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If a person is born in a country that is still eligible for US Lottery visa, however he or she is a citizen of other country that is not eligible for US Diversity lottery, should he or she apply for diversity lottery?

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  • Is that person (still) a citizen of the country they were born in?
    – jcaron
    Sep 19 at 22:40
  • @jcaron no the person is not the citizen of the country they were born in. She is born in a different country (that is still valid for diversity lottery) but a citizen of other country that isnt valid for diversity lottery. In other words in her passport country of birth is the one where diversity lottery is still valid but passport of a country which isnt valid for diversity lottery.
    – BiologyEnthusiast
    Sep 19 at 22:53
  • I’m not very familiar with the program, but a quick glance seems to indicate that the country-based eligibility criterion is (quite unusually) based on country of birth rather than citizenship. Note that there are other criteria which apply.
    – jcaron
    Sep 19 at 23:04
  • @jcaron yes thats my take on it as well. But they also use the keyword "native". Which means citizenship and not the birthplace. One can be born in a country but still not be native of that country.
    – BiologyEnthusiast
    Sep 19 at 23:25
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    The word "native" normally DOES refer to birth. If fact, it comes from the Latin word for birth, just like "prenatal"
    – WGroleau
    Sep 20 at 0:09
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Yes, country of chargeability for the Diversity Visa works like country of chargeability for other US immigration visas. It is based on the country of birth, not the country of citizenship. So someone born in a country that is eligible for DV is eligible even if they have always had solely the nationality of a non-eligible country. Conversely, someone who is a national of an eligible country who was born in a non-eligible country is not eligible for DV, unless one of several cross-chargeability rules apply (e.g. using the spouse's country of chargeability when immigrating together, a derivative child using the parent's country of chargeability, etc.).

Note that there are some special cases for country of chargeability. Macau is chargeable to Portugal and is thus eligible for DV even though Mainland China is not. Taiwan is considered its own country of chargeability and is thus eligible for DV even though Mainland China is not. The situation of Hong Kong is unclear (a literal reading of the law indicates that Hong Kong should still be considered its own country of chargeability and thus eligible for DV even though Mainland China and the UK are not, unaffected by the proclamation terminating Hong Kong's treatment under the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act, but the DV-2022 instructions claimed that Hong Kong is not eligible). For the purposes of DV only, Northern Ireland is considered is own country of chargeability, and is thus eligible for DV even though the rest of the UK is not.

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  • This makes lots of sense! however, I just checked their link, it appears there is a typo "The DV-2022 registration period opens on October 7, 2020, and closes on November 10, 2020" Shouldnt it be October 7, 2021? Sep 20 at 15:06
  • @BiologyEnthusiast no. Federal fiscal year 2022 begins on October 1, 2021, and the registration period for the lottery is roughly a year before that, in 2020. Registrations submitted next month will be for DV-2023.
    – phoog
    Sep 20 at 16:21
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Eligibility is based on nativity, i.e. country of birth, as per the most recent instructions (see below).

There are ways to use a different country for eligibility purposes, but these relate to spouses and parents. Citizenship does not directly factor into those ways.

The official DV instructions are quite specific and do go into quite a lot of detail about all the nuances (although finding those instructions when registration isn't open may not be so easy). I would suggest reading through the instructions (that are most recent at the time) in full before registering, to make sure you're eligible and you follow the instructions correctly.

From the DV-2022 instructions (for which the registration was in 2020, taken from travel.state.gov):

Eligibility

Requirement #1: Natives of countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States may be eligible to enter.

If you are not a native of a country with historically low rates of immigration to the United States, there are two other ways you might be able to qualify.

  • Is your spouse a native of a country with historically low rates of immigration to the United States? If yes, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth – provided that you and your spouse are named on the selected entry, are found eligible and issued diversity visas, and enter the United States simultaneously.
  • Are you a native of a country that does not have historically low rates of immigration to the United States, but in which neither of your parents was born or legally resident at the time of your birth? If yes, you may claim the country of birth of one of your parents if it is a country whose natives are eligible for the DV-2022 program. For more details on what this means, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

...

FAQ 1. What do the terms “native” and “chargeability” mean?

Native ordinarily means someone born in a particular country, regardless of the individual’s current country of residence or nationality. Native can also mean someone who is entitled to be charged to a country other than the one in which he/she was born under the provisions of Section 202(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Because there is a numerical limitation on immigrants who enter from a country or geographic region, each individual is charged to a country. Your chargeability refers to the country towards which limitation you count. Your country of eligibility will normally will be the same as your country of birth. However, you may choose your country of eligibility as the country of birth of your spouse, or the country of birth of either of your parents if you were born in a country in which neither parent was born, and in which your parents were not resident at the time of your birth. These are the only three ways to select your country of chargeability.

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