Is my country of birth
important for the Green Card Lottery?
Your country of birth plays an important role in the Green Card
Lottery because some countries are not allowed to participate.
Countries who are excluded usually have an already high rate of
immigration to the USA. Every country which has received more than
50,000 U.S. Green Cards through other legal immigration paths, such
as family- or work-based visas over the last five years are
automatically excluded from the lottery. The list of excluded
countries, therefore, can change from year to year. It is worth the
time to check the list of excluded countries regularly to see if new
counties have been added or taken off the list. Please take note
that your nationality plays no role in the Green Card Lottery. Only
your country of birth according to current borders is important in
deciding if you can participate in the drawing.
List of excluded countries
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China (mainland), Dominican
Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria,
Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except for
Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories and Vietnam.
Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.
What education or work
requirements must I meet?
You can apply for the Green Card Lottery when …
... you can prove that you have at least a US high school diploma
or an equivalent level of education. This means that participants
should have completed at least 12 years of formal primary and
... you can prove at least two years of work experience within
the past five years in a qualified profession. Qualified professions
are those that require at least two years of training. Please refer
to the database provided by the Department of State to check if your
People who do not fulfill the above requirements cannot,
unfortunately, apply for the lottery.
Each year, millions(!) of applications are disqualified for failure
to follow the instructions. It is recommended that you use the
wizard, which walks you through every step of the application
process, checking for errors and omissions and making sure that you
provide all of the necessary information as required by the
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