Diversity visa bleg

A good friend of mine in Liberia has won the diversity visa. He’s turned to me for advice, but I fear I have little to offer. I thought I’d turn to my best resource: this audience.

He’s a former combatant–a foot soldier in Charles Taylor’s group in the early nineties. After a year or two he was injured, left the group, and started an social work NGO to rehabilitate former combatants and street youth. His work was so innovative and inspiring, we’re running a randomized control trial of the program.

To get the visa, it seems he has to do four things:

  1. Pass a consular interview
  2. Find someone to host him and his wife for the first few months
  3. Find a source of temporary financial support, until
  4. He can get a job

I can help on 3, but feel feel quite clueless on 1,2 and 4. Questions that occur:

  • Is being a rebel combatant fifteen years ago going to sink his chances?
  • Can letters of support help in an interview? (Someone out there has to have been a consular officer)
  • Any advice on organizations that help new arrivals integrate and find jobs

Apologies for the bleg. Any and all advice welcome.