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165,000 Russians Sought U.S. Green Card

More than 165,000 Russians participated in the United States' 2013 green-card lottery and 2,353 won, RIA-Novosti reported, citing U.S. State Department official David Donahue.

But winners are not guaranteed an immigration visa — which allows a foreigner to live and work in the United States, Donahue said Wednesday. That comes after another selection round that 43 percent of Russian winners did not make it through two years ago, the last year for which data is available.

Also, those fortunate enough to get immigration visas could have a harder time getting travel visas in the future, he said. "It all depends on each concrete case."

This year's number is slightly below 2012's tally of 2,464 Russian winners, but well above 2011's 1,912, Itar-Tass reported.

Last year, 14.8 million people worldwide applied for just 50,000 immigration visas.

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