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Green card eligibility guide - are you eligible?

In most likelihood, you are. The requirements for a green card applicant are very basic yet strict. A green card applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • The green card lottery does not qualify by your age, marital status or gender. You can, however, use the country of birth of your spouse or your parent as a claim to qualify for a green card application
  • Anyone can apply. Your age, gender, marital status and occupation do not matter.
  • Your current country of residence does not affect your eligibility to participate in the green card lottery; however, your country of birth does. You must be born in an eligible country in order to be able to participate in the green card lottery. The green card regulations provide for special cases such as when you were not born in an eligible country but your spouse were; in such case, you must claim your spouse's country of birth by indicating so on the Diversity Visa application form. The list of eligible countries for green cards is published by Department of Satte every year as a new Diversity Immigrant Visa Program starts. The list tends to change every year. Countries of origin that have had more than total 50,000 emigrants immigrate to US via the Diversity Visa within last five years will not be eligible for green card lottery.
  • Another requirement for eligibility is having a high school diploma, which is defined as successful completion of 12 year elementary and secondary education; alternatively, you might have two years of work experience in a position that requires at least two years of training or experience to be filled, during last five last years.

Green card lottery rules change from year to year. It is important to study regulations for the particular fiscal year before applying for the green card, otherwise your application would be disqualified and you will not be able to reapply the same year.

If you are in doubt, please feel free to see our detailed explanation for green card DV2006 when it comes out or consult our immigration experts.

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