State Department Opens Visa Program

October 26, 2014 – In The News
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Catherine Wadhwani was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, “State Department Opens Visa Program.”Full text can be found in the October 26, 2014, article, but a synopsis is below.

The Diversity Visa Program focuses on providing opportunities to people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States to seek permanent residence status.The 2016 lottery, which is now open for applications, has 50,000 diversity visas available.

“Immigration is always under fire, and we can’t predict whether the program will continue, in spite of it only providing 50,000 visas per year,” said Catherine Wadhwani.“There is great potential to exposing our country to cultural diversity, to the talents of other cultures we may not be familiar with.”

China, Brazil and Mexico have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years and will not be included in the Diversity Visa Program due to their high immigration rates.Immigrants from those countries are still able to apply for green cards through regular channels, Wadhwani noted.

Wadhwani explained that if an applicant is chosen, they must still go through the regular green card process. Every year the State Department picks more lottery winners than green cards, so not everyone selected is guaranteed one, Wadhwani noted.

While it may be appropriate for applicants to retain an attorney if they have questions about the process, promises to help speed up the visa application are not true.“No one is in a position to increase the chances of being selected one the application has been submitted,” she said.

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