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Thousands of would-be US immigrants disappointed after botched lottery is rerun

Some 22,000 foreigners who were chasing the American dream and thought they’d won a coveted green card in May were left disappointed.

Image: Mark Lennihan/AP/Press Association Images

THE US STATE Department has published the results of a new lottery to give residents’ visas to some 55,000 would-be immigrants around the world after it botched the first attempt, disappointing and angering thousands.

Around 22,000 foreigners who were told they had a green card in May were left disappointed this time around, the New York Times reports.

Nearly 15 million people had entered a lottery hoping hoping to win one of 55,000 US immigrant visas available under a wild-card program for people who otherwise would have had little hope of getting a coveted US visa.

Applicants for the random draw did not need the usual family or employer sponsor with the lottery selecting 90,000 winners, a total that was eventually whittled down through attrition, interviews and strict educational and occupational criteria.

However, a software glitch caused what is supposed to be a random draw to select 90 per cent of winners from entries submitted on only the first two days of the 30-day registration period that ended on 3 November last year.

The would-be winners were notified days later that they would have to endure the random draw process again.

After federal judge in Washington dismissed a lawsuit against the State Department brought by some of the winners of the first draw, the way was cleared for the new results to be posted on the State Department website.

One disappointed first-time winner, who was not successful this time around told the New York Times: “The feeling is that the United States government does not keep its word. They gave up on us, we were badly treated. We now know that we cannot rely on the US government’s paperwork.”

Read: Would-be US immigrants left disappointed by glitch that invalidates visa lottery results >

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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