The green card lottery, a method through which at least 8 million foreigners wish to obtain their legal permanent residency, has been confirmed not to be cancelled for 2013 and 2014.
Although the odds of winning the green card lottery are not great, foreign hopefuls still have a chance of winning their legal status with a green card.
Just a few weeks ago, there was much speculation that the green card lottery would be taken away this year and that it was likely to be quietly cut. However, the US Embassy Press Secretary confirmed on Thursday that the green card application program will continue as usual for this year and next year.
According to the Armenpress on Thursday, US Embassy Press Secretary Taguhi Jahukyan said, "The Diversity Visa Program is continuing as usual for fiscal year 2013 and fiscal year 2014."
While Congress has been discussing changes to immigration policy through new immigration bills, President Obama has not yet signed any immigration bill into law.
As the legislative process for changes in immigration policy is ongoing, no comment has been made on whether the green card lottery will continue onto 2015.
Just last year, at least 8 million foreigners submitted a green card application through the green card lottery. Only 55,000 green card applications were able to obtain a green card for themselves, their spouses, and their children.
The green card lottery is extremely popular, and foreigners would be very disappointed if the lottery program had been removed.
One green card lottery winner from Ethiopia said, "In my country, whole cities wait to hear the results of this lottery. I can't believe they would take it away."
The Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which issues winners a U.S. green card, started in 1995. Since then, thousands of foreigners have been granted immigrant visas and green cards.
One New Jersey House Representative, Donald Payne Jr. supported the continuance of the green card lottery program saying, "Diversity visas are one of the few ways people from Africa and the Caribbean can come to this country."