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When it comes to applying for the US Green Card Lottery, country of birth is one of the most important factors that determine eligibility. However, the place of birth is not necessarily the same as the country of citizenship. If you moved away from the country where you were born, it is quite possible for the two to be different.

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Does Country of Birth Matter for a Green Card?

Yes, when applying for the Green Card Lottery, also known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, country of birth is one of the first things that the authorities will look at. This is because each year, a number of countries are excluded from the list of those eligible to receive a Green Card through this US immigration program, due to a large influx of nationals from those countries. Therefore, the country of birth you put on your application is one of the key factors that determines eligibility for this particular US immigration program.

Does Green Card Lottery Eligibility Depend on Country of Birth or Citizenship?

Concerning application for the Green Card Lottery, the country of birth is the only one that has bearing on eligibility for this US immigration program. Other factors will come into play, but it is this one that is looked at very closely, since a key goal of the Green Card Lottery Program (also called the Diversity Immigrants Visa Program) is to diversify the US population. The good news is that even if your country of birth is ineligible for the Green Card Lottery, you may still be able to participate if your spouse or at least one of your parents was born in an eligible country (and you also meet the education or work experience criteria).

What Is the Nationality of a Green Card Holder?

While a Green Card will give the holder a lot of the benefits that are enjoyed by ordinary US citizens, it does not change their nationality. Therefore, a Green Card holder is still a foreign national who has been permitted to live, study and work in the US indefinitely. This means their nationality will still appear as the one they had before they received their Green Card.

How Is the Priority Date for a Green Card Calculated, by the Place of Birth or by Citizenship?

The priority date for a Green Card is the date the application was filed and is basically your place in line in terms of government processing of certain applications for US Green Cards (such as Employment-Based Green Cards). The priority date for a Green Card is generally calculated using the place of birth, rather than country of citizenship or country of residence. Priority dates are given for some Green Card applications because there is an annual limit on the number of US Green Cards that can be issued to individuals born in certain countries for different US immigration programs. If you learn that your priority date is current, this means you can apply for the Green Card.

Final Words

USAFIS has 20 years of experience assisting individuals and families around the world with properly preparing and submitting their applications for the Diversity Visa Program as well as offering other beneficial services.

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