Green Card Lottery Entry Requirements

Who is eligible to enter the Green Card Lottery Program?

The Green Card Lottery 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
    Click here to see a list of countries that are NOT eligible.
  2. Education & Work Experience Requirements
    Click here 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 enter the green card lottery. The below list of countries 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 green card lottery. Eligibility requirements are based on the country you are currently a citizen of, and not where you were born.

Do I still have a chance to apply 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 participate in the USA Green Card Lottery Office:

  1. If your spouse (husband or wife) was born in a qualifying country, you can claim your spouse's country of birth.
  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 of your parents' country of birth.

What are the work experience or education requirements?

To qualify for entrance into the United States, 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.

Alternately, you can try to enter by meeting the experience criteria. This requires that you 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 your current postion.

Check if you qualify