General – Green Card Lottery Articles DV Lottery Resources Mon, 12 Sep 2016 09:14:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Immigration Policies: Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump Mon, 12 Sep 2016 04:49:00 +0000 America’s presidential candidates couldn’t be more different when it comes to immigration. Here’s a closer look at their viewpoints.

Immigration Legislation


Trump’s legislation plans focus on tightening up the borders and sending undocumented immigrants back to their countries of origin.

  • Trump plans to build a wall across the US-Mexico border, and wants to make Mexico pay for it.
  • Trump’s been in favor of mass deportation of the 11 million undocumented living in the US. Though he recently made statements loosening this catch-all policy.
  • Trump’s proposed a few specific changes to visa policies that he says will make American citizens more marketable in the work force. He plans to increase wages of H1-B workers to incentivize employers to hire American workers. He’ll get rid of the work-study J-1 visitor visa, which he says will offer job opportunities to inner city youth.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s promised to introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a “pathway to full and equal citizenship” in her first 100 days in office. The plan promises to “fix the visa backlog, uphold the rule of law, protect our borders and national security, and bring millions of hardworking people into the formal economy.”

  • The plan will end 3- and 10- year bars. These are time limits on when immigrants who leave the country due to illegal status are allowed to apply for re-entry.
  • There are several provisions that protect undocumented immigrants, including limited deportation plan as well as the protection of President Obama’s executive actions DACA and DAPA.
  • Clinton will devise a strategy to encourage more immigrants to naturalize (become US citizens).
  • She plans to uphaul detention policies, which have been criticized as inhumane.

Undocumented Immigrants


Trump’s been dubbed the anti-immigrant candidate in particular for his views on undocumented immigrants.

  • For most of his campaign, he’s touted a mass deportation plan to send all 11 million undocumented immigrants “back home.” But in a Fox News interview Aug. 26 he took a big step back, stating he would “get the bad ones out.” Undocumented immigrants who “contribute to society, have been law-abiding, have kids here” may be allowed to stay if they pay back taxes.
  • Trump’s proposed to eliminate sanctuary cities which shelter undocumented immigrants.
  • He plans to make E-Verify, an online system used by employers to verify identity and work authorization, compulsory nation-wide.
  • Trump’s also proposed to end birthright citizenship, saying it’s “the biggest magnet for illegal immigration.” This change would require a constitutional amendment.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s plan to handle the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants is heavily focused on a path to citizenship, rather than deportation.

  • She’s promised to introduce comprehensive immigration reform (with a path to citizenship) within her first 100 days in office.
  • She’s pledged to defend President Obama’s executive actions—known as DACA and DAPA—and to “do everything possible under the law to protect families.”
  • Her proposed plan for selective deportation is incredibly limited. “She’s putting forward the most radical immigration plan ever put down on paper by a candidate,” said Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies Mark Krikorian. “She has pledged to refuse to deport any illegal alien who has not been convicted of a violent crime.”

Border Protection


Like Clinton, Trump’s insistent on secure borders. Unlike Hillary, his policies have been criticized as xenophobic. Trump’s border protection policy is rooted in the infamous vow to build a wall across the Mexican-American border, for which he plans to have Mexico pay. In the same speech, he referred to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “drug-peddlers.” Since then, he’s suggested a ban on all Muslims.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton has stressed the importance of border protection, but said little beyond that. Her platform leans more on the bigger picture of immigration reform—which includes plans to protect our borders in the name of national security.

Countries that qualify for the Green Card Lottery 2016 Wed, 21 May 2014 00:11:04 +0000 Only citizens of certain countries are eligible to apply for the Green Card Lottery. Check this list to see if your country is eligible for the 2016 Green Card Lottery! Below is a list of qualifying countries, grouped by region.


Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Equatorial Guinea
Gambia, The
Sao Tome and Principe
Sierra Leone
South Africa
South Sudan


Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
North Korea
Saudi Arabia ingapore
Sri Lanka
United Arab Emirates


Bosnia and Herzegovina
Czech Republic
Denmark (including components and
dependent areas overseas)
France (including components and
areas overseas)
Macau Special Administrative Region
Netherlands (including components and
dependent areas overseas)
Northern Ireland
Portugal (including components and
dependent areas overseas)
San Marino
Vatican City

North Ameria

The Bahamas


Australia (including components and
dependent areas overseas)
Marshall Islands
Micronesia, Federated States of
New Zealand (including components and
dependent areas overseas)
Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands

South America, Central America, and the Caribbean

Antigua and Barbuda
Costa Rica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago

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Immigration Nation: FEMA and Sandy Thu, 01 Nov 2012 20:48:12 +0000 Just as a reminder, the Green Card Lottery ends in only a couple of days. Apply now to make sure that you can get permanent residency in the United States!

Permanent Residency not only allows one to live and work in the United States, but also grants immigrants the same protection of American infrastructure and programs that other residents get. An excellent example of this, which has been illustrated recently, is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its handling of Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy was an absolutely massive storm. Disturbingly large, in fact, and some climatologists have begun to speculate that its cause might have something to do with the large amounts of polar ice that have melted in the past year. During media coverage there have been comparisons to the story of the Perfect Storm which depicted a similarly large storm that occurred in the early 1990s, but Sandy happens to be significantly larger and more damaging to the coast.

Floodwaters, high winds, and other storm damage have affected places from the Caribbean all the way to maritime Canada. Damage from the storm is estimated to be about $50 billion dollars when all is said and done and 151 people have died from a variety of causes including being struck by flying debris and electrocution. The Mid-Atlantic States have been heavily flooded, even before the storm made landfall and before it began to rain. Manhattan, a borough of New York City was completely shut down, its subways and stock market shut down for two whole days. Large portions of the North-Eastern United States are completely without power.

However, FEMA’s response to the disaster has been largely lauded as a great success for the Obama administration. This disaster could have been much worse. Indeed, in 2006, Hurricane Katrina annihilated New Orleans and even to this day the city remains severely damaged, hobbled. Though the east coast is currently a mess, it will recover in an orderly fashion and only after a couple of days the stock exchange started up again and the trains began to run as well. Also, there weren’t any significant infrastructure failures such as the levies which broke during the Katrina disaster.

No reports of widespread looting have occurred and though there were a few structures on the Jersey shore that were washed away there weren’t any major structures that simply melted into the ocean. Obama’s response to the disaster has been so successful that praise has come from across party lines. Governor Chris Christie, a Republican has spoken highly of Obama and FEMA this week. This has effectively distanced Mitt Romney from an important and powerful leader in the Republican Party. Future reports may discuss the impact Hurricane Sandy has had on the election.

Overall, the disaster has illustrated the success of the Obama administration in handling federal issues and shown the importance of a major federal aid program. The purpose of government, after all, is to help its denizens and that is exactly what FEMA has done.

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Social Conversation Surrounding Immigration Tue, 18 Sep 2012 18:22:24 +0000 Social Media!Social media, the exchange of information through personal networks on the internet, is an incredibly powerful force in the new millennium. It has connected us, informed us, bored us and entertained us in unprecedented ways. Many conversations today could not exist without the assistance of social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any of the plethora of other networking sites and it is hard to not notice its effect on popular media.

Follow us on Facebook!

Take the following as an example. You go online to your local newspaper’s website you’ll see an article about an embarrassingly humorous tweet that a celebrity posted (“5 mil. 2 make a movie & there’s no toilet paper when I need it. WTH?”). After the article is a comments section where the conversation continues and people discuss the merits and failings of the article and the event (“If she makes 5 million dollars why doesn’t she have a butler or somebody to toss her a fresh roll?” “Clearly she’s more down-to-Earth than some uppity actress who just has to have a butler.”). Within the comments section someone posts a link to their Pinterest page where they have collected a series of images featuring this particular celebrity doing other embarrassing, humorous or down-to-earth things.

And through this confluence of media and information exchange we have created a collective discourse on a particular subject, a public discussion. Instead of one person becoming the authority on a particular subject (such as a journalist) we get a democratic image of the issue where all parts of society may participate in its development. I would even argue that with social participation in media there is no such thing as media bias because it’s too balanced out by the population that propagates it. I know our Facebook certainly benefits from these discussions.

There are, however, proper ways to participate in social media of which people aren’t always aware. The most important of these is re-posting. When you see something that you particularly like or find especially informative you should re-post it in such a way as to spread it to those who you are connected with online. This could be as easy as copying the URL of one of our blogs and pasting it to your Facebook wall or your Twitter feed. You could also discuss one of our articles on your own blog and we would much appreciate a hyperlink within the text that will direct your readers to our site.

So get involved in the conversation! Your voice is just as important as anyone’s and by contributing to the discussion you are also contributing to the collective edification of others involved in the immigration discourse. Feel free to post comments on our blogs, re-post us on Twitter, Facebook or whatever social networking site you prefer and let your voice be heard!

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What Forms must be Filled by an International Traveler while Entering the United States? Fri, 03 Aug 2012 12:07:55 +0000 If you travel within the United States you need not fill out any form. But there are certain forms that must be filled by international travelers who seek to enter the United States. You must fill the customs declaration form, if you travel to the United States from a foreign country. If you are traveling with your family, each member of the family may not be required to fill separate forms. This applies to the lawful permanent residents of the United States and the US citizens. A foreign national who is not a US citizen or a Green Card holder must fill Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure record along with the customs declaration form. Form I-94 must be completed by the people who travel to the United States with a visa.

You must submit all these required forms while you arrive at a US port of entry. Your forms will be inspected by a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer, who will then allow you to enter the United States. The US customs and border protection officers prevent the terrorists and criminals from entering into the country. They also see to that no drugs, agricultural pests and prohibited goods are smuggled.

Customs Declaration Form 6059B

Any individual including a US citizen who is traveling to the United States, must complete the US Customs and Border Protection declaration form. You will be required to fill out this form which contains questions about yourself and about the things that you are bringing to the United States. This form will also contain details about your immediate relatives who are traveling to the United States along with you and one form may be completed for your entire family.

Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record

You will be required to fill details about yourself on the CBP Form I-94, such as your name, date of birth, country of citizenship, visa issuance date, where your visa was issued and your anticipated address in the United States. Once you complete Form I-94, it will be processed and the CBP officer will stamp your Form I-94 and your passport along with your customs declaration form. The arrival portion of the arrival/departure record will be retained by the CBP officer while the departure portion and your passport will be returned to you. You must keep in your possession the departure portion of Form I-94, until you leave the United States and you must hand it over to the CBP officer while you depart.

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US Independence Day – July 4th Tue, 03 Jul 2012 10:55:23 +0000 Fourth of July - Independence DayIndependence Day of the United States is diversely known as the Fourth of July. July 4th has been a national holiday in the United States since 1941. From the year 1776 till date, 4th of July is being celebrated as the nation’s Independence Day. It is because the declaration of Independence was adopted on this day and is said to be the birthday of America. Hence this day is celebrated with parades, fireworks, barbecues, and concerts. The Statue of Liberty in America stands for the Independence of America and it also represents the freedom offered by the country to the people who enter America.

Earlier, some colonists celebrated the birth of independence during the summer of 1776, by holding mock funerals for King George III. They did so to symbolize the end of the hold of monarchy on the United States. They also celebrated the victory of liberty. Celebrations included bonfires, parades and concerts. The first national readings of the Declaration of Independence accompanied firing of cannons and muskets immediately after it was adopted.

The Americans observe the Independence Day every year, after the Revolutionary war. These celebrations created a feeling of unity among the people of America. These days, Americans celebrate their Independence day with their families by attending picnics or barbecues. Decorations for the Independence day are mostly colored red, white and blue which are the colors in the American flag. Fireworks displays occur in the evening at parks or town squares and parades in the morning. Patriotic songs often accompany the Independence Day fireworks. The largest fireworks display is mostly found in New York City.

One of the most busiest travel periods of America is the first week of July. As the Fourth of July falls in mid-summer, the Independence Day has become a main focus of leisure time activities. It has also become a juncture for family get-togethers. To honor the Independence Day, many people display the American flag in their homes. This day is the largest birthday celebration, enjoyed by all Americans as is it is a day of pride and patriotism. Independence day is one of the important and paid holidays for government officials. Government offices, post offices, banks and local businesses will be closed on this holiday and hence this day brings all the Americans together.

Many public and private events are held in order to celebrate the history and tradition of America. As it is summer in America, all the Independence day celebrations take place outdoors. Apart from the celebrations, many American politicians appear at public events in order to demonstrate their support towards the American history, heritage and the people America. As a part of the celebrations, the Americans express their gratitude and thank their first generation for the freedom and independence.

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Taxation Proposal For Americans Living Abroad Thu, 15 Mar 2012 11:37:13 +0000 The American Citizens Abroad (ACA) has proposed two changes to US tax laws :

  1. To abolish citizenship-based taxation
  2. To get all withholding taxes at source on all US passive income that also includes dividends, interest, royalties, etc. of Americans living abroad similarly as the US currently collects withholding taxes on the income generated by US assets (shares and bonds) that are owned by non-resident foreigners.

All countries other than the US follow the concept of residency-based taxation. They do not tax their citizens who have established residence outside their country. The US applies residency-based taxation to all foreign nationals and green card holders residing in the US. Per the ACA, Citizenship-based taxation is the reason for many inevitable instances of double taxation and painful unfairness to a large population of US citizens residing overseas.

The US law does not require citizenship-based taxation. In 1924, the Supreme Court merely stated that the US government has the power, but not the obligation, to tax US Citizens regardless of their residence. During 1924, there were very lesser number of US citizens living abroad. Today, after 88 years, the State Department estimates that there are more than 6 million, ( excluding U.S. military personnel overseas). 83% of US citizens living abroad classify themselves as long-term or permanent overseas residents. Many of them were born abroad and have lived their whole lives there.

There are many who hold a second citizenship in addition to US Nationality. The ACA further stresses the negative impact of the current tax policy on the US and to eliminate citizenship-based taxation. They are also of the view that Citizenship-based taxation should also be regarded as a human rights issue, as it does not allow Americans to work and live freely worldwide.

The US is the only country which follows citizenship-based taxation, apart from residence based taxation. The main purpose of citizenship-based is to make sure US citizens and green card holders living abroad pay at least as much income tax as residents of the US. Though some measures have been introduced to lessen the impact of double taxation, they fall short.

It also highlights the issue of tax evasion by US residents hiding unreported income and assets in foreign banks. US citizens residing abroad have to have foreign bank accounts for daily life and they are required to pay taxes to their country of residence. Current US laws does not make any distinction between US residents and residents living abroad.

Consular Processing Tue, 09 Aug 2011 09:57:09 +0000 Consular Processing is another way to obtain your green card. If you are in the US you can adjust your status, whereas if you are outside the US, you have to go through consular processing at a U.S. consular post abroad for an immigrant visa.

Once you get the visa, you can come to the US as a permanent resident, and your green card will be mailed to you similar to if you had you adjusted your status in the US.

If you going through consular processing, the USCIS will forward your approved preference petition to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will then send you a package that contains forms, document list and instructions. The completed package is returned directly to the NVC.

If the application process is complete and if visa numbers are current for your preference category for your country of birth, you will be sent a notice regarding your appointment and it will include more forms and instructions.

During consular processing, you have to attend a personal interview for you and your dependent family members will also have one at the US consular post. As appointments are scheduled on short notice, ensure that you are ready and able to travel when the appointment has been scheduled. In addition, you should take a medical examination with a physician approved by the U.S. consular post.

Though the documentation required for visa processing is more or less similar to that required for adjustment, there are a few exceptions. For consular processing, you have to provide a police certificate of good conduct from each country in which you, or a family member resided for six months or more since the age of 16. You must also provide evidence of having fulfilled any obligatory military service.

Consular processing is considerably quicker than adjustment of status and can take as little as six months to complete. However, it is important to remember that the process takes place outside of the US, so if there is any problem with the application, you may not be able to return until it is resolved. Another fact is that there is no formal appeal process for immigrant visa applications as there is for Adjustment of Status applications.

Apart from this, you have to maintain your US non immigrant status while the application for an immigrant visa is pending. Neither you nor your family members are eligible for EAD cards or Advance Parole.