Haitians and Jamaicans not eligible to apply for green cards

WASHINGTON, DC, United States, October 1, 2008 – Citizens of CARICOM nations Jamaica and Haiti have found themselves out of the running for the United States “green card lottery” that launched today because too many of their fellow nationals are already in America.

The United States Department of State launched its latest green card programme today – officially termed the 2010 Diversity Visa Lottery Program – which will close to applicants on December 1, 2008.

However, the government agency website stated that nationals of Jamaica and Haiti were ineligible to apply because they were two out of 20 countries from which more than 50,000 immigrants had moved to the United States over the last five years. Also included in this list is CARIFORUM neighbour the Dominican Republic, and developed nations Canada and the United Kingdom (not including Northern Ireland).

The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants.” A maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (more commonly known as “green cards) are issued each fiscal year to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

Choices are made by a computer-generated, random lottery drawing. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the past five years.

Within each region, no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year. (CaribWorldNews)