Question: I’ve heard the price of the Green Card Lottery interview has gone down. Is this true?
Answer: I am happy to report the price is greatly reduced. In fact, this is one of several recent modifications to the Green Card lottery, officially known as the Diversity Visa (DV) program.
The fees, education requirements, and scheduling for the program have all changed this year. This is of great importance to Kenyans, who have one of the highest rates of participation in the world.
The US government has cut the fee for the DV program nearly in half. Applicants previously paid $819 per person, which could really add up with a large family. After a careful review of the program, the US has lowered the price to $440.
This amount is calibrated to cover the cost of processing, security checks, interviews and printing. The US collects no profit from program fees. One thing to keep in mind is that the money you pay is for the interview, not the visa, and so we provide no refunds to those who are denied.
According to US visa law, applicants for the DV must have a high school education. While we previously accepted a D plain KCSE average, a C plain average is actually commensurate with an American high school diploma. From now on, an applicant must have a C plain average to be issued a green card through the DV program.
This not only matches US visa law, but is also best for Kenyan emigrants. Currently, 37 percent of those with less than a high school education are unemployed in the United States. We want Kenyan-Americans to thrive in their new country, and education is the key to success.
Last year, we did 28 percent of all DV interviews during the month of September. In order to accomplish this, we put most of our other interviews on hold. This meant long wait times for tourists, students, and other travelers needing interviews. In fairness to them, we will no longer be scheduling mass numbers of DV appointments in August and September.
DV applicants often book and then cancel appointments as many as five times, certain that they can always reschedule. Please note that this will no longer be possible. Once you have booked a DV appointment, please be sure to attend it as there is no guarantee of a second chance.
As always, the US Consular Section stands ready to serve the Kenyan public. We look forward to assisting you the next time you travel to America.
“Ask the Consul” is a monthly column. Do you have a question for the Consul? Use this email address to submit your questions for next month’s “Ask the Consul:” AskConsulNairobi@state.gov