Despite making the 7th largest immigrant population in the US, why is Pakistan not eligible for ‘lottery visa system’?

Enrollment into the Diversity Visa Lottery program is open to all individuals worldwide.

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After holding the seventh-largest immigrant population in the United States (U.S.), Pakistanis have been dropped out of the diversity visa eligibility criteria.

For those of you who do not know what a diversity visa is, it is a particular immigration lottery from the United States that allows families from countries with low immigration rates into the U.S. to qualify for the move. Over the past few years, the immigration lottery has helped many Pakistani families move to the U.S., resulting in nearly 700,000 to 1 million Pakistanis immigrants in the U.S.

Who qualifies to enter the American Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery?

Enrollment into the Diversity Visa Lottery program is open to all individuals worldwide. However, to be eligible to enter the USA DV-Lottery, there are two entry requirements that you must meet:

  1. You must be a native of a qualifying country

To enter the Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery, you must be a native of a country with a low immigration rate to the USA to qualify for the USA Diversity Visa Lottery. People born in countries with high U.S. immigration are excluded from this Diversity Visa Lottery.

The eligibility is determined only by your birth country, not based on country of citizenship or current residence. Below is a list of the states whose natives are currently excluded from the USA Diversity Visa Lottery program this year:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China (Including Hong Kong SAR)
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland)
  • Vietnam

  1. You need to have an education or work experience that meets the American DV Lottery criteria.

To enter the USA Diversity Visa Lottery, you need to meet one of the following two requirements to qualify:

Option 1:

To qualify for the Diversity Visa Lottery, you must have completed a U.S. high school education or a foreign equivalent of U.S. high school education. In the U.S., High School education or its equivalent means the successful completion of a twelve-year course of elementary and secondary education.

In another country, a formal elementary and secondary education is comparable to a complete 12-year education. A high school equivalency examination is not sufficient in the U.S. Passage. It is permissible to have completed one’s education in less than twelve years or more than twelve years if the course of study conducted is equivalent to a U.S. high school education.

Option 2:

To qualify for the USA Diversity Visa lottery, you must have worked in one of the following occupations for at least two years within the last five years:

Why are Pakistanis not eligible for a U.S. diversity visa?

Pakistanis are not eligible for this immigration lottery because Pakistan has become a country with high U.S. immigration in the past 10-15 years.

U.S. consulate in Karachi’s spokesperson Brian Asmus said:

Pakistan only had 104,000 immigrants in the ten years between 2005 and 2014. The percentage of Pakistani citizens getting visas has increased by 20% between 2014 and 2015, and another 20% between 2015 and 2016.

However, many other non-immigrant options are open for Pakistanis, such as student visas, petitions, visits, and exchange program visas.

U.S. consulate’s Non-Immigrant Visa chief Mary Pellegrini explained:

People who have their immediate family in the U.S. can always apply for an immigrant visa. It may take around a year for the spouse and children, two years for parents and siblings – the time can vary up to a decade.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.


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