What are the DV Green Card Lottery Entry Requirements?

Check the terms and dates on a visa carefully.
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There are only two basic entry requirements for the diversity visa program, and surprisingly, age is not one of them. If you meet the two basic requirements, you are eligible to register in the program.

You must be a native of one of the qualifying countries.

The list of qualifying countries can change from year-to-year. Only countries with low admission rates (defined as a country that sends a total of less than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous five years) are eligible for the diversity visa program. If a country's admission rates change from low to high it could be removed from the list of qualifying countries. Conversely if a country that has had high admission rates suddenly drops, it could be added to the list of qualifying countries. The Department of State published the updated list of qualifying countries in its annual instructions just prior to the registration period. Find out which countries are ineligible for DV-2011.

Being native of a country means the country in which you were born. But there are two other ways you may qualify:

  • If your country is ineligible (not listed as a qualifying country) but your spouse's native country is on the list, you can claim your spouse's country of birth IF both you and your spouse register on the same entry, if you are both issued visas and you both enter the U.S. at the same time.
  • If your native country is ineligible but neither of your parents were born there or lived there at the time of your birth, you can claim your parents' country of birth if it is a qualifying country.

You must meet either the work experience OR education requirements.

Find out more about this requirement. If you do not meet the high school education or equivalent requirement, or if you do not have the necessary two years of work experience in the past five years in a qualifying occupation, then you should not enter the DV green card lottery.

Note: There is no minimum age requirement. If you meet the above requirements, you can enter the DV green card lottery. However, it's unlikely that someone under the age of 18 would meet the education or work experience requirement.

Source: U.S. Dept. of State