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15,000 Cameroonians In US On DV Lottery Tickets- Consul 

The Vice Consul of the United States Embassy in Cameroon, Connor O’Steen has revealed that approximately 15,000 Cameroonians are residing in the US on the ticket of the American Diversity Visa, DV, Programme. The diplomat, who spoke to The Post in an exclusive interview to announce the launch of this year’s edition, added that over 1,300 applicants were processed last year for the award of the programme. The DV lottery, which is administered on annual basis, enables Cameroonians to be offered a permanent resident card for the US. Read on

What is the American Diversity Visa Lottery?

It is a United States congressionally mandated lottery programme for receiving a permanent resident card administered on an annual basis. This programme makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to natives of countries deemed to have low rates of immigrants to the United States, of which Cameroon is one of the qualified countries for the programme. As a result, countries with high immigration rates into the US like China, Japan and some other nations do not qualify for this programme. For this year, the programme runs from October 1 to November 2. All interested candidates are expected to make all their entries within this time frame.

Who initiated this programme?

The Diversity Visa programme was enacted by the US Immigration Law of 1990; however, it did not begin operationally until 1995. That was the first year in which the programme began and it’s now 20 years old. The initiative was the result of the coming together of Senators in congress, who intended to address the situation of immigrants from less developed countries with a low immigration rate into the US.

What are the conditions of eligibility?

You must be 18 years or older and must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or have two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring training or experience. A high school education or its equivalent is considered as the successful completion of a formal course of elementary and secondary education in a country, which is comparable to high school education in the United States. Candidates should also note that the laws allow only for one entry per person during the registering period. Entrants who submit more than one entry will be disqualified.

Why does the US Government enable citizens of other countries, especially those in developing countries, to travel and live in the US?

This programme is actually a win-win programme with both parties actually gaining from the platform. This is because, once in US, you can get a job and when you get that job, you, in turn, pay taxes to the US Government. You can also afford to send money back home to your family members, which is beneficial for you. In addition, you contribute to the foreign direct investment of your country through the setting up of businesses, while also increasing the importation and exportation scale. Furthermore, the US enables other citizens to come into its country because of her strength for diversity and the bringing together of different cultures and customs. The US is able to boast of a rich cultural diversity due to this programme, which she still uses to continue to promote culture in diversity.

There is usually a scramble for this programme, how many places are you offering this year?

Actually, allocation is done at Regional levels. For this year, there are 50,000 visas reserved for the African Region. The computer randomly selects successful candidates for the programme.

How many Cameroonians are actually living in the US because of this programme?

Approximately 15,000 Cameroonians have gone to the United States on the ticket of the diversity visa programme. Last year, we processed about 1,300 applicants.
What is the calibre of people that usually rush for this programme?
In recent years, we have witnessed the active population, especially students, applying for this programme. The students are most interested because of the desire to either renew or continue their studies in the US. However, the older and aging populations do apply and are indiscriminately selected and offered the permanent resident visa card.

What are the forecasts of this year’s edition?

We are doing our best possible to cut down fraud. Entrants need to be careful with the internet websites that advertise services for assistance with submission of the DV programme entries. Additionally, there are visa facilitators, visa agents or coordinators that offer assistance with this DV process. You need to be careful with such persons, because, there is no cost to submit an entry through the official website.

To curb the situation, a unique confirmation number will be issued to entrants upon completion of the application process. This number, unlike the previous years, does not need to be printed out. Candidates should ensure that they receive and retain the unique confirmation number contained in the conformation page at the end of the entry process. Individuals are advised to pass and report cases of attempted scam to the nearest US Embassy or Consulate, given that the department has dedicated units that work with internet providers to try to address these situation.

Interviewed By Eulalia Amabo Nchang

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