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How Nairobi man lost chance to move to US despite winning Green Card

by Paul Nyongesa
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The Diversity Visa (DV) program, commonly known as the Green Card lottery, has long been a beacon of hope for individuals from eligible countries seeking a chance at a better life in the United States.

This program offers a unique opportunity for permanent residency in the land of opportunities. However, winning the Green Card lottery is just the beginning of a challenging journey filled with obstacles and uncertainties.

For many, the chance to immigrate to the United States is a dream they hold dear. Each year, countless individuals try their luck in the Green Card lottery, with the hope of securing a brighter future in the land of milk and honey.

Yet, amidst the excitement and anticipation, there lies the need for thorough research and preparation to increase one’s chances of success.

One such story comes from Nairobi, Kenya, where a man known as Eddy and his family embarked on a life-changing journey when they won the DV lottery in 2013.

Their joy knew no bounds as they imagined the possibilities that lay ahead in the United States. Little did they know that this path would be fraught with unforeseen challenges.

Eddy’s journey began in a humble internet café, where a client introduced him to the DV program and guided him through the application process.

The process seemed simple and straightforward, but Eddy and his wife, lacking proper research and guidance, fell prey to avoidable mistakes.

In their haste, they took passport photos at a nearby studio and submitted their application without double-checking the necessary requirements and documentation. Months later, they received the life-altering news that they were among the lucky winners of the Green Card lottery.

Ecstatic and hopeful, Eddy and his family were given instructions by the Kentucky Consular office on the next steps, including medical checkups, interview preparations, and payment procedures.

The dream of a better life in the United States seemed within reach, but the journey was far from smooth sailing.

The first major mistake occurred when Eddy and his family fell victim to a passport agent’s scam, leading to additional expenses and delays.

Moreover, mistakes in the passport application resulted in incorrect information on their passports. Despite these setbacks, they sought guidance from the Kentucky consulate, hoping to rectify the situation.

The fateful day of the visa interview arrived, and Eddy and his family arrived early, nerves tingling with anticipation.

However, when the staff reviewed their documents, they encountered a significant obstacle. One of Eddy’s children had a birth certificate that did not match the surname on her mother’s documents.

The staff requested adoption papers or a court decree proving Eddy’s full parental responsibilities for the child, as well as permission from the biological father for the child’s immigration. Regrettably, they were unable to provide the necessary documents, further complicating the interview process.

To make matters worse, their marriage certificate had been obtained after their Green Card win, which raised concerns about the genuineness of their marriage. Despite the staff’s suggestion that Eddy should proceed with the interview alone to increase his chances, the family decided to face the challenge together, hoping for a positive outcome.

However, luck was not on their side that day. The visa was denied, and Eddy was advised to try again in the following year’s DV Lottery. The disappointment weighed heavily on their hearts as they left the US Embassy, dreams of a brighter future dashed.

Eddy’s determination did not waver, and he continued to participate in subsequent DV lotteries, but success has thus far eluded him.

Over a decade has passed since that fateful day, and he remains hopeful that his dream of moving to the United States will one day come true.

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