DV-2022: Why US banned Nigeria from Green card Visa lottery

The US visa lottery advertisements circulating in Nigeria is fake – American Embassy warns

The US Embassy in Nigeria has warned prospective migrants to disregard the advertisements in circulation about US visa lottery alias green card.

In a tweet on their verified Twitter handle ‘@USinNigeria’ on Friday, the embassy said messages about visa lottery being shared online, is all ‘fake’.

To find correct information about any of their programmes, the US Embassy advised Nigerians to only check their websites at and

Visa ‘DV’ lottery is a citizenship program that people from other countries can use to get American passport.

For many years, it was very popular in Nigeria, where by the late 2000s, applications from Nigeria were some of the highest in the world.

But since 2014 people born in Nigeria have been barred from participating.

Why US stopped the lottery in Nigeria

Diversity Immigrant Visa program, alias green card lottery is an annual programme started by the US government in 1995 to allow non-citizens to get permanent residency card (PR)

This PR status (or to hold green card) is what will lead to full citizenship and every year, about 680,000 immigrants become US citizen.

But in 2014, the US announced that Nigeria is no longer eligible again as from 2015, the following year. This mark the first and only African country to collect the lottery ban.

The reason for the ban is that Nigeria has reached its limit: this is when a country has sent over 50,000 immigrants in the previous five years.

Countries on the banned list can still become eligible again in the future, like it happened to Peru, Poland and some other countries. So there’s still hope that Nigerians might become eligible again some day.

Another African country approaching its limit is Ghana.

Although the application for the lottery is free of charge, many scam businesses exist, who charge people to ‘help’ them win the lottery. This is what the US Embassy is warning against.


A writer! Columnist and an academic researcher
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