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Some stuff you probably care about

Living in the United States permanently takes would-be residents to an annual green card lottery where they would inevitably need a green card photo to finish the process. The lottery, also known more formally as the Diversity Immigrant Program, aims to diversify the population of immigrants trying to live in the United States for good. As the name suggests, the program provides Diversity Visas or green cards to those who win the lottery, randomizing the ethnic and cultural makeup of the immigrants.

History of the Diversity Immigrant Program The program was initially run on a “first come, first served” basis. This program became known as N-5 and it was run from 1987 to 1989 and only included a limited number of visas for citizenship hopefuls. It wasn’t until 1989 that the first completely random program, the OP-1, was instituted, and then only for natives of countries which have a low incidence of ethnicity in the United States.

The next set of visa programs were run for those countries whose citizens have been adversely affected by previous immigration laws. These visas were named for the members of Congress that passed the law; Donnelly, Berman, and Morrison. These were intentionally run to benefit the citizens of Ireland and Northern Ireland, whose residents were locked in a conflict with their people.

Later iterations of the program were more or less aimed at the general diversification of the incoming migrant population. There were hiccups along the way, with terrorist attacks on US soil impeding the processing of green cards for migrants coming in from Arab and Muslim countries. The most recent impediment is the proposal of Pres. Donald Trump to cancel the Diversity Visa Program in response to a migrant who had a diversity visa from 2010, killing eight people and seriously injuring eleven others when he drove down a bicycle lane in his truck. The “attack” was attributed to the insufficient vetting of diversity visa recipients and applicants, something that was refuted by organizations that check political claims.

How can Immigration applicants secure a diversity Visa?

There are a lot of ways to become a United States citizen for people who want to. The most common way is to have a relative, especially immediate family, who holds a green card. You can be the spouse of a US citizen, the parent of a US citizen who is more than 21 years old, or the offspring of a US citizen but must be below 21 years of age and unmarried. There are even cases of green card holders who were fiances, married offspring, an abused spouse, or a widower of a United States citizen.

Others get in the lottery by working their way to it. This diversity visa is provided for migrant workers who have been living inside the country for a set number of years. The workers are divided into tiers, where the most preferred are in the first tier and are commonly those with great track records in the sciences, business, athletics, the arts, and education.

There are even green card holders who go into the United States as members of a religious non-profit agency. Some others are international broadcasters that want to work in the United States mass media. Other, less common ways to have a diversity visa is by being granted asylee or refugee status for at least a year before the lottery or being rescued from human trafficking, abuse, and other crimes.

Entering the Lottery

To qualify for the Diversity Immigrant Lottery, the applicant should be born in a country that has been recognized by the program. They should also complete their high school education or a minimum of two years of experience or training in the occupation with such requirements. Other requirements that must be satisfied are proofs of a means to support the applicant, a clean criminal record, and good health, among others.

Each year, 50,000 visas are provided for applicants with United States citizens as relatives or migrant workers. These do not include those with other qualifications such as refugees or asylees or those that previously had diverse immigrant status.

Steps to get the correct Green Card Photo The laws regarding immigration and the processes for granting Diversity Immigrant cards have changed a lot over the years. However, the requirements for the correct green card photo are still basically the same. Let’s take a look at what the Department of State needs for photos that are shown on immigrant cards.

Acquisition of the image file:

  • The image should be produced by using a digital camera or scanning a paper photograph digitally.
  • There should be no alterations, modifications, or enhancements done on the image file.
  • The aspect ratio of the original photograph should not be changed i.e. there should be no stretching or shrinkage of the photo.

What the image should include:

  • The image should be of the entrant in frontal view and showing the face, neck, and shoulder areas. The expression should be neutral and unsmiling.
  • Nobody parts below the entrant’s shoulder should be seen in the photo.
  • It should not include anything other than the entrant, such as other people or any objects.
  • The background should be a solid, neutral, and light color. Patterns and dark shades on the background will not be accepted.

The orientation of the Entrant:

  • The entrant should fully face the camera. If the image is scanned, the original photograph should have the same head orientation as required.
  • The head should not be tilted in any direction.
  • The entrant should be oriented vertically in the image.
  • The head of the entrant should be between 50% and 69% of the total height of the photograph.
  • The eye should be located within 56% and 69% of the photograph’s height, measured from the bottom to eye height.

All immigrant card photos are required to be in focus, especially the face area. Pixels should not be perceptible, and all facial features should be easily recognizable. A recent addition is the prohibition of eyeglasses and other eyewear on the entrant. Headwear can be worn on the photograph if it is required by the entrant’s religion, and should not obscure any facial features. All other headwear, whether tribal or military in nature, are unacceptable.

Getting the correct green card photo the first time around is essential as the lottery comes around only once a year and there is a time constraint in all applications. Do not waste time and money by submitting a non-regulation photo. Learn more by going to iVisa Photo services.

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