Green Card Lottery Entry Requirements

Who is eligible to enter the Green Card Lottery Program?

The US Green Card Lottery application process is open to people from all around the world, but there are a few requirements that need to be met. In general, you’ll need to meet two specific criteria.

  1. Location Requirements
    The residents of a certain number of countries are not eligible to the Green Card Lottery application: see below for the list of these countries.
  2. Education & Work Experience Requirements
    You will have to meet certain criteria concerning your education and work experience. Overall, you have to know that you need to have completed a higher education degree or to have worked for at least two years before submitting a Green Card Lottery registration. see below to read more.
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Which countries are eligible to enter the green card lottery?

Any country that does not already send the maximum number of immigrants into the United States is eligible to submit a Green Card Lottery application. The following list gives the name of the countries which are NOT able to enter:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China (mainland) –
    Hong Kong, Macao & Taiwan are eligible
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (and its dependent territories*) –
    Northern Ireland is eligible
  • Vietnam

*Remember, being born in one of these countries does not disqualify you from the Diversity Green Card Lottery. Eligibility requirements are based on the country you are currently a citizen of, and not the one in which you were born.

Do I still have a chance to apply to the DV lottery if I was born in a non-eligible country?

Yes, if you were born in one of the non-qualifying countries, you may still be able to submit a Green Card Lottery Application. You would have to meet the following requirements:

  1. If your spouse (husband or wife) was born in a qualifying country, you can claim your spouse's country of birth when you apply to the lottery.
  2. 2. If both of your parents were born in a qualifying country and did not live (reside) in your country at the time of your birth, you can claim any one of your parents' country of birth during your Green Card Lottery application.

What are the work experience or education requirements?

To qualify for entry into the United States of America, there are two ways that you can meet the educational and work experience requirements.

If you have a high school diploma, you can satisfy the requirements for entrance based on your education. Not all countries have high school, so equivalency is determined if you have completed 12 years of basic high school education. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any doubt about this.

Alternatively, you can try to enter by meeting the experience criteria. This requires for you to have at least two years of work experience over the course of the last five years. Your current job must have required at least two years of training to get you to your current position.

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