The U.S. State Department says it has selected finalists from around the world for 50,000 immigration visas to the United States in the coming year.
In a statement Thursday, the State Department said it has selected about 100,000 finalists in its annual "diversity visa lottery" -- from a pool of approximately 9.5 million applications.
The State Department says the lottery targets citizens of countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The finalists include more than 600 applicants from countries of the former Yugoslavia and more than 2,200 from former Soviet republics of Central Asia.
The list also includes about 7,400 finalists from Bangladesh, 6,000 from Egypt, 5,300 each from Ukraine and Morocco, 2,500 from Peru and 1,800 from Turkey.