To be eligible to enroll in the Diversity Immigration Visa Program, the alien must be a native of a country with low rates of immigration to the U.S. and have at least a high school education or its equivalent, or within five years prior to the date of the application for the visa, the alien must have two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience.
The general rule for being considered a native of a country is that the alien must have been born in the territory of the country or a dependent area. Exceptions to this rule are:
Children can be considered natives of the foreign country that an accompanying eligible parent is a native of by virtue of the general rule or one of the exceptions.
A spouse can be considered a native of the foreign country that an accompanying eligible spouse is a native of by virtue of the general rule or one of the exceptions.
Aliens born in the U.S. who lost their citizenship or who were not conferred citizenship for some reason are natives of the foreign country in which he or she is a citizen, or if there is no such foreign country, the foreign country where he or she last resided.
Aliens born in a foreign country where neither of his parents were born or had residence at the time of the aliens birth are natives of the foreign country where either parent is a native by virtue of the general rule or one of the exceptions.
With respect to the countries that meet the low rate of immigration requirement, a list of those countries that qualify due to their low rates of immigration are published each year by the State Department before the lottery takes place. A list of countries that qualify for 2012 can be found here.
The last requirement is an educational or skills requirement. This requirement can be met by the successful completion of high school. A high school education is defined as the successful completion of a twelve-year course of elementary and secondary education in the U.S. or completion in another country of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to that of a high school degree in the U.S. A General Education Development(GED) test is excluded from this definition.
Alternatively, one can meet the education or skills requirement if the alien has two years’ work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience. The requisite two years’ work experience must have been attained during the five years immediately preceding the application for a visa. Moreover, the position must be a skilled position that requires at least two years training or experience, and the alien applying for the visa under this program must possess this training or experience.
(Updated 10/8/2012 by AG)
For more information on the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, please click on the following links: