What It's Like to Apply for the Almost Unwinnable U.S. Green Card Lottery (HBO)

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Published on 16 May 2018, 12:35
Olga Brudastova, Margot Sergent, and Samed Walker have spent the last six months waiting to see if they won the green card lottery. Today, they found out their fates.

Sergent is a 40-year-old musician and actress from France, who is currently in the U.S. on an "extraordinary abilities" visa. Brudastova came from Moscow in 2013 to pursue her doctorate in civil engineering at Columbia University on a student visa. And Walker traveled to United States after escaping violence in Ghana. He arrived at the U.S. Mexico border by way of South and Central America from Brazil, and is currently seeking asylum.

The green card lottery, known officially as the diversity visa program, was established by Congress as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. Its purpose is to increase the geographic and cultural diversity of the U.S. population, and the vast majority of applicants apply from their home country.

No other country in the world has a visa lottery like this, but the downside is that it’s almost impossible to win. In 2017, only around one quarter of 1 percent of applicants ended up with a green card.

Today, Olga, Margot, and Samed all logged on to the State Department website to get their verdicts. VICE News was there.

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