DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2020: 1,343 Ghanaians selected for further processing

1,343 lucky Ghanaians are among approximately 83,884 applicants who have been randomly selected for further processing in the United States Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

The U.S Department of State made this known in its August 2019 Visa Bulletin.

The number of people selected from Ghana have been reducing for the past years. In 2011, 6002 Ghanaians were selected. 3,170, 3,549, and 2,484 Ghanaians were selected in DV 2017, DV 2018 and DV 2019 respectively. DV 2020 sees the least number of Ghanaians ever in the history of the program.

Selection does not guarantee issuance of a visa. According to the Visa Bulletin, principal applicants must provide proof of a high school education or its equivalent, or show two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience within the past five years.

Applicants who registered for the DV-2020 program are to check the status of their entrants and process their applications without delay as selectees have only up to September 30, 2020 to complete the entire process.

Congrats to all winners!

Click to HERE to check your entrant status.

Diversity Visa: U.S Embassy reveals how people disqualify themselves

Naomi Mattos (Press Attachè), Doreen Maroney (Consular Officer), both at the United States Embassy in Accra, were interviewed by Captain Smart on Adom 106.3 FM’s Dwaso Nsem on the Diversity Visa Lottery which was monitored on Facebook Live by Jetsanza.com.

According to what we gathered from the interview, lot of people disqualify themselves through the use of third parties and false information even before they go to the embassy for interview.

Doreen said lot of Ghanaians hire the services of connection men and agents to do the registration on their behalf. This she said has led to the disqualification of many applicants since the agents usually use old photos, make multiple entries, or provide false information. She added that, most people forget to keep their confirmation details and as such are not able to even check the status of their entry when results are out.

Watch the video below for more:

Website for entry and status check: https://dvlottery.state.gov/

For step-by-step guide on how to check your entry status, See DV Lottery 2020 Entrant Status Check.

Aircraft goes missing; all on board feared dead

The aviation industry has had a bad week with at least 41 lives lost worldwide in three accidents.

Today, Reuters reports that a jet traveling from Las Vegas, Nevada to Monterrey in northern Mexico has gone missing.

Mexican transport ministry spokesman said on Monday that the jet never reached its destination and has been lost.

Officials were looking for the aircraft and it was not yet clear if any of the passengers survived, the spokesman added.

Mexican newspaper Reforma said the plane had 11 passengers and three crew members on board.

It has later been revealed that it crashed in a mountainous area after a search-and-rescue operation found the wreckage late Monday morning.

United States citizens will need a visa to visit Europe starting in 2021

The European Union announced on Friday that American travelers will need a new type of visa — a European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS — to visit the European Schengen Area.

The Schengen Area is a zone of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move between them freely, including countries like Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland.
Currently, US citizens can travel to Europe for up to 90 days without a visa.

To apply for the ETIAS, US citizens will need a valid passport, an email account and a credit or debit card, the EU said. Minors, the website said, will still only need their normal passports to travel after the visas go into effect.

The Union said that the ETIAS visa is valid for three years and allows Americans to enter the Schengen Area as many times as necessary.

On the ETIAS website, the European Union said it “has recently decided to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal migration and terrorism.”

The United States has been in a dispute with the EU’s European Parliament and European Commission over visas for Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus. Travelers in those five countries are the only EU nations that the US requires to apply for a visa.

In 2016, the European Commission first released a report calling for the U.S. to grant the same visa-free status to those five countries as the other 23 EU nations in exchange for U.S. citizens maintaining the same visa-free status in the Schengen Area. EU rules require equal treatment for all member states.

The report also indicated, however, that the commission wanted to wait until after President Trump was in office to “push for full visa reciprocity.”

In June 2018, the Parliament voted in favor of the Commission imposing visas on US citizens.

CREDIT: Lauren M. Johnson and Madeline Holcombe, CNN

US threatens visa restrictions on Ghana

The Unites States of America says it may be forced to implement visa restrictions on Ghana, in accordance with US Law, if Ghana fails to comply with international obligations on the issuance of travel documents to Ghanaians on deportation orders in the US.

According to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana, as a signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, was required, under International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines, and through its Embassy in Washington, D.C., and its Consulate General in New York, to interview deportees on a regular basis and issue the necessary travel documents to facilitate their departure on commercial flights.

“When the Government of Ghana fails to meet its ICAO obligation regarding the regular issuance of travel documents, the U.S. government is forced to employ charter flights for deportations. The Government of Ghana has the power to reduce, or even end, the use of charter flights by meeting its obligation to issue travel documents in a timely manner,” it said.

According to the statement, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in December 2016, identified Ghana as being at risk of non-compliance on removals of those under deportation orders.

Since then, the U.S. government had repeatedly engaged the Government of Ghana in both Washington, D.C., and Accra and has urged the government to abide by its international obligations and issue the necessary travel documents so that Ghanaians under deportation orders may depart the United States on commercial flights.

It said the United States of America took its legal and human rights obligations very seriously and in the course of enforcing U.S. immigration laws, would strongly prefer that individuals under deportation orders departed the United States via commercial air carriers, as regular passengers.

It explained that as sovereign nations, both the Governments of the United States and Ghana had obligations to their citizens to uphold their laws, as well as obligations to the international community to comply with international agreements. All nations also had the right to enforce their immigration laws.

While the United States embraced its special character as a nation of immigrants, and continued to welcome those who enter the United States legally and respect U.S. laws, enforcing its immigration laws was a responsibility it owed to the American people, just as Ghana enforced its own laws.

“So far this year, Ghana has used its own legal processes to deport 100 individuals of different nationalities who were found to be in violation of the law.”

“We encourage Ghanaians to abide by legal processes if they seek to immigrate to the United States. We commend the Government of Ghana for taking steps to promote private sector growth that will create employment opportunities for Ghanaians; foster even greater security; and ensure a promising future for Ghana’s youth, thereby minimizing illegal immigration to the United States,” the statement said.

World Cup 2026: Have fans from Africa been taken out from sporting activities?

The hope of many of Football fans from Africa was to see Morocco win the bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup but United States, Canada and Mexico jointly won the bid after winning 134 votes to beat Morocco’s 65.

Prayers were up for Morocco not because fans from Africa will not be able to afford travel to North America but because of very strict measures in place for acquiring visas to North America. A great number of visa applicants would be denied the opportunity to witness the 2026 World Cup.

Barely a year ago, the United States was awarded the bid to host the Olympics in 2028 which will definitely record a low turnout from Africa as Donald Trump tightens the borders of the United States. There have been instances in the past where boxers and footballers were denied visas to fight or play outside the continent and there is no doubt that some athletes partaking in the Olympics would be denied visas to travel to the United States.

“The philosophy of the Olympics Movement is one that promotes togetherness and unity of the world’s people regards of demographic differences such as gender, colour or creed.

This is superbly exhibited with the logo of the Games, which are five interlocking rings of different colours to represent the five continents that feature at the Games; Africa, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe. And that idea of unity will likely suffer a major blight if concerns about travel are not resolved.”

The joy associated with qualifying to World Cup is so huge that all soccer lovers who could afford would love to travel to support their teams as they compete for the grand trophy. Thousands of people would be denied this joyful moment.

The United States has been tightening its borders daily for a couple of years now and the election of Donald Trump is set to make it increasingly difficult. His administration has already introduced entry restrictions on citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries.

During the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, there were widespread rumours that only people having more than GHS 40,000 in their bank accounts were granted visas whereas people from the west embark on vacations on credit; monies they have not yet realised.

Embassies and High Commissions in Africa see it as favour to grant visas to visa applicants and forget what their countries stand to benefit from tourists. The acts of insignificant people who end up as illegal immigrants do not rule out that all applicants will also end up so especially when applicants have several ties back home.

Even when host countries decide to offer visa-free travels for people visiting for the games, there are always clauses for fans from Africa. Russia announced a simplified travel procedures for fans visiting for the World Cup but fans from Africa were supposed to be part of organised fan groups. The decision to travel as a group or be a member of an association cannot be enforced on someone.

I can predict for sure that the United States, Canada and Mexico would be waiving visas for fans traveling for the World Cup but would definitely have clauses to prevent people coming from Africa.

The ‘United 2026’ would be a great tournament but not for fans from Africa.

Why the IOC should reconsider making Los Angeles hosts of 2028 Games

(Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

In September 2017, Los Angeles is expected to be awarded the bid to host the Olympics in 2028. That is because it is the only country that is bidding to host. Although a small section of Los Angeles’ residents are opposed to this due to the financial demands on the city, the bulk of opponents can be found outside the country for a totally different reason.

That is because there are fears very few people will be allowed entry into the country when the Games come around.

The United States has been tightening its borders daily for a couple of years now and the election of Donald Trump is set to make it increasingly difficult. His administration has already introduced entry restrictions on citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries.

And with the rise of nationalism and populism across much of the western world, it is unclear if significant changes to migration restrictions would be relaxed.

That is because not only will spectators find it extremely difficult to gain visas to attend the Games, athletes may be severely affected.

As such, it is imperative for the International Olympic Committee to devise a way in which the travel restrictions would be solved for ahead of the Games or the unpopular move of taking the Games away from the US.

The philosophy of the Olympics Movement is one that promotes togetherness and unity of the world’s people regards of demographic differences such as gender, colour or creed.

This is superbly exhibited with the logo of the Games, which are five interlocking rings of different colours to represent the five continents that feature at the Games; Africa, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe. And that idea of unity will likely suffer a major blight if concerns about travel are not resolved.

Russia presents a great opportunity and model for which other hosts of sporting events such as the Olympics could learn from and follow.

Ahead of the 2018 World Cup scheduled to take place in Russia, the world’s largest country is considering introducing a scheme that will allow football fans with tickets to matches to enter the country to watch the games without visas for the period. The move is not only set to bring the world together, Russia is expected to make billions of dollars as revenue from all the people that would converge on its streets to watch the beautiful game.

This presents an opportunity for the IOC to also negotiate for all host countries to accept athletes and fans on visa-free for at least the period of the Games.

If this is done, I am confident that the unifying power of sports would not be derailed by our man-made borders.