Ghana has highest America Visa Lottery applications in the world
Ghana in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available had 1.73 million applicants which would account for about seven per cent of Ghana’s population of 25 million according to Quartz Africa.
More populous countries like Bangladesh and Nigeria have typically accounted for the highest number of applicants over the years, but citizens of both countries became ineligible to apply in 2013 and 2015 respectively due to one of the diversity visa programme’s rules to ensure that various countries get a fair chance, the report said.
It further explained that once at least 50,000 nationals of any country successfully immigrate to the US over a five-year period, citizens of that country become ineligible for the programme.
In 2013 and 2014, the report points out that Ghana also had the highest number of applicants behind only Nigeria. In comparison, Nigeria’s total in 2014 accounted for just above one per cent of its population, it added.
Additionally, Ghana’s escalating interest in US visas has led to an illegal visa business.
Last December ghanabusinessnews.com, broke news which went viral both locally and internationally about a fake US Embassy which had operated in Accra for ten years, citing information put out by the US Department of State.
The fake embassy was shut down but when ghanabusinessnews.com, visited occupants of the building believed to be used for the alleged illegality, the granddaughter of the owner of the house, who had lived there for 60 years denied the claim outright.
The report says the number of people looking to leave Ghana is likely linked to the country’s economic struggles in recent years. It adds that despite relative political stability, last year, Ghana’s economy, affected by the crash in global commodity prices, was set for its slowest growth rate in more than two decades under former president John Mahama..
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng