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US green card lottery visa ban for Nigeria


Donald J. Trump with President of the U.N. General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria 24 September 2019

White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

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Comments by Sanwar Ali:

In this case, it seems to be just a coincidence that Nigeria has been omitted from the Green Card Lottery at a time when Trump has targeted the country for visa restrictions.  It would have happened anyway it seems.  Nigeria has been excluded because over 50,000 Nigerians have been issued green cards over the last five years.  If a country exceeds this number then you are excluded from the Green Card Lottery.

Please note that for those who are eligible the Green Card Lottery is currently open.   It started at 12:00PM EDT (GMT -4) on October 7, 2020 and ends on 12:00PM EST (GMT -5) on November 10, 2020.

Following a series of US visa sanctions imposed on Nigeria in September, it’s been confirmed that the African nation has been excluded from the USA’s 2022 diversity visa lottery. A 19-page document titled ‘Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (dv-2022)’, confirmed Nigeria’s exclusion from the program.

The document said: “In Africa, natives of Nigeria are not eligible for this year’s diversity visa program.” The news is another bitter blow for Nigeria, which in the past has been hit by B1 and B2 visit visa and E1 and E2 visa sanctions. The African nation was also added to Trump’s controversial travel ban list in February this year.

The diversity visa (DV) lottery ban comes just 12 months after data published by the US Census Bureau showed that Nigeria was among the top African nations to receive US visas. The same data showed that Nigeria also has the largest population of African immigrants in the US.

Political unrest in Nigeria

A news report claims that political unrest in Nigeria has contributed to the African nation’s exclusion from the diversity visa program. In September, amid ongoing election-related activities in Nigeria, the US imposed further sanctions on the African nation, accusing some individuals of ‘undermining the democratic process.’  There does not appear to be any evidence that this is actually true.

The 19-page document stated that the ban was due to the fact that more than 50,000 Nigerian citizens had obtained green cards for the United States over the past five years. Under the rules of the program, any country that sends more than 50,000 immigrants to the US within five years is ineligible for the DV program.

Other African nations eligible

Nigeria is the only African nation to be omitted from the 2022 DV program.

Meanwhile, according to the 19-page document, persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt.

Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria,” the document states.

Nigeria not the only nation excluded

While Nigeria was the only African nation excluded, a host of other countries were omitted from the 2022 DV program, including:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China (including Hong Kong SAR)
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
  • Vietnam

All these countries don’t qualify because more than 50,000 people from each of these nations have immigrated to the US in the past five years. Among the countries that did qualify were Macau SAR and Taiwan.

An excerpt from the 19-page document said: “Applicants who are selected in the program (selectees) must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a diversity visa. The Department of State determines selectees through randomized computer selection.

“The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.” can help with US employment-based visas

If you would like to apply for a US work visa – including L1 visasE2 visasO1 visas and H1B visas - can help. is a specialist visa services firm with over thirty years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Contact us for further details.  You can also telephone 0344 991 9222.