Diversity Lottery Countries

The Diversity Visa Lottery Countries is a list of nations that will not be eligible for the Green Card Lottery and is annually released on May 1, 2013.

When registering for the Green Card Lottery (as the Diversity Visa Program is often called) immigrants must claim a certain country as their country of origin. People from the countries on the list will not be eligible for the lottery.

The country-of-origin requirement is one of only two qualifications that must be met in order to register. The other is an education requirement that states that applicants must either have a high school diploma or two years of experience in a profession that took two years of training.

The list varies only slightly from year to year and is based upon the immigration numbers of the previous five years. More information about acceptable countries will be released on May 1, 2013.

The countries that were designated as ineligible for DV-2014 (the Green Card Lottery whose application period occurred in 2012) by continent are:

  • Asia: Bangladesh, China (Not including offshore possessions of the People’s Republic of China), India, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam.
  • Europe: the United Kingdom (Not including North Ireland).
  • North America: Canada and Mexico.
  • South America: Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica and Peru.

There are some exceptions to the country-of-origin requirement that allow immigrants to claim an eligible country. Potential immigrants can claim the country-of-origin of their spouse or one of their parents.

Below are some examples based on the DV-2014 countries:

  • Henri was born and raised in Haiti and is therefore not eligible to apply for the Green Card Lottery under Haiti. However, Henri’s mother is from France and he can apply with France being his designated country of origin.
  • Rosa is from Chile and since it is not on the list of ineligible countries she can apply for the lottery using Chile as her country of origin.
  • George is from Wales; in fact his family can trace back their roots in Wales for several generations. Because of this he cannot apply for the lottery because he is from the United Kingdom. However, his wife, Darla, is from South Africa and they can both apply for the lottery using South Africa as their country of origin.