Diversity Visa Lottery and the Dream of Californication

The US Department of State announced the opening of the registration period for the DV-2012 Diversity Visa lottery on Tuesday, marking a full month of worries for thousands in Armenia longing for the ‘dream of californication’ and eager to migrate to the USA.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a United States congressionally-mandated lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. It is also known as the Green Card Lottery. The program grants a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) each year to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Armenia is one of those countries.

The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random lottery drawing chooses selectees for DVs. Winning the lottery is not a guarantee receipt of a visa – winners must be interviewed and qualify for it.

The entries to the lottery must be submitted electronically at www.dvlottery.state.gov from Tuesday, October 5, 2010, and noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, November 3, 2010. The process is completely free.

Over the past 3 years I’ve seen an array of relatives and friends win the lottery and migrate to the USA. And I’d bet 80% of the population would gladly apply for it, if they knew how. Many ask help from English speaking, computer literate friends and relatives.

There are already announcements on entrances of apartment buildings and bus stops in Yerevan, as well as Armenian websites providing classified ads, about paid services for help filling in the lottery (e.g. 1, 2, 3). Those services cost from $5 to $30.

There used to be also large offices in central Yerevan locations claiming to provide full service – filling in, walking lottery winners through the application process and visa interview for as much as $600 – $2000. I don’t see many of them anymore – perhaps they went out of business faced with competition with cheep alternatives?

I’ve helped fill in the application for friends in the past and have always wondered – what makes those people want to leave their lives and everything familiar and dash out for something vague and unknown, for the ‘dream of californication.’

I always warn them, that life is as hard in the US and that with their lack of skills, no knowledge of the language will make them lousy immigrants. But they keep insisting on the chance to get to that magic place – America.

Why not? Perhaps that’s where the strength of the USA is – in the blind belief of thousands of dreamers, immigrants, who built that country? Hmmm, maybe for once, I should try to fill in the application myself?

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4 thoughts on “Diversity Visa Lottery and the Dream of Californication

  1. “The program grants a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) each year to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Armenia is one of those countries.”

    Surely this program excludes Los Angeles ;)

    I agree with your assessment of the strength of the USA – the dream, the American Dream – everyone wants a piece of it. Life here is hard, but I suppose you could say that about any country, it’s just a matter of changing the pieces on the chess board of life. If you do decide to ever fill out an application, America would be lucky to have you! :)

  2. Out of all the problems we have in our homeland, as a genuine REAL TRUE Armenian who loves his homeland very much (aka: Hayaser) this topic in particular of depopulating my homeland is the most disturbing to me. I can’t even begin to express my discontent for those who want to ‘escape/flee’ our homeland. All those who have fled and now living in usa/canada/europe/russia/australia and else where should collect their wealth and return to Hayastan and help to make her a better place for all of us who dream to return. You warn them that “life is hard in the usa”? yet I see FAKE Armenians and us REAL Armenians living it up fairly easy with their 2 million dollar homes , $80-100k dollar bmw’s, benz’s, and lexus’s. Where in do you see any Armenians living it so hard in usa? If you can point that out to me, I would be utterly amazed. In fact, all life in western countries is easy, especially for tight-knit groups such as Armenians who help build communities (i.e.: glendale/east hollywood) and spread their wealth amongst their close friends & family memebers. However, for one I am not wealthy and I’m struggling to make my ends meet because I don’t have close friends and/or any family to help make my life better. In fact, its very widely known that with out the help of others you can not make it in america or anywhere for this matter, but if someone such as me who had the wealth & means as such Armenians do in america, I would be on the next plane to my beautiful wonderful Hayastan and not dare look back. Those who want to flee don’t want to flee because of so-called ‘hardships’, they want to flee becaue of greediness. They greed for a better life, they greed for running hot water at a lift of handle, they greed for heat in winter at a press of a button, they greed for driving expensive cars, they greed for a nice luxurious home in the hills of glendale, they greed for a lot things, but one thing they DONT greed for is to take back Hayastan and turn her ass around to make it better for themselves and others who really want to return. I would never help anyone fill out any lottery application such as this one so that I don’t contribute to the de-population of my homeland. As I mentioned in one of my other comments via the ‘dream team’ post, that the problem of Hayastan is not so much the oligarchs and mafia, the problem is POPULATION . Politics 101 – the less people there are, the easier it is for the oligarchs/elite to control the country, and make life better for themselves only, whilst they PISS on “the people”. Try to imagine if all those who have their wealth, knowledge, influence, and means and bring it back to Hayastan…not only can we rid of the ‘dream team’ but we can rid of the oligarchs and mafia too. However, as long as both FAKE Armenians and REALS continue their greed, then they will never live it down, they will never want to return for permanent, they will never have a care in the world for those who don’t dare to flee our homeland, and continue to suffer on their behalf all so that they can say…”yes, we have a country, it is Armenia !”

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