The DV-2014 Diversity Visa "Green Card Lottery" Is Here Again! Do You Qualify?

By Tatyana Behar
on October 2, 2012

Today is the start of the DV-2014 "Diversity Visa" Green Card Lottery Program, run by the U.S. Department of State, which this year runs from October 2 until November 3, 2012.
Enrollment in the DV-2014 Diversity Visa Lottery program is open to individuals worldwide, except those born in those countries that are excluded from participating *. There is no minimum age to apply for the program, but the requirement of either a high school education or 2 years work experience for each principal applicant at the time of application effectively disqualifies most individuals younger than 18. Should you be "selected", then your spouse and unmarried children under age 21 may submit documentation to receive
Green Cards as well, at the same time as you do.


There are two specific entry requirements that you must meet before you can enter the program:
1. To apply for the DV-2014 Green Card Lottery Program you must be a citizen (native) of a country with a low statistical rate of immigration to the U.S. Certain countries with a high rate of immigration to U.S. are therefore excluded from the Green Card Lottery. Below is the list of excluded countries.
It is important to note that your eligibility is determined by your country of birth, and not by the country of your current citizenship or residence. This is the first year when people born in Guatemala can apply enter the lottery.
Here is the List of the Countries not eligible to participate in the DV-2014 Lottery program this year:

  • Bangladesh

  • Brazil

  • Canada

  • China (mainland only)

  • Colombia

  • Dominican Republic

  • Ecuador

  • El Salvador

  • Haiti

  • India

  • Jamaica

  • Mexico

  • Pakistan

  • Peru

  • Philippines

  • South Korea

  • United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland)

  • Vietnam

Notably, the United Kingdom also includes the following dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena and Turks and Caicos Islands. Northern Ireland does qualify. Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt for the USA Diversity Visa Lottery this year. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are also eligible to enter the DV-2014 Lottery.

Natives from all other countries may register for this year's Diversity Visa Lottery. There are 55,000 visas available for principal "winners" (not counting their spouses and children under 21). In actuality twice as many individuals in total will be selected, because the U.S. government is aware of the fact that some applicants change their mind and do not pursue their case when faced with the complexity of filing for the green card in the aftermath of having "won". It is thus very important that if you win, you must then proceed to immediately process your visa.

What if you were born in one of the non-qualifying countries on the list above, may you still qualify? The answer is: Yes, you may still qualify based on the country of birth of either your parents or spouse if you were born in a non-qualifying country.

Let's take the following example: say you were born in Brazil (ineligible country), but your spouse was born in Italy (eligible). You can then claim your spouse's country of birth (Italy) as your country of eligibility. In other words, you may claim cross chargeability to your spouse's country of birth (Italy), provided that both you and your spouse are listed together on the diversity visa lottery application.

There is one thing, however, to watch out for: you will not be issued a diversity visa green card, unless:

  • your spouse is also eligible for and is issued a diversity visa green card, and
  • both of you must enter the United States together with the diversity visa green cards.

Country of birth of your parents: if eligible, can also qualify you to participate in the DV-2014 Visa Lottery. If your parents were born, say, in Spain (eligible country), but you yourself were born in Mexico (ineligible), you could be "charged" to Spain's DV quota (the country of birth of either of your parents), as long as neither parent was a resident of your country of birth at the time of your birth. That means that your parents could have lived in Mexico only temporarily and were not, therefore, considered residents of Mexico at the time of your birth. Non-resident stay would include short visits into the country for the purposes of tourism, studying in the country temporarily, or being stationed in the country for business or professional reasons on behalf of a company or government.

If you decide to claim such alternate chargeability through your spouse or parents, it is very critical to indicate such information on the DV-2014 Visa Lottery entry form. Please be aware that listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability (i.e. one to which you cannot establish a valid claim) may later disqualify your entry entirely.

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You need to follow specific requirements for a better photo quality that could be found here, on the U.S. Department of State website.


There are two (2) options to qualify for the DV-2014 Diversity Visa Lottery:

OPTION 1: You must have completed a U.S. high school education or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. high school education. It means the successful completion of a twelve-year course of elementary and secondary education in the U.S. or successful completion in another country of a comparable 12-year course of studies. It is not sufficient to pass a high school equivalency examination, but it is permissible to have completed less than twelve years or more than twelve years of education, if the course of study completed is equivalent to a U.S. high school education; or

OPTION 2: You must have worked in one of the following occupations for at least 2 years within the last 5 years:
• Here is a complete List of Qualifying Occupations. Please keep in mind that is not necessary to provide proof that you satisfy these requirements when registering for the DV-2014 Lottery. You will be requested to submit the proof of your qualification during the interview at either a U.S. Consulate abroad or a USCIS District Office with jurisdiction over your place of residence if in the U.S. At that time you will be asked to provide proof of education, work experience and native country, but only if you are selected and scheduled for an interview after filing the necessary application forms.


Starting this year you must provide an email address to complete your application. That is no longer optional. If you are selected, you will receive both an official letter from the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg by regular mail and another notification via email.


You may find the instructions on how to file your DV-2014 Visa application here on the U.S. Department of State website. Please read the instructions carefully before you apply, and if in any doubt or in need of assistance, contact our office at once, since we are fully equipped to handle and timely file your DV applications.