Which Countries are Eligible for Green Card Lottery?

Which countries are eligible for Green Card Lottery

The Green Card Lottery, also known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, is a program created by the US Federal Government to award the winners with a permanent resident card. It was established under the Immigration Act 1990 and is currently conducted as per the regulations laid down by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Department of State is responsible for administering the program. Between 15-20 million people apply for the 50,000 Diversity Immigrant Visas offered every year.

How does the green card lottery work?

As the name suggests, the Green Card Lottery is a form of lottery, where you stand a chance to win every time you participate in the program. The process of applying for a visa under the green card lottery is straightforward; you submit your application online on www.usgreencardoffice.com/apply, get selected by the U.S. Department of State, pass an interview, and get a green card. After receiving your Green Card, you and your family can enjoy the legal rights to seek employment and live in the United States permanently.

The applicants selected ("selectees") must meet strict eligibility criteria to qualify for the program. These include the following:

  1. Applicants who were born in nations where "natives" meet the requirements may be eligible for the program. However, in case your place of birth is not an eligible country, then you have two other ways to qualify:

    • If your husband/wife was born in one of the eligible countries, then you may apply for the visa by claiming that you are from his/her place of birth. However, both of you must have your names on the list of selectees issued by the Department of State.

    • You were born in an eligible country, but your parents were not born or were not legally residing there during your birth, then you may apply from the birthplace of one of your parents, provided it is an eligible country.

  2. Each applicant must qualify by meeting the requirement of education and/or professional work experience by possessing either:

    • High school education or any of its equivalent, which means he or she should have successfully completed twelve years of elementary and secondary school education


    • Two years of professional work experience in the last five years in a job that needs at least two years of experience or training to perform. (visit online.onetcenter.org to see if your occupation qualifies)

Why some countries are disqualified

For the Diversity Visa program, people from the countries mentioned below are not eligible. The reason is that in the last five years, more than 50,000 people from these nations have already migrated to the United States and are therefore disqualified until next year.

  • Brazil
  • Bangladesh
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • China (including Hong Kong)
  • El Salvador
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • India
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • South Korea
  • Peru
  • Vietnam
  • Philippines
  • Mexico

All the other countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America (Bahamas), Oceania, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean are green card lottery eligible countries. Here's a list of these countries. The list of countries, which do qualify for the Green Card Lottery, is subject to change from year to year so please make sure to check the list before you apply.

Minimum age requirement

There is no minimum age to apply for the green card lottery. However, the criterion of high school education or work experience will effectively disqualify most applicants who are below 18 years of age.

When should you apply?

It important to apply as soon as possible to avoid missing any deadlines, the earlier you apply the better chance you have to get your application approved and submitted on time. It will only take a few minutes to apply and it's all done online here www.usgreencardoffice.com/apply

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