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Requirements

To participate in the Green Card Lottery, you must satisfy General Requirements and Education/Training Requirements. Both are described below.

General Requirements

To enter the Lottery, an applicant must be able to claim nativity in an eligible country. Nativity, in most cases, is determined by the applicant's place of birth.
 
Persons from ALL COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD ARE ELIGIBLE to participate in the Green Card Lottery, EXCEPT persons born in the following countries:
 
BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland, except Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, GREAT BRITAIN (and its dependent territories*, except Northern Ireland), HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PHILIPPINES, PERU, POLAND, RUSSIA, SOUTH KOREA and VIETNAM.
 
*The following dependent areas of Great Britain are not eligible to participate in the Lottery: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands.
 
You may still qualify to participate in the Lottery even if you were born in one of the ineligible countries listed above. There are 2 exceptions:
  • If your spouse was born in an eligible country, then you can claim your spouse's country of birth.
  • If one of your parents was born in an eligible country, then you can claim your parent's country of birth.
A short statement explaining how you satisfy this exception must be included on your application.

Education/Training Requirements

To enter, an applicant must have EITHER:
  • A high school education or its equivalent, defined in the US as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education, OR
  • 2 years of work experience within the past 5 years in an occupation requiring at least 2 years of training or experience to perform.

Photo Requirements

All lottery applications MUST contain a recent photograph of the applicant, his/her spouse (husband/wife) and all unmarried children under 21 years of age, including all natural children as well as all legally-adopted and stepchildren, even if the children no longer reside with the applicant. Group or family photos will not be accepted; there must be a separate photo for each family member.
 
Please read the photo specification before you take your picture.
 
 

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