US embassy in Cairo opens green card lottery for 2012

The US embassy in Cairo on Thursday officially opened an annual lottery for US green cards for 2012.

At an embassy press conference, US Consul-General in Cairo Roberto Powers announced that the deadline for lottery applications was 3 November. He went on to note that 4200 Egyptians had won the green card lottery for 2011.

Powers also pointed out that the largest share of green cards–between 6 and 7 percent of the total issued each year as part of the lottery–usually went to Egyptians.

He further noted that the US embassy in Cairo last year issued 32,000 non-immigrant visas and 6000 immigrant visas, pointing out that the embassy had received a total of 55,000 applications from Egyptians, of which 70 percent had been approved.

"Applications for the green card lottery are free of charge,” he stressed. “Fees are only paid upon approval."

The lottery is a yearly program commissioned by US Congress targeting 50,000 nationals of countries with low immigration rates to the United States, which includes Egypt.

Winners are selected at random, with green cards being distributed among six geographic regions at a maximum of 7 percent–or 3500 visas–per country, according to Powers, who noted that 31,000 Egyptians had won green cards over the past ten years.

“Those who win the green card should consider themselves lucky, given that some two million people applied for it last year,” Powers said.

Applications are submitted electronically so as to avoid fraud, Powers explained, noting that applicants must keep their registration numbers, which represent the only means of determining whether or not they had won.

“Applicants can check the results on the lottery website with their registration numbers,” he said, noting that neither the embassy nor the US State Department had the right to access the information.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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