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About the Green Card Lottery

The annual Green Card Lottery makes green cards available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated random lottery drawing chooses selectees for green cards. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the period of the past five years. Within each region, no one country may receive more than seven percent of the available green cards in any one year.

Green Card Lottery 2020

For DV-2020, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El
Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea,
United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.
There were no changes in eligibility this year from the previous fiscal year.


FIRST, you must be a native of an eligible country. In most cases this means that you were born in that country. However, there are two other ways you may be able to qualify. First, if your spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, then you can claim your spouse's country of birth provided both you and your spouse are on the selected entry, are issued visas and enter the U.S. simultaneously. Second, if neither of your parents was born or resided in same ineligible country where you were born, you may claim nativity in one of your parents' countries of birth if it is a country whose natives qualify for the DV program.

SECOND, you must meet either the education or work experience requirement of the DV program. Specifically, you must have EITHER a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform.

If you have any questions about whether you satisfy either of these requirements, please email us at Visa America.

The Department of State will only accept completed Electronic Green Card Lottery Applications (called Diversity Visa Entry Forms) submitted correctly during the registration period.


All entries by an individual will be disqualified if more than ONE entry for that individual is received, regardless of who submitted the entry.

Your entry will be disqualified if all required photographs are not submitted. Recent photographs of the following people must be submitted electronically with the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form: you, your spouse, each unmarried child under 21 years of age, including all natural children as well as all legally-adopted children and stepchildren, even if a child no longer resides with you or you do not intend for a child to immigrate under the DV program. You do not need to submit a photo for a child who is already a U.S. citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident. Group or family photographs will not be accepted; there must be a separate photograph for each family member. DOS also published a final rule requiring that photographs submitted as part of a diversity visa lottery entry package be taken no more than six months before the date of the petition submission, and prohibiting applicants from wearing eyeglasses in the photos. More information about submitting photographs is provided below.


After we successfully register your entry, we will print the display of a confirmation screen containing your name, date of birth, country of chargeability, and a date/time stamp. We will forward this confirmation screen to you for your records.

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