Myth vs. fact: The Diversity “Lottery” Visa

Source: Niskanen Center
by Fenja Tramsen

“In preparation for the 2024 elections, hopeful GOP candidates are busy fine-tuning and promoting their immigration policy strategies. While there are some differences in each candidate’s immigration approach, eliminating lottery-based routes for legal immigration — including the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program — is nearly unanimous. Also known as the ‘Green Card Lottery,’ the DV program was initially designed to increase legal immigration from Ireland without granting the Irish special treatment. … Now, most visas go to applicants from Morocco, Kenya, Nepal, and Poland, which have relatively small immigrant populations in the U.S. Over 11 million people submit a DV application annually. Still, the DV accounts for just 4 to 5 percent of legal immigration to the U.S. One underlying misunderstanding fueling criticism of the DV is that merit-based systems would bring more skilled migrants than the DV and that the U.S. should prioritize these kinds of legal immigration programs.” (09/13/23)