Qualified Country of Birth
Your country of birth must be qualified to participate in the DV Lottery. Your citizenship is not relevant in this process. What is most important is the country of your birth, in accordance with current world political maps.

List of Excluded Countries
Almost everyone qualifies for the DV Lottery. The only exceptions are people born in a country with a very high rate of emigration into the US.

Due to the high immigration rate into the United States, the following countries are excludes from the DV Program:

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

People born in Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

Individuals who were born in any of the above-mentioned excluded countries may apply if:

their spouses were born in one of the eligible countries, or
their parents (both not born in this excluded country) were only temporary residents of the excluded, non-eligible countries.

After winning in the DV Lottery, you must prove that you meet one oft he following educational requirements:

Your educational level is at least equivalent to an American high school diploma


Within the last five years, you must have worked for at least two years in a profession that requires at least two years of training.

Proof of these prerequisites are only necessary when and if a lottery participant wins a Green Card. They are not necessary when you are simply submitting the application.

If you do not have the equivalent of a high school degree and are not sure if your job “requires two years of training” you should check the US Department’s of State Online Database ONET. Type in your profession and click on “Summary”. You will find an analysis on how many years of experience in your job are needed in the chapter “Job Zone”.

Photo requirements
The US State Department requires all applications to be filed electronically. Please be advised that any minor error in the application procedure will result in your immediate disqualification without further notice.

The photo requirements are very strict and must meet the following criteria:




Light-colored and plain

Size of the head

The face (from chin to hair) must represent between 50%-69% of the total height of the photo.

Head position

Directly face the camera. The head must not be tilted up, down or to the side.


It must not be overexposed or underexposed. Shadows must not be visible.

Digital image alterations

Should be avoided. A modified background can influence the shape of the head.


Must not be covered by hair and facial expression should be neutral.

Head coverings

Not permitted except for religious reasons.


Not allowed.


High quality color photos only – no black and white photos!

Photo size



600×600 pixels / 300 dpi

File size

Maximum 240 KB

File format

JPG format

Photo age

The photo must not be older than 6 months and needs to reflect the current look. Photos of previous dv lotteries should not be used.

Please do not use copies of identity cards or passports!

dv lottery photo requirements

If an existing photo is scanned, it must have a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi). The original photo should be 2 x 2 inches in size. The maximum image size accepted will be 240KB. Images should be taken directly facing the camera in front of a light-colored background. The face should cover between 50% and 69% of the height of the image.

Passport for the DV Lottery
In June 2019, the US authorities extended the rules for participation in the DV Lottery. Since then, the following details from a valid passport are now also required to participate:

Passport number
Passport expiration date
Issuing country
However, this data is only required from the applicant and not from the family members.

The passport must be valid at least until the end of the registration period which is usually at the beginning of November each year. If your passport expires before the dv lottery results are announced, please keep your invalidated passport or at least a copy of it.

List your family members correctly
You must list your partner/spouse (if you are married) and all your children under 21 years on your DVLottery application. Your spouse´s children must be listed too! Photos must be provided of all family members on the application!

This does not mean that all family members have to immigrate to the US. After winning, the principal applicant can decide who to take along or not! However, all family members must be listed on the initial DV Lottery application to avoid disqualification!

Safe and Secure DV Lottery Application
Fortunately enough, with the automated process offered by and associated websites you do not need to worry about formalities.

The American Dream offers you an approved official green card submission and immigration consultancy service. We will check all your data and photos and submit your application to the US authorities in due form and time.

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