Pakistan:With 7th largest immigrants, country now not eligible for US diversity visa

Karachi: After forming the seventh largest immigrant population in the United States (US), Pakistanis are no longer eligible for the diversity visa.

The diversity visa is a special immigration lottery that allowed families from countries with low rates of immigration into the US to qualify for the move. A lot of Pakistani families used this facility to immigrate to the US, leading to an immigrant population of between 700,000 and one million Pakistanis.

According to the US law, diversity laws are only allowed to counties that have low rates of immigrants, said US consulate in Karachi’s spokesperson Brian Asmus, during a media tour of the Karachi consulate’s visa section on Friday. Pakistan had 104,000 immigrants in the 10 years between 2005 and 2014, he said, explaining why Pakistanis are no longer eligible.

The state department has only stopped diversity visas and there are a lot of other options, such as petitions, student, visit and exchange programme visas, which come under the non-immigrant category. “One can always apply for immigrant visa if they have immediate family in the US,” explained US consulate’s Non-Immigrant Visa chief Mary Pellegrini.

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