Blessing Amaechi Written by Blessing Amaechi · 1 min read >

To an average Nigerian, America is a land of dreams. A land of great potential, where people can achieve their ambitions and live their dreams. Therefore, people go through a lot trying to secure an American visa both legitimately and sometimes illegitimately. One of the ways Nigerian have gone to America legitimately is through the American visa lottery.

The American visa lottery, also known as the green card lottery or diversity immigration visa program was started by the US government in 1988. Since then, the US government awards a total of 50,000 visas to nationals of countries with low rates of immigration to the US. The countries eligible for this diversity visa include ones that have less than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the past 5 years. The two main requirements for the lottery eligibility are country of birth and education qualification of at least a high school degree or at least two years of work experience within the past five years. This lottery is normally administered by the department of state to increase the diversity of the immigrants coming to live in the US. The lucky winners are granted visas to live permanently in the U.S.

Nigerians over the years have been one of the highest applicants for the DV lottery. According to the U.S Department of Homeland Security, Nigeria accounted for nearly a third of applicants between 2013 and 2015. However, beginning in 2015, Nigerian applicants were barred from participating in the DV lottery programme because of the number of Nigerian nationals with green cards. Since then, Nigerian citizens have been unable to participate because more than 50,000 of its citizens immigrated to the United States in the previous five years.

There are several reasons why Nigerians want to migrate to America. They include but are not limited to; the desire to pursue better education, insecurity, work, and carrier opportunities, better remunerations, and a better standard of living. They believed in the American dream which according to the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “the idea that every citizen of the United States should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.” They believe that immigrating to America and obtaining permanent residence/citizenship opens the door to greater tomorrow.

Today, due to the economic hardship, level of unemployment/underemployment, insecurity, and corrupt nature of our Nigerian government, citizens are ever looking for means of migrating not only to America but to other countries for greener pastures. We are losing good brains on daily basis to other countries. Our young men and woman, old and young, none is left in isolation by this push to immigrate.

Our country Nigeria is in dire need of good governance and good people in government. If we want to reverse this trend of brain drain in our dear country, we need to have a competent government in control, competent in all ramifications. Therefore, as we approach another election period, let’s all get our PVC, and hopefully, God willing, see what our next leaders will be.

If not, me too, I wan Japa. Laughs!


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