The Diversity Lottery Visa Program is offered by the US government as a way to encourage immigration from countries that have relatively low levels of immigration to the US. Every year around 50,000 diversity visas are offered to immigrants from countries with a low level of immigration. Annually, around 20 million people apply for the program, therefore, there is a very steep chance of success. However, there is no fee required to apply for the program and the basic eligibility requirements are easy to meet. Therefore, it is still a chance for many immigrants to apply for permanent residence.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Diversity Visa Lottery?
To qualify, applicants must be from an eligible country and have at least a high school diploma or 2 years of work experience in the last 5 years that require at least 2-years of education or training to perform. One must also have a valid passport to qualify.
Every year, the US Department of State publicizes the invitation to register along with the list of countries that are ineligible to apply. For the most recent registration in 2020 for the lottery in 2021, the listed ineligible countries included: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom and its dependent territories and Vietnam.
Applicants from ineligible countries may still apply for the diversity visa lottery if their spouse is a registered national of an eligible country. This is also valid for children born to parents in an eligible country.
Diversity visa lottery winners must clear all the grounds for admissibility to successfully obtain permanent residence through this visa. Having any type of medical or criminal inadmissibility will result in denied entry to the US.