To participate in the Green Card Lottery, you must satisfy General Requirements and Education/Training Requirements. You must also have a valid and unexpired passport or provide an acceptable reason why you do not have a passport.
To enter the Lottery, an applicant must be able to claim nativity in an eligible country. Nativity, in most cases, is determined by the applicant's place of birth.
Persons from ALL COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD ARE ELIGIBLE to participate in the Green Card Lottery, EXCEPT persons born in the following countries:
BANGLADESH, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland, except Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, GREAT BRITAIN (and its dependent territories*, except Northern Ireland), GUATEMALA, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, NIGERIA, PAKISTAN, PHILIPPINES, SOUTH KOREA and VIETNAM.
*The following dependent areas of Great Britain are not eligible to participate in the Lottery: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands.
You may still qualify to participate in the Lottery even if you were born in one of the ineligible countries listed above. There are 2 exceptions:
- If your spouse was born in an eligible country, then you can claim your spouse's country of birth.
- If one of your parents was born in an eligible country, then you can claim your parent's country of birth.
A short statement explaining how you satisfy this exception must be included on your application.
To enter, an applicant must have EITHER:
- A high school education or its equivalent, defined in the US as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education, OR
- 2 years of work experience within the past 5 years in an $Link( "Occupations", "occupation requiring at least 2 years of training or experience to perform" ).
You must have a valid and unexpired passport to participate. Only the primary applicant is required to have a passport. (Spouses and children are not required to have passports.) You do not need a passport if:
- You are stateless,
- You are a national of a Communist controlled country and unable to obtain a passport, OR
- You are the beneficiary of a waiver approved by the United States Government.