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How to Determine if You are Eligible to Apply to the Diversity Lottery

9 June 2009 4 Comments

Are you eligible to apply to the Diversity Visa Lottery for a US Green Card that will allow you to become a permanent resident of the United States? Each year the US State Department’s national Visa Center oversees the Diversity Lottery to bring immigrants to the USA. Applying to the Diversity Lottery is Free. But not everyone is eligible to participate.

These are the requirements:

  • Only persons from certain countries are eligible. 50,000 visas are issued each year under the diversity Lottery to people who come from countries that have sent less than 50,000 people to the USA as immigrants in the past five years. Each year, just before the new Diversity Lottery, the State Department will publish the list of countries eligible to participate.

In last year’s Diversity Lottery (DV2010), persons from the following countries were NOT eligible to participate:


  • Brazil
  • · Canda
  • · China (Mainland-Born)
  • · Columbia
  • · Dominican Republic
  • · Ecuador
  • · El Salvador

  • Guatemala
  • · Haiti
  • · India
  • · Jamaica
  • · Mexico
  • · Pakistan
  • · Phillipines

  • Peru
  • · Poland
  • · South Korea
  • · United Kingdom
  • · (except Northern Ireland and territories)
  • Vietnam.

Note: The Diversity Lottery for 2010 (DV2010) has closed. The next Diversity Lottery (DV2011) will likely be open for applications in early October 2009. We will post the new list of countries that are not eligible here as soon as it is issued by the US Department of State.

  • You may be eligible to apply if you are related to someone from an eligible country. You or your spouse must be a native of a country that is eligible to participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery, but you are also allowed to participate if you have a parent who was born in a country that is eligible to participate.
  • You must have a high school diploma or equivalent work training and experience. This means that you are eligible if you have completed twelve years of study including elementary and secondary education OR if you have two years of work experience in a job that requires at least considerable training or experience to perform. If you are basing your eligibility on the equivalent work training and experience, the work experience must have taken place within the past five years. Further, your work experience must have been in an occupation that is designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) range of 7.0 or higher in the database of occupations listed at the US Department of Labor O*Net Online Database.

The window of opportunity to make an application is short, so bookmark this site and check back often for updates. If you would like us to notify you by e-mail when the next application period occurs, send a note in the comments section below with your e-mail address. (We will not post your e-mail address, but will notify you as the new round of application opportunity for the Green Card Lottery (The diversity Lottery) opens!)

Opportunity Cafe will post the eligible countries and the instructions for applying as soon as they are issued by the U.S. Department of State. The instructions will most likely be posted in August, but it could be sooner.

Applications can be submitted electronically on the Department of State website. The instructions must be followed exactly. According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, a US government agency: “Millions of applicants are rejected each year for failure to follow the directions. “

The purpose of Opportunity Café is to appreciate cultural diversity and the experience of immigrants, as well as to encourage global economic opportunity.  OpportunityCafe.com  is not affiliated with the US government, but we are pleased to keep you informed.



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  • admin said:

    From what country?

  • Marselia said:

    Thanks for the interesting information.

  • derufa said:

    I read your article with great pleasure. Thank you.