Section 203(c) of the Immigration & Nationality Act provides for immigrants from historically underrepresented countries to apply for a green card through a system known as the diversity visa lottery. The DV lottery was put in place to increase diversity in the number of people allowed to come to the U.S. as immigrants each year.
Each year, people seeking the opportunity to come to the U.S. apply through the State Department in the hopes of obtaining the coveted visa. For 2015, nationals from the following countries are ineligible for the DV lottery:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
Diversity visas are distributed among 6 geographic regions. No one country can receive more than 7 percent of the diversity visas each year. DV applicants have to have a high school education or its equivalent OR two years of work in a job that requires two years of training.
Applications for 2015 were due by Nov. 2, 2013. Applications for the following year will be accepted starting early October of 2014. Applications are filed electronically here:
One last note, there are many DV lottery scams so you should be careful when navigating the DV lottery process.