a pop-up window that promised me an entry in the " Green Card" Lottery. Having not even won a " Sikkim / Bhutan Lottery" ( Though I did win a miraculous Singapore Lottery - that is a story for a later date) and with curiosity getting the better of me, I decided to google on the US Green Card Lottery. What I found was fascinating.

The good news - the US Green Card Lottery is TRUE. The US Govt calls it " Diversity Immigrant Visa" and awards 50,000 of these every year to countries with historically low immigration rate to the US.

The bad news - Indians are ineligible for this program since India sends more than 50,000 people in other immigrant visa categories ( For the record, we have been ineligible since the first year - 1995 !).

For all those who criticize the US on its immigration policy, be informed that the US continues to be a torch bearer of building a diverse immigrant population.

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