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Lottery open for those who hope to be a green card holder

Some 50,000 visas are awarded through a lottery program held by the U.S. State Department every year. Those lucky few who are selected at random then have the opportunity to complete the process to become a green card holder. North Carolina may be home to many who came here through this process.

There are restrictions as to who may apply to enter the lottery, as well as requirements for those who win. No one from a list of 19 banned countries may enter the drawing, and any applicant from a country suspected of sponsoring terrorists may be subject to increased scrutiny. Additionally, those who apply are required to pay all fees and expenses as well as prove that they will be capable of supporting themselves once they enter the United States.

There are other ways of obtaining a visa besides entering the lottery program. Those with  family members here who are U.S. citizens may apply, as may those who have an employment opportunity waiting for them. Furthermore, those seeking asylum and protection may also request relief. Once a person has obtained a green card, they may then request that their spouse and children receive them.

The current lottery program was instituted in 1990 in an effort to extend residents of some other countries an opportunity to apply for the coveted documents. Those who do win are still required to meet with State Department officials to complete the application in order to become an official green card holder. North Carolina residents who are interested in assisting family members in their own immigration efforts may seek information regarding the process from knowledgeable resources located in the state.

Source: voanews.com, "US 'Green Card' Lottery Registration Begins", Christopher Cruise, Oct. 1, 2014

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