550 win chance for US immigration
ABOUT 550 Hong Kong people have won a chance for special consideration to migrate to the United States, following the territory's participation in the green card lottery.
If they each have a dependent, about 1,100 people may be able to migrate to the United States.
There were 110,000 winners worldwide, and of these, about 550 were from Hong Kong, said head of visa immigration at the US consulate, Paul Stephenson.
These winners will be assessed on requirements such as form five education or two years' equivalent of trained work experience. A total of 50,000 visas will be awarded worldwide.
Mr Stephenson said 6.5 million people worldwide had entered, and despite receiving 50,000 inquiries, he did not know how many were from the territory.
About a dozen winners had called the consulate for help regarding documents needed for health and criminal record screening, he said.
Mr Stephenson said they should wait for the individual authorising letter from the centralised National Visa Centre in Portsmouth in the United States.
They should then seek documentation such as police or medical certificates, and send these to the centre.
The consulate would only become involved when the centre advised them to grant an interview, Mr Stephenson said.
Interviews would probably begin in December, and visas could be issued until September 30 next year.
Hong Kong is entitled to the maximum of 3,850 visas per country under the regional allocation lottery programme, designed to balance the flow of immigration from various areas.
The territory is among 31 eligible countries in Asia and the Middle East.