To be eligible, applicants must have a high school education or its equivalent, or 2 years experience in an occupation which requires at least 2 years of training or experience, and must be admissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The applicant or the applicant’s spouse must be a native of one of the countries that qualify for the Diversity visa lottery. Applications must be submitted electronically. Lottery winners are selected randomly by a computer, and the State Department notifies the winners. Winners then have a short period of time to file the necessary paperwork demonstrating that they are admissible as legal permanent residents. In person interviews are then scheduled. Lottery winners may also bring their spouses and minor children to the U.S. as derivatives.

REQUIREMENT #1: Individuals born in countries whose natives qualify may be eligible to enter. If you were not born in an eligible country, there are two other ways you might be able to qualify:

  • Was your spouse born in a country whose natives are eligible? If yes, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth—provided that both you and your spouse are named on the selected entry, are issued diversity visa, and enter the United States simultaneously.
  • Were you born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but in which neither of your parents was born or legally resident at the time of your birth? If yes, you may claim nativity in one of your parents’ countries of birth if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the immigartion program.

ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES FOR PARTICIPATING IN DIVERSITY VISA PROGRAM TO USA:

Africa: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt*, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

*Persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.

Asia: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Hong Hong, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel*, Japan, Jordan*, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria*, Taiwan**, Thailand, Timor-Leste, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

*Persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.

Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vatican City

**Natives of the following European countries are not eligible for this year’s DV program: Great Britain includes the following dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena and Turks and Caicos Islands. Note that for purposes of the diversity program only, Northern Ireland is treated separately; Northern Ireland does qualify and is listed among the qualifying areas. Macau S.A.R. does qualify and is listed above.

North America: The Bahamas. In North America, natives of Canada and Mexico are not eligible for this year’s diversity program.

Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Federated States of Nauru, New Zealand, Palau Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Samoa

South America, Central America and Carabbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.

REQUIREMENT #2: In addition, to meet the education/work experience requirement of the DV program, you must have either:

  • a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education;OR
  • two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform.

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