The US Diversity Lottery, also known as the Green Card Lottery is a special program run by the US State department to encourage immigration to the US.
Each year, 50,000 United States permanent resident visas are given away to citizens of countries with low immigration rates into the U.S. through a lottery process. If, after a random selection process, you receive a permanent resident visa through the DV-2011 (Green Card) Lottery, you can live and work permanently in the United States. You can also bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21.
The United States Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery and in most years the Green Card Lottery usually takes place during the month of October. The official U.S. Government announcement regarding the lottery time frame in 2015 has not been made yet.
Each year, citizens of nations with large numbers of citizens immigrating to the United States are not eligible for the Green Card Lottery. For DV-2016, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
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.
*Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.