Vanguard (Lagos)

19 April 2012

Nigeria: Players Question Authenticity of DV Lottery

THE US DV lottery which, according to the US Department of State, was initiated to afford citizens of countries who are under represented in America, the opportunity for easy migration, has continued to attract criticisms and complaints from dissatisfied applicants.

Mails which have continued to pour in from players reveal many of the players simply opining that the United States embassy is merely working on their quota and not based on the prerequisite stated for entry.

The latest is a case of denial of DV Lottery visa from Miss Gloria Nwoke who bitterly accused the Department of State for its unfair attitude towards her win. She also accused Consular Advisory for allegedly collaborating to cover the in-house tricks of the Department of State concerning DV Lottery winners.

Gloria narrated her ordeals in the hands of interviewing officers of the US Consulate, and further demanded to know through this medium, whether all related publications on Diversity Visa Lottery, were actual facts from the United State Consulate.

Hear her: "I won the 2010 Lottery, paid the sum of US$800, which when converted amounts to about N130,000 in our local currency. I was given appointment for interview for the first time in November 17, 2011, and with every enthusiasm I concurred, only to be turned back with reason indicating that I had not provided sufficient documentation.

Subsequently, I sent again all the required documents as stipulated by the rules guiding the DV Lottery. Yet again, on January 11, 2012, I was denied visa, following which I was asked to return with unused scratch card for WAEC or NECO, original WAEC certificate and original National Diploma, with a warning that availability is limited and waiting times vary. This invariably indicated that I should act as quickly as possible.

"This act of inconsistency emanating from the consulate triggered a lot of questions in my mind about US, Nigeria applicants to US and the DV Lottery. I wondered if the Foreign Service of the United States of America does not keep to its rules regarding prerequisite to qualify for DV lottery. Or are they in any way, playing cat and mouse with Nigerian players, because to the best of my knowledge, I was sure, that I had provided all that they requested for.

There was the third interview on April 5, 2012 and as usual, I attended. Surprisingly, the interviewing officer turned himself into an examiner, asking me questions away off from my discipline and at the end I was given a reason stating that the office is unable to issue a visa to me, because I had been found ineligible under the labour qualification of their law.

Minimum job skill requirements

I was also told that after a careful review of my application, the department was determined that I did not meet either the minimum education or the minimum job-skill requirements necessary to qualify for the Diversity Visa Programme. I have wasted resources, time and energy in pursuit of what seems like a mirage and at the same time feel for a lot of players, who won and were treated the same way or even in a worse manner.

I had more than the two basic requirements to qualify for the lottery and by way of proof, provided them with original copies of all my documents, so if they claim they were fake and that the information I provided were false, I think the best thing could have been to inquire from the issuing authorities to ascertain the authenticity of the documents.

As I reflect on my experience with the interviewing officer, I could not but wonder, the one reason behind this show of contempt or perhaps, discrimination."

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