US embassy opens free visa lottery
The US Consul in Yemen, Stephanie Bunce, said on Tuesday that people of Yemeni nationality can apply until November 5th for the 2013 Diversity Visa lottery. Since Yemen is among countries with low immigration rates to the US, Yemenis have the opportunity to apply.
“Some countries have high rates of immigration; last year, Bangladesh wasn't able to take part in this program because a lot of people immigrated in the last five years,” Bunce said.
Despite the current crises facing many Yemeni citizens, no special allowances for participation in the lottery are being made. Bunce recommended that applicants apply before the deadline, because “everybody in the world tries to apply and computers slow down a bit”.
The DV program represents the only free way to emigrate to the United States legally with one’s family. Once the application is complete, each applicant will receive a confirmation number which should be held onto until May 1st, 2012.
The application has been completely internet-based since 2005 “to cut down on fraud,” according to Bunce, adding that the internet is the only effective way to communicate with people.
“You have to keep the confirmation number and not show it to anyone. In May, you can check to see if you were selected,” she said.
She said that the diversity visa lottery is free, but that immigration fees should be paid at the embassy once the applicant is confirmed as successful. The immigration visa for Yemenis who want to emigrate to the US is USD 890.
The first DV program was started in 1995. In last year's lottery, nearly 100,000 people were selected in the lottery out of 15,000,000 qualified applications submitted worldwide. Only 50,000 were granted visas to the US. Of those, just 149 Yemenis were selected.
The lottery requires specific conditions such as a high school certificate or two years' work experience, completed within the last five years.