What do the terms “native” and country of eligibility/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 a numerical limitation is placed on immigrants entering from a country or geographic region, each individual is charged to a country. Your chargeability or country of eligibility refers to the country whose limitation you count towards. Charging yourself to a country means that you will be using that country as your country of eligibility for the Diversity Visa Lottery program. 

Generally, you would want to choose your native country or your country of birth as your country of eligibility but there are some exceptions where you would want to choose a different one. This is useful if your native country is ineligible for the DV Lottery program. What you could do is use the native countries either of your spouse, your father or your mother. 

If you will choose your spouse's native country as your country of eligibility, be wary that you and your spouse will have to enter the U.S. at the same time once a green card is issued. This means that only choose your spouse's native country as your country of eligibility if you are confident that your spouse is coming with you. Otherwise, choose your mother's or your father's if their native country is eligible.

For more information on how to apply for the green card lottery, get your free copy of our Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery Book today.

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