Nigerian citizens have been disqualified from participating in the United States 2015 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2015) otherwise know as US visa lottery.
According to a statement by the US Department of State, Nigerians would no longer be eligible to apply for the programme as over 50,000 citizens had emigrated to the US under the visa lottery scheme in the last five years.
The US government statement reads in part: “The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered annually by the Department of State. Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants,” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For fiscal year 2015, 50,000 diversity visas (DVs) will be available.
“For DV-2015, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
“Changes in eligibility this year: For DV-2015, natives of Nigeria are no longer eligible.
However, since entries are based on country of birth, Nigerians born in eligible countries can still apply.
The move is certain to come as a big blow to thousands of Nigerian who try to enter the US legally or illegally based on family ties and desire to escape joblessness and economic hardships at home.
The department listed other countries not eligible as Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador and Haiti.
Others are India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
However, many African countries would continue to enjoy the programme.
Some of them are Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia and Ghana.
Others are Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles and Sierra Leone.
Entries for the DV-2015 open on October 1 and close on November 2.