What do the terms “eligibility”, “native” and “changeability” mean?

Your country of eligibility will normally be the same as your country of birth. Your country of eligibility is not related to where you live. “Native” ordinarily means someone born in a particular country, regardless of the individual’s current country of residence or nationality. For immigration purposes, “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.

For example, if you were born in a country that is not eligible for this year’s DV program, you may claim chargeability to the country where your derivative spouse was born, but you will not be issued a DV-1 unless your spouse is also eligible for and issued a DV-2, and both of you must enter the United States together with the diversity visas. In a similar manner, a minor dependent child can be “charged” to a parent’s country of birth.

Finally, if you were born in a country not eligible to participate in this year’s DV program, you can be “charged” to the country of birth of either of your parents as long as neither parent was a resident of the ineligible country at the time of the your birth. In general, people are not considered residents of a country in which they were not born or legally naturalized if they are only visiting the country, studying in the country temporarily, or stationed temporarily in the country for business or professional reasons on behalf of a company or government from a country other than the country in which the applicant was born. If you claim alternate chargeability, you must indicate such information on the E-DV electronic online entry form, in question #6. Please be aware that listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability (i.e., one to which you cannot establish a valid claim) may disqualify your entry.

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