The Ultimate Guide to Countries Eligible for the US DV Lottery
Each year, the United States Department of State conducts the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery program, also known as the Green Card lottery, which provides an opportunity for individuals from certain countries to apply for permanent residency in the United States.
In this blog post, we will explore the countries that are eligible for the US DV lottery, the application process, and key considerations for prospective applicants.
If you’ve ever dreamt of living and working in the United States, keep reading to discover if your country is eligible for this life-changing opportunity.
Understanding the Eligibility Criteria:
The DV lottery program aims to promote diversity by granting immigrant visas to individuals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. To be eligible for the lottery, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a native of an eligible country: The eligibility is determined by your place of birth, not your citizenship. However, if your spouse was born in an eligible country, you may claim their birthplace.
- Meet the education or work experience requirement: You must have either a high school education or its equivalent (completion of 12 years of formal education) or two years of work experience in a qualifying occupation.
List of Eligible Countries:
The list of eligible countries for the DV lottery is subject to change each year. However, some countries have generally remained eligible over the years, while others may be added or removed. As of 2023, the eligible countries include:
- Africa: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
- Asia: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 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.
- Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (including Faroe Islands and Greenland), Estonia, Finland, France (including all territories except French Guiana), Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal (including Azores and Madeira), Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (including all territories except Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vatican City.
- Oceania: Australia (including Norfolk Island), Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand (including Cook Islands and Niue), Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.
- North America: The Bahamas.
- South America, Central America, and the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.
To participate in the DV lottery, you must submit an electronic entry form during the designated registration period, typically announced several months in advance. The application process is free, and entries are limited to one per person. After the registration period, a computer-generated random selection process is conducted to choose the winners.
While the DV lottery offers a unique opportunity to pursue permanent residency in the United States, it is crucial to be aware of the following considerations:
- Beware of scams: The DV lottery is the only official program run by the US government. Be cautious of fraudulent individuals or organizations claiming to offer guaranteed entry in exchange for money.
- Stay updated: The list of eligible countries and other program details can change from year to year. Stay informed by regularly checking the official US Department of State website or your country’s US embassy/consulate website.
- Seek professional advice: If you have any doubts or questions about the application process or eligibility, it is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney or seek guidance from a reputable immigration agency.
The US DV lottery is an exciting opportunity for individuals from eligible countries to pursue a path towards permanent residency in the United States. By understanding the eligibility criteria, knowing the list of eligible countries, and following the application process diligently, you can increase your chances of being selected. Remember, this program offers a fair and unbiased opportunity for diversity, making it an excellent avenue to fulfill your dreams of living and working in the United States. Best of luck!