Green card application offers an ordinary person the chance of permanently relocating to the US. Even so, only 55,000 people worldwide who applied for a green card in 2022 will be allowed into the US. Millions of other applicants unfortunately will have to contend with remaining in their countries or seek alternative ways of relocating to America.
The registration period for the DV-2024 Program popularly known as the green card lottery began on October 5, 2022, and concluded on November 8, 2022.
The United States Department of State publishes all information about green cards, no information has been released yet about the number of applicants even though Lang'ata Member of Parliament (MP) Felix Odiwour alias Jalang'o recently caused a storm claiming that 30 million Kenyans had applied for the DV-2024 Program.
Even though millions of people worldwide apply for a green card, only approximately 100,000 people worldwide are drawn annually.
From the 100,000, the US authorities then expect about 55,000 qualified applicants.
The Diversity Lottery Program makes available up to 55,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
Those who applied for a green card in 2022 will know if their application was successful or not in May 2023.
DV-2024 applicants (those who applied for a green card in 2022) are required to retain their confirmation number after applying to check their entry status between May 6, 2023, and September 30, 2024, to determine whether their entry was selected for further processing in the 2024 Diversity Visa Program.
Entering US after failed green card application
Applying for a green card is not the only path to entering the US for those with dreams of relocating to the world's biggest economy.
Below are some of the most common paths to entering the US legally and possibly obtaining permanent residency and eventually citizenship.
If you have a kin or a friend in the US then you stand a big chance of successfully relocating there and even securing citizenship in future.
The largest group to enter America by far comes by way of family-based immigration. US citizens and legal residents can bring foreign spouses or fiances, as well as unmarried children. They may also sponsor siblings 21 or older and even parents.
US employers can sponsor foreign workers with specialized skills if they can't find qualified candidates in the U.S.
There are several types of work visas. Some are for a specific period of time, after which the foreign worker must return to his or her country of origin or longer-term visas.
H1B visas are common in Silicon Valley (where several tech startups like Facebook, Twitter etc were founded) where there is high demand for engineers and computer science experts.
There are two types of student visas - F and M.
An F visa allows foreigners to pursue academic studies or language training programs in the US.
An M visa is for non-academic programs or vocational studies.
However, it should be noted that people with student visas face certain limitations if they wish to stay permanently in the U.S.
You can also buy your way into the US if you have the money.
Foreign entrepreneurs who invest at least $500,000/Ksh60,925,000 in a business and create at least five full-time jobs are eligible for an immigrant investor visa.
Foreigners may also show up at a US port of entry and seek asylum if they can prove they have been or could be persecuted in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, participation in a certain social group or because of their political opinions.
Anyone who seeks the same protections from outside the US is considered a refugee. Anyone who is illegally in the US (say after your visa has expired) can also seek asylum protection.