US green card lottery eligible countries – are you from one? Before we find out let us understand the basics.
Unlike a visa, a Green Card allows a citizen of any country to enjoy the same benefits as an American citizen in the USA. There are a number of different ways to apply for a Green Card.
Some would say that the easiest is to marry an American citizen. You could also get sponsored by your employer, make an investment in certain employment areas as an entrepreneur, etc. However, the most common way of applying for a Green Card is through the Green Card Lottery system.
What is the Green Card Lottery?
The Green Card lottery is also known as the Diversity lottery system. This was designed to encourage people from various parts of the world to come to America so that the country could have a diverse population. For this reason, not everyone can apply for this lottery.
Only people from countries with a low representation in the United States are eligible for a Green Card through the Diversity lottery. Applicants also need to have completed the equivalent of US high school education or have two years’ work experience in a job category that needs 2 years of training or study.
The application window for each year’s lottery is open for about one month. Forms for this lottery can only be filled in online and cannot be saved or downloaded. It is important to note that the Green Cards awarded as a result of the lottery aren’t applicable for that year, but, for the next fiscal year.
US green card lottery eligible countries
Natives of a country that has not sent more than 50,000 people to the United States within the last 5 years are eligible for a Green Card through the lottery system. This number only takes into consideration immigrants that have entered the United States via employment-based immigration or by being the immediate relative of a US citizen. Asylum seekers, refugees and NACARA beneficiaries are not included in this number.
|AFRICA||ASIA||EUROPE||NORTH AMERICA||OCEANIA||SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN|
|The Bahamas||Australia (including components and dependent areas overseas)||Antigua and Barbuda|
|Burkina Faso||Burma||Azerbaijan||Micronesia, Federated States of Nauru||Bolivia|
|Burundi||Cambodia||Belarus||New Zealand (including components and dependent areas overseas)||Chile|
|Cameroon||Hong Kong Special Administrative Region||Belgium||Palau||Costa Rica|
|Cabo Verde||Indonesia||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Papua New Guinea||Cuba|
|Central African Republic||Iran||Bulgaria||Samoa||Dominica|
|Chad||Iraq||Croatia||Solomon Islands Tonga||Grenada|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Djibouti||Jordan||Denmark (including components and dependent areas overseas)||Honduras|
|Eritrea||Lebanon||France (including components and areas overseas)||Paraguay|
|Ethiopia||Malaysia||Georgia||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Gambia||Mongolia||Greece||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|The Ghana Guinea||Nepal||Hungary||Suriname|
|North Korea||Iceland||Trinidad and Tobago|
|United Arab Emirates||Macau Special Administrative Region|
|Netherlands (including components and dependent areas overseas)|
|Norway (including components and dependent areas overseas)|
|Portugal (including components and dependent areas overseas)|
Countries that are not Eligible
Citizens of a country that is already well-represented in the USA cannot apply for a Green Card through the lottery system. Each year a list is drawn up of these countries. For the 2018 lottery, 18 countries are part of this list.
From Asia, natives of India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Philippines and South Korea are ineligible for the Green Card lottery. UK, Canada and Mexican citizens are also ineligible. For Central and South America, citizens of Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Jamaica are also considered ineligible.
Under Section 202(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a person can be ‘charged’ to a country other than the one he or she was born in for the purpose of immigration. There are two cases in which this can be applied for the Green Card lottery.
Firstly, if you are married to a person who is born in the US green card lottery eligible countries, you may claim chargeability to the country your spouse was born in. The second case depends on the country your parents were born in.
If they were born in another country that is eligible for the lottery you may claim chargeability to that country. For example, if you were born in India, but your parents were born in Indonesia, you could claim chargeability to Indonesia for immigration purposes. If you are from one of the US green card lottery eligible countries, go ahead and apply now.
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