Green Card Lottery Entry Requirements

Who is eligible to enter the Green Card Lottery Program?

Application to the Green Card Lottery Program is open for all individuals worldwide that fulfill the two basic entry requirements:

  1. You must be born in a qualifying country.
    Click here to see a list of countries that are NOT eligible.
  2. You must meet either the education OR work experience requirement.
    Click here to read more.

What are the Green Card Lottery NOT eligible countries?

This year’s lottery the ineligible countries are:

  • 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

*Note that by excluding United Kingdom the following dependent territories are also excluded: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, and Turks & Caicos Islands.

Why are these countries NOT eligible?

To enter the Green Card Lottery program you must have been born in a country with a low immigration rate to the United States. Individuals who were born in the countries listed above are not eligible because the countries already sent a total of 50,000 people to the United States in the previous five years.

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:

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

If both of your parents were born in a qualifying country and did not live (resided) 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 enter the USA Green Card Lottery Program you must qualify with either the education or the work experience requirement.

1. You must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, which is having completed 12 years of elementary and secondary school.
OR
2. You must have two years of work experience, within the past five years, in a job that required at least two years of training.

Remember that you will not need to submit proof that you satisfy these requirements when submitting your Green Card Lottery entry — however, it will be requested if you are selected as a winner.

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