US Visa Lottery Drains Ghana
39,000 LEAVE IN 5 YEARS
An average of 8,000 highly trained and skilled Ghanaians leave the country annually through the US Green Card Lottery,the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service has revealed.
The latest worldwide figures released by the service saw Ghana ahead of the top 10 countries with the number of professionals who left the country under the scheme over the last five years totalling 39,540.
Ghana topped the table ahead of Nigeria,Bangladesh, Pakistan,Ethiopia,Poland and Egypt whose nationals are also leaving their countries in significant numbers under the scheme.
With a total population of about 20 million,Ghana topped the Green Card Lottery Winners table in 2002 and 2003 ahead of Nigeria (130 million),Bangladesh (153 million) and Pakistan (161.1 million).
In those two years,12,864 highly trained Ghanaian professionals left for the US under the scheme. Ghana placed second in 2000,2001 and 2004 with a total of 22,702 leaving the country for the US.
This year,thus far,Ghana placed fifth with a total of 3,974 winning the lottery.The requirements for entering the lottery are at least 12 years of elementary and secondary schooling,equivalent to high school in the US, at least two years of work experience and “your work must have at least two years of training.”
All these fit the nation's highly trained and skilled human resource such as doctors,teachers,accountants, engineers,nurses,pharmacists and lawyers whose exodus from the country has raised serious concern.
In 2000 Ghana placed second among the top 10 countries that won the lottery with 8,662, second again in 2001 with 6,000 winners and took the first position in 2002 with 6,531.
More than 6330 left in 2003,but the number dropped thus far in 2005 to 3,974.The lists for 2006 and 2007 have already been compiled but yet to be released by the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service.