As the 24-hour deadline set in, the thirst for the American green card application could only be compared to Israelites in search for water in the Egyptian desert for 40 years.  And the fact that it is free made it more tantalizing.

It was apparent that some people have been waiting for this opportunity for years. It normally takes between a year and 12 years to get a green card approved.

Kenyans in the Diaspora and back home were in a last minute deadline to register for the open 2019 registration for the American green card popularly known as DMV lottery. Those who talked to tujipange.com complained that the cyber cafes were full and the website seems to have crashed.  A visit to the website however showed that it was working well and some people were able to pull through their last minute applications.

Application date ends 12:00PM EST (GMT -5) on November 6, 2018. This is 7pm Kenyan time tomorrow.

The results will be out in May 17, 2019 and have until September 30. 2019 to check their results. Entrant’s need their Confirmation Number, Last/Family Name, and Year of Birth to check the entrant status online on the link: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ESC/(S (5vc0znznun40spvoh4abgmcj))/CheckStatus.aspx

US President Donald Trump’s allegedly referral to Africa as a shithole country did not deter individuals from trying their luck to resettle in America. America still remains the land of dreams for many because of her insurmountable opportunities.  However the number of students applying to American universities has gone down by 50 per cent due to hostile policies targeting both documented and undocumented immigrants including those from African countries.

National Constitution Center Photo Credit: Tujipange African Media

Between numerous questions of queries on whether it was free or not, the link to the website, size of passport photographs, eligibility and if one could apply for children or relatives different Facebook  numerous groups and websites gave their two cent tips based on personal experience.

Unfortunately, despite a great demand for the green card, preference is normally given to people who are spouses or children of American citizens and highly qualified workers. The green card is a getaway to American citizenship, a status envied by many who are able to start anew economic, social and dream life abroad, as they support their families back home. American citizenship allows individuals to vote, access jobs, business, educational and travel opportunities mostly not available to green card holders and undocumented persons. It also graduates ones from status of an alien to a human being.

The registration application is fairly easy.  You only need to fill in basic info like biographical, contact and highest level of education.

Instructions on https://dvlottery.state.gov/(S(0kvjaursdlgkqpv0mw4s3v50))/default.aspx  clearly stated that one could be disqualified for applying more than once.

The specific page for application instructions on the link https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/diversity-visa-program-entry/diversity-visa-instructions.html.

Applicants were advised to apply on their own as the online application was free and easy, avoid scams from those asking to assist through a fee, avoid websites and emails of people posing as providers of US government information. The English language version of the DV-2020 Program Instructions is the only official version. Unofficial translations in additional languages will be added to this webpage as they become available.

The 2019 language translations include DV-2019 Translations (unofficial) include Hungarian/Magyar, Romanian/Romana, Turkish/Turkcee, Polish/Polshki, Bulgarian, Romanian, Cambodian, Tamil, Ukranian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Sinhala, Nepali and Uzbek.

Below are the mandatory qualifications from the website.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program requires the principal DV applicant to have a high school education, or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience as defined under provisions of U.S. law.

If you do not have either the required education or qualifying work experience, you are not qualified to be issued a diversity visa. (Only you, as the principal applicant, must meet this requirement. Your spouse and children do not have to meet this requirement.) You should not continue with your DV application if you do not meet the qualifying education or work experience requirements explained below. You will not be issued a visa, and any fees you pay will not be refunded.

View from Liberty Observation Deck, Philadelphia PA Photo Credit: Tujipange African Media

High School Education: A high school education means successful completion of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to completion of a 12-year course in the United States.

Work Experience: If you are qualifying with work experience, you must have two years of experience in the last five years, in an occupation which, by U.S. Department of Labor definitions, requires at least two years of training or experience that is designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating of 7.0 or higher. 

The U.S. Department of Labor provides information on job duties, knowledge and skills, education and training, and other occupational characteristics on their website http://www.onetonline.org/. The O*Net online database groups work experience into five “job zones.” While many occupations are listed, only certain specified occupations qualify for the Diversity Visa Program.

How To Find the Qualifying Occupations on the Department of Labor Website: Qualifying DV Occupations are shown on the Department of Labor ONet Online Database. Follow these steps, when you are in ONet Online to find out if your occupation qualifies:

  • Under “Find Occupations” select “Job Family” from the pull down;
  • Then Browse by “Job Family”. (For example, select Architecture and Engineering) and click “GO”;
  • Then click on the link for your specific occupation. (As an example, select Aerospace Engineers. At the bottom of this Summary Report for Aerospace Engineers, under the Job Zone section, you will find the designated Job Zone 4, SVP Range, 7.0 to < 8.0. This means using this example, Aerospace Engineering is a qualifying occupation.)

Again, you should not continue with your DV application if you do not meet the qualifying education or work experience requirements explained above.  You will not be issued a visa, and any fees you pay will not be refunded.

Other important questions included:

-Country where you were born – Use the name of the country currently used for the place where you were born.

– Country of eligibility for the DV program – Your country of eligibility will normally be the same as your country of birth. Your country of eligibility is not related to where you live or your nationality, if it is different from your country of birth. If you were born in a country that is not eligible, please review the Frequently Asked Questions to see if there is another way you may be eligible.

–  Entrant photograph(s) – Recent photographs (taken within the last six months) of yourself, your spouse, and all your children. See Submitting a Digital Photograph for compositional and technical specifications. You do not need to include a photograph for a spouse or child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, but you will not be penalized if you do. We cannot accept group photographs; you must submit a photograph for each individual. Your entry may be disqualified or your visa application refused if the photographs have been manipulated in any way, or do not meet the specifications explained below. Submitting the same photograph that was submitted with a prior year’s entry will result in disqualification. See Submitting a Digital Photograph for more information

Additional information from https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Diversity-Visa/DV-Instructions-Translations/DV-2019-Instructions-Translations/DV-2019-Instructions-English.pdf , USCIS.gov

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