Each year, the Department of State provides 50,000 immigrant visas through lottery to natives of those qualifying countries who have necessary educational or work experience. Another 5,000 immigrant visas are allotted under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). Applicants who are selected via such lottery system are eligible to migrate along with their spouse and unmarried children below the age of 21 years.
Each year the Department of State will publish the names of the countries that are eligible. Find the list of eligible countries for green card lottery here.
Person entering such lottery or the spouse or parents of such person must be natives of such country. “Native” means someone born in a particular country regardless of the person’s current residence or nationality. Apart from that the person must have a high school diploma or equivalent or two years of work experience within the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience.
A native of the qualifying country may apply from within the U.S. and if granted and may adjust his status or would have to go through Consular processing if outside the U.S.