More than a million Ghanaians entered the Visa Lottery Programme (DV Lottery) for a chance to travel to the United States of America to seek greener pastures.
Out of the number, about 1.73 million Ghanaians were successfully selected in the computerised random selection process.
In 2013 and 2014, Ghana had the highest number applicants behind only Nigeria. In comparison, Nigeria’s total in 2014 accounted for just above 1% of its population.
Data available on the website of Quartz media states 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 programs rules to ensure that various countries get a fair chance.
It also indicates that Ghana’s appetite for US visas has seen illegal visa businesses on the increase. In a high profile incident last December, a fake US embassy which had operated thrice a week for ten years in Accra has closed down.
The number of people looking to leave Ghana is likely linked to the country’s economic struggles over the years.
Meanwhile, Ghanaians desirous of travelling to the United States face a daunting task as President Donald Trump has endorsed a legislation that will abolish Visa Lottery, as well as curb the level of legal immigration using skills-based immigration system.
The breakdown of the visas issued to Ghanaian winners include 2005 – 1,134, 2006 – 1,209, 2007 – 978, 2008 – 1,868 and 2009 – 1,912 visas.
The rest are 2010 – 2,660, 2011 – 2,460, 2012 – 1,689, 2013 – 1,895, and 2014 – 1,460 visas.