The US Diversity Immigrant Visa Program has opened for the fiscal year 2023, but the Irish will most likely receive just 0.05% of the 55k visas up for grabs.

The US government has announced that registration for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program for the fiscal year 2023 (DV-2023), popularly known as the visa lottery, will officially open up next week. The immigration program will allocate up to 55,000 immigrant visas or green cards in 2023. In 2019 in the same lottery Irish citizens were issued just 32 visas.

On Friday, the US Department of State announced that the electronic enrollment period will roll out on Wed, Oct. 6, at 12pm and will close on Tues, Nov. 9 at 12pm, the Miami Herald reports. Those interested in immigrating legally to the United States must submit their applications electronically only through dvprogram.state.gov.

Officials warned that those planning to apply for the lottery "do not wait until the last week of the registration period to enter as heavy demand may result in website delays."

In 2019 the annual diversity green card lottery results for the fiscal year 2020 were announced. These results showed that just 32 of the 55k United States  Diversity Visa program green cards were won by Irish citizens, 19 from the Republic, and 13 from Northern Ireland.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program was established in 1990. Its aim was to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants from countries with low numbers of immigrants in the previous five years. 

State Department’s Visa Bulletin, in August 2019, stated that "Applicants registered for the DV-2020 program were selected at random from 14,722,798 qualified entries."

Russia, considered part of Europe for lottery purposes, received 5,118 visas.

The 2020 figures for Ireland and the North continue a downward trend for Irish applicants. In 2018, Ireland received 123 diversity green cards, while 16 Northern Irish applicants were selected. With 14,352,013 worldwide entering in 2019, however, the Irish only equate to 0.05% of all applicants.

Each year over 50,000 green cards are put up for grabs in the lottery system, meaning the Irish in the 2020 draw were selected for just 0.05% of the green cards to be issued.

In contrast, other countries eligible to apply in the 2019 results showed their successful applicants reaching the thousands: Iran (4,199), Liberia (2,484), Ghana (2,484), Yemen (1,193), Iraq (731), Afghanistan (543), Syria (420), and Saudi Arabia (630).

Similarly, in the 2021 draw, just 24 Irish citizens won the green card lottery. 

 The Republic of Ireland was far from the least successful, however, with Botswana, with a population of 2.2 million, receiving just 3, and even the likes of Norway, which has a population of 5.2 million, being granted only 19 successful candidates.

Granted the coronavirus has caused major disruptions to the processing of visas. In fact, more than 20k people who were declared winners of the visa lottery and turned in the required paperwork never got an interview or a shot at coming to the United States. A State Department official said the pandemic led to “profound reductions" in its capacity to process visas.

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