As the new registration period will shortly be open I wanted to address something that has potential to catch people out during the eDV entry. It is about chargeability.
Eligibility to participate in the DV lottery is based on country of birth. That does not mean your country of citizenship. It means where you were born. I have explained this more detail in a previous post here. For anyone about to enter they must understand this point. Entering the wrong country can get you disqualified.
So – you enter country of birth as your country of chargeability EXCEPT in the following examples.
- If you were born in an ineligible country but your spouse was born in an eligible country, you can charge to your spouse’s country of birth.
- If your parents were temporarily in your country of birth and neither of them was born there themselves, you may be able to charge to one of their birth countries.
Mistakes made about that can be serious. Typically a mistake in country of chargeability within one region could be overlooked at the interview BUT a mistake that crosses a region would cause disqualification. So choosing France, when really you were supposed to charge to Germany would be OK, but choosing France when you should have charged to South Africa would NOT be OK)
Now – in the last couple of weeks (September 11, 2015), USCIS have clarified a third type of exception. I call this “elective cross charging” – some may have heard me talking about this before since there was a lawyer who has suggested this method BUT the rulebook did not support his suggestion. Elective cross charging is where both you and your spouse were born in eligible countries but to improve your chances you choose to both charge to the country with the best odds of winning. So – if your spouse was born in Australia and you were born in South Africa, you CAN choose Australia for BOTH of your entries. Why would you do that? Well OC region selectees are around 10 times more likely to be picked in the lottery, so you would be improving your chances massively.
Now- there are a couple of downsides. First, if the winner is charging to a spouses’ country, both selectees must meet the other eligibility criteria (education/work experience) and both must enter the USA together.
Secondly, some COs will not understand this type of elective cross charging. They may incorrectly refuse cases so someone using this method needs to have the 9 FAM rule printed out at the interview. I am providing that link here .
So be cautious with this approach. Only do it if you are sure you know what you are doing and are prepared to present the evidence to argue the case.
November 8, 2019 at 14:07
I was born in UAE to a Sudanese parents who were on a short visit.
Now when I was entering my details for the DV lottery, I wrote UAE is where I was born in Q5 but chose Sudan to be the country of my eligibility in Q6.
Now I heard many different views about this and what made me even more confused is reading this in the official DV lottery website quoted:
1. What do the terms “native” and “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
Because there is a numerical limitation on immigrants who enter from a country or geographic region, each
individual is charged to a country. Your chargeability refers to the country towards which limitation you count.
Your country of eligibility will normally will be the same as your country of birth. However, you may choose
your country of eligibility as the country of birth of your spouse, or the country of birth of either of your
parents if you were born in a country in which neither parent was born, and in which your parents were not
resident at the time of your birth. These are the only three ways to select your country of chargeability.
Listing an incorrect country of eligibility or chargeability (i.e., one to which you cannot establish a valid claim)
will disqualify your entry.’
It said there are 3 cases where I can claim different eligibility and it didn’t specify that your country should be ineligible so you can follow this, and if I was able to prove that both my parents were born in Sudan and were only on visit when I was born it should be ok.
What do you think of this?
November 9, 2019 at 04:55
I already answered. You cannot be approved.
September 12, 2020 at 22:21
Hello i was wondering what happened to u ?? Did u get the visa?
November 10, 2019 at 10:14
Thank you for your time and effort to clear many issues related with DV lottery.
I was born in Jeddah Saudi Arabia with birth certificate in Arabic. I got it translated. Now I live in India since 1996 and I have applied the DV 2021. My parents are Indian and I’m Indian as per the passport.
I’m traveling to Saudi Arabia for few days on pilgrimage and I checked the Travel.gov website. It says “BIRTH CERTIFICATES: each applicant’s original birth certificate and one notary-certified copy is required.”
I got my Indian passport using this Birth certificate. My question is what are the procedure I should do to
1- Should I get the birth certificate stamped by the embassy of India with attestation of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign affairs
2- Should I do Notary Certification from India or from Jeddah Saudi Arabia
3- Is my passport is enough as proof of my country of Birth in Saudi Arabia
Thank you for your time
God Bless your
November 10, 2019 at 11:34
Go to the nearest Ahwal Madani office and ask them to print your birth certificate for you. Take that birth certificate to any authorised translation office in saudi arabia and they will translate it for you.
You may need your old iqama number on which you were born and also a print out from the hospital were you were born to have the original birth certificate printed out. It is a fairly straight forward procedure and less tedious than it may seem. Best of luck
November 10, 2019 at 11:36
Pardon me for my earlier reply, I misunderstood your comment.
In the case where you have your original Saudi birth certificate, you simply need to take it to any authorised translator and have it translate. You will find several of those around the US consulate. Probably they would charge an approx amount of 30 USD and will return you the document on the same day.
November 16, 2019 at 06:30
I got it translated , but when I went to Ministry of Foreign affairs ,Jeddah Saudi Arabia, for their authenticity Seal and Stamp, they said Notary attestation is sufficient and if possible embassy of India seal . Any suggestions on how to proceed further from your experience.
Thanks for your time and consideration
November 18, 2019 at 06:14
You simply need an authorised translation which they call “mu’tamad”. These translators are already authorised by relevant authorities to officially translate documents. So if you have it translated by one of these it should be enough. If you want to do anything further than that it is totally up to you, but the embassy would not require fancy multiple signatures and stamps as loved in Saudi offices.
November 11, 2019 at 15:31
There is no point in worrying about any of this now. The chance of selection is low.
November 11, 2019 at 16:51
Hi, Good morning
May I know why the chances of selection is low??? I was born in Saudi Arabia but currently residing in india
November 11, 2019 at 18:12
Everyone has a low chance of selection. It’s a lottery.
November 17, 2019 at 10:57
I am selectee for 2020 . I have my interview already arranged in December.
My problem is that I was born in Albania but since 8yrs old I’m living in Greece and I have Greek citizenship. I cannot obtain military papers, education etc from Albania because all of my life I was in Greece. At country of charge I selected Greece instead of Albania. By the time I applied I wasn’t married , but engaged. After the selection I got married and my wife is Greek. I called KCC and asked about my marriage even if I hadn’t included my wife at the first application and how to proceed. They told me to get married and then to apply my DS-260 and include my wife as I did.
My question is what are my possibilities of disqualification at the interview? And also if I was to disqualified, why KCC approved my papers and arranged an appointment for me at the embassy?
Thanks in Advance,
November 18, 2019 at 21:01
Technically you made a mistake on your entry (choosing Greece), but they NORMALLY forgive such mistakes as long as both countries are in the same region and youdid not gain a benefit from the error.Both things are true in your case, so you should be OK.
February 16, 2020 at 11:08
How was your interview? Have they approved your visa?
November 18, 2019 at 09:33
Hi My husband is Dv2020 lottery winner. He is eligible because i am born in Kuwait. He is born in India.
Country of birth written India
Is this fine ?
Our place of Interview will be Kuwait.
We submitted our documents also.
November 18, 2019 at 21:33
March 2, 2020 at 19:14
hi ssthomas did kcc reply after submitted your documents we are also in kuwait submitted documents before two month but did not get any ans can we contact each other to share information
March 2, 2020 at 11:44
my wife is main applicant with case number AS29*** but born in pakistan wich ineligible country and my birth country is kuwait wich is eligible.i did not remember what i wrote in entry form .how can i confirm that i select kuwait in country of chargeability. or if i selected pakistan there will be any problem but the region is same and what you think is there any risk in my case number. thank you
March 2, 2020 at 19:42
They would not have selected any cases chargeable to Pakistan.
June 11, 2020 at 04:11
My country of changeability in my application is Australia. I am a citizen here, currently working and living here for 3 years but I was born in New Zealand.
The next steps for me, is to complete the DV260. Is my country of eligibility NZ or Aust?
June 11, 2020 at 04:13
NZ. Luckily for you, this mistake will probably be overlooked as described above.
June 11, 2020 at 22:26
Thank you Brit Simon, really appreciate your help.
To double confirm: At the time of birth in NZ one parent was a citizen and one parent was an Australian citizen (this person is now an NZ citizen).
I intend to do the DV-260 with my Australian passport as my NZ passport is expired.
In the DV-260 do I still state: Country of changeability: Australia. Country of Eligibility: NZ
June 12, 2020 at 01:13
No double comfirmsies.
June 12, 2020 at 12:59
I was selected on dv 2021 but my case number start with af but i was born in saudi arabia is there’s possibility to Be approved by co
June 12, 2020 at 13:01
Please note that On the ds i write the information right
June 12, 2020 at 13:22
If you applied charging to a country in the wrong reason, and with no justification, that will mean disqualification.
June 20, 2020 at 20:05
I was selected for further processing for the DV-2021 but I realized that the Foreign State Chargeability on my DV letter is my current country of citizenship which is Uganda instead of being the country of birth, Kenya.The two countries are neighbors in eastern Africa. Do you think this is going to be disqualify me for AOS processing?
June 20, 2020 at 20:27
They can “forgive” such a mistake because both countries are in the same region.
July 4, 2020 at 14:54
MR Brit i wrote my country of chargbillty malaysia but i was born in Saudi Arabia which has much more seats than malaysia is it still okay thank your for your informations
July 4, 2020 at 19:16
That was a daft thing to do, but your mistake may be forgiven as both countries are in the same region.
July 5, 2020 at 03:38
Thank you Mr Brit Simon i choose malaysia because it is the place i study and live currently but i understand your answer
One more question sir i have friend who won but he is from the countries banned by trump should he carry on with register with Dv 260 much thanks for your help and knowledge
July 5, 2020 at 05:52
He should wait for now. If trump loses the presidency, things will change.
July 5, 2020 at 06:13
Which means he should wait till election date or he can submit at later date and is there a deadline to submit he is dv 2021 winner thank you sir for your time
July 5, 2020 at 15:19
He should wait until the election date. Then he should submit fast to make sure he has enough tie for additional background checks.
July 15, 2020 at 05:33
I won a DV 2021 lottery with the case number for OC. I have an Australian passport, live in Australia but been born in Russia. I haven’t been in Russia for the last 14 years. As I understand I couldn’t use Australia as the country of my chargeability?
Is there any exceptions to that? My husband was Australian but I’m now divorced
If I’ll give up Russian citizenship now will I be able to proceed with my application.
July 15, 2020 at 21:23
If you had remained married to an Australian, then you would have had a reason to pick Australia. As you were/are divorced, you have no ability to list Australia and will be disqualified. There is no fix, no matter what you do.
July 15, 2020 at 22:29
Thank you Simon. What if I’ll marry my ex husband again?
Or give up Russian citizenship? I want my Green card
July 15, 2020 at 23:37
I was clear. No fix is possible.
July 16, 2020 at 00:21
Thank you. What will happen if I’ll still submit DS 260?
July 16, 2020 at 00:27
That would be a dumb thing to do. You would have declared immigrant intent, which could hamper future non immigrant applications. Also, KCC wont deny you, so you will only be denied at the interview, which would be a waste of time and money.
July 16, 2020 at 01:26
Thank you I understand that risk but there few things
1. I don’t even remember the question of country of chargeability. How I can check what I answered?
2. If KCC won’t deny it I’m pretty sure that they won’t cut me off in in the interview if I’ll do it in Sydney. Very nice people here. I did my working visa there and it was approved after one question. I lived in Australia for 14 years and never even being to Russia since then. I’m more Australian then Russian..
3. I’m sure a lot of people confused those terms before. Was there any case of approval in the similar situation?
I’m happy to take the risk.
And as an Australian we have a visa waver yo enter US for 90 days so I won’t have problems with the short trips. Thank you again for all your help.
July 16, 2020 at 17:21
1. If you have an OC number, then you “won” in a lottery draw that you were not entitled to be in.
2. You don’t seem to be paying attention. They do not have any way to ignore this, they have ZERO flexibility about this.
3. Of course not.
You will spend about $1000 to process your app. Honestly – if you are determined to throw that money away, you would be better donating it to a good charity. But its your decision.
July 16, 2020 at 23:19
Thank you Simon I appreciate your help a lot. It was lucky that I found your blog at the very beginning so I haven’t done that mistake. Now heard many people went way far the wrong road.
I will still email Kentucky office and ask them directly about that just not to guess What if? In the future.
All the best!
July 17, 2020 at 00:31
I can predict their answer. They will tell you (as they always do) that only the CO can answer your question. But what I am telling you is 100% certain and reliable.
August 28, 2020 at 18:38
Hello Mr Simon,
I am very new to the DV process and I have been reading on different forums regarding my issue.
I have made a terrible mistake on my DV application. I was born in Congo but moved to Rwanda when I was very young, hence I hold Rwandan nationality and a Rwandan passport. On my application I put that I was born in Congo but put Rwanda as my country of chargeability. I have read your response regarding this issue but do you think this is something the immigration can forgive? I had no other intentions putting my current country but only pure ignorance.
August 28, 2020 at 21:46
Yes that is something they can forgive since both countries are in the same region and you gained no benefit by the mistake.
September 1, 2020 at 01:52
Thank you very much dear Simon! Because I am in the US and planning to do AOS what should be my response if I am asked?
September 1, 2020 at 03:33
just the truth.
September 2, 2020 at 04:26
Thank you sir!
September 7, 2020 at 15:35
I was born in Benin by Nigerian parents . My parents relocated back to Nigeria when I was about 3yr old. I have lived in Nigeria since then. While filling the ds 260 form for dv 2021 I entered Benin as my place of birth and Nigeria as nationality. Pls I will like to know if this is in order.
And if not can I rectify it by contacting KCC?
September 8, 2020 at 20:28
September 27, 2020 at 16:39
I was born in Italy and I have also an Australian passport.
I’ve moved to Australia and I have been living there since 10 years meanwhile i have applied for the green card with the Australian passport and married an Iranian woman. I won the green card but the foreign services of USA refused the issue of my G.C. because “the applicant choose Australia as his foreign state of chargeability on the original DV entry. The applicant was born in italy. The applicant made an error in choice of country of chargeability, which is a disqualifying error”
Now, there is any chance to appeal or take further action do you think?
September 27, 2020 at 21:29
No – you were correctly denied – in fact the CO had NO choice, and the denial was certain.
The instructions were clear, you were supposed to charge to your country of birth. You might also have used your wife’s country of birth, but therefore you could have been in the EU regional lottery or the Asia regional lottery, but but choosing Australia you broke the rules and gained a big advantage by doing so.
There is no point of an appeal.
September 28, 2020 at 01:22
Hey Marco what stage you were disqualified? did you actually went to the interview? Was it in Sydney? I have a similar situation (Australia Russia) And wanted to try to go to the interview to see if I can be lucky and they forgive my mistake.
September 28, 2020 at 18:36
There is no chance of “lucky”. There is no discretion about this. If you want to spend your money, donate it to a worthwhile charity.
October 29, 2020 at 15:43
Thank you for your time and knowledge sharing. I have already submitted my DV 2022 application.
Can we use the same Photos that I used for my DV2022 application for my wife DV2022 application.?
or She should have her new set of photos different from mine?
God Bless you
October 29, 2020 at 22:41
Can we use the same Photos that I used for my DV2022 application for my wife DV2022 application.?
October 7, 2020 at 08:13
I was born in born in Saudi on Sep 2 1988 and i have the hospital records and an entry on my mothers passport with my name and birthdate. However they got my birth registered in India later saying i was born in India on Nov 2 1988. All my records carry the latter date and place of birth.
However my wife(from India, residing in the US) just had her green card process initiated. She’s on an H1B currently. I was wondering if i should go about changing my documents so that we could benefit from the DV lottery/ Cross charge-ability. If yes how do you suggest we proceed on this.
October 7, 2020 at 17:26
To my best understanding you can only be born on one date in one place. I can’t advise you on anything except providing accurate legitimate documents.
October 7, 2020 at 15:19
I was born in Saudi Arabia but I’m an Indian citizen. My husband was born in India and he’s also an Indian citizen.
1) I wanted to make sure if we can submit 2 separate applications for DV-2022, one application with me being the main applicant having the country of chargeability as Saudi Arabia, and another application with my India-born husband as the main applicant charging to my place of birth Saudi Arabia?
2) Is it allowed that my husband charge to Saudi Arabia even though he was born in India and has never even stepped foot in Saudi Arabia?
Thanks in advance.
October 7, 2020 at 17:56
2. See 1
October 7, 2020 at 18:31
Thanks for your reply Simon. Also please advise on whether my Indian passport would suffice for my proof of birth in Saudi Arabia since the same is mentioned as my place of birth. It is also mentioned in my first passport as well as my mother’s old passport that I’ve traveled on her passport. Apart from these, I have my birth certificate from the hospital where I was born. We’ve not been living in Saudi Arabia since 20 years now and I’m not sure I’d be able to get any Saudi government certified document from there now. I don’t have any birth certificate from the embassy of India stating that I was born in Saudi Arabia. Please suggest. Thanks.
October 7, 2020 at 22:33
I don’t know procedures in your country. A birth certificate is normally required.
October 13, 2020 at 08:24
Hello Simon. Can we still, either, me and my spouse, apply for the DV lottery if I choose the country of eligibility as her birth country? Just because her country has better chances. I’m choosing Russia (her birth’s country) rather then Saudia Arabia (my birth’s country). But I’m not a Saudi Arabia native.
Ps: The two of us meet requirement #2 (High school finished)
There would be any problems going throw the process if we win?
Thank you for all <3
October 13, 2020 at 13:26
Seems like this should be answered by reading above.
October 13, 2020 at 17:36
both applicants are considered principal applicants for the purpose of cross-chargeability and must be issued visas and apply for admission to the United States simultaneously.
How to apply for admission to the United States simultaneously? What does it mean ?))
October 13, 2020 at 21:26
Fly to the USA together and go through immigration screening at the airport as a couple/family.
October 14, 2020 at 02:29
9FAM (both applicants are considered principal applicants for the purpose of cross-chargeability and must be issued visas and apply for admission to the United States simultaneously.)
with what mentioned above. Can we submit 2 separate applications?
October 14, 2020 at 03:50
Yes, I have already made that very clear.
October 25, 2020 at 12:27
Just came across your blog and realised I made a mistake about my country of chargeability. Damn. Is there a way to avoid the disqualification? I put France instead of CIV. I submitted the form. What should I do?
October 25, 2020 at 19:06
No. Disqualification is inevitable.
October 25, 2020 at 22:55
Do you know a single case that they forgave that mistake?
October 26, 2020 at 02:16
I have already given you very clear, unambiguous and totally certain information. As I already told you, you would be wasting your time and money to proceed.
October 26, 2020 at 02:25
Thanks Simon just very disappointed as I wanted it badly, and there is no way I’ll win it from Russia
February 25, 2021 at 22:54
Dear mr britsimon
I had made error in the country of chargbility within the same region,, from your experience what do you think and what is my opportunity in getting the visa?!
I was born in algeria and i made chargbility to egypt because i am egyptian ?!
Had they before refused any one with error within the same region?!
February 26, 2021 at 21:22
This is covered above.
November 7, 2022 at 10:11
Hello BritSimon, my husband mistakenly chose his country of citizenship – Ireland as country of eligibility. He was born in India so he couldn’t use his country of birth but he should use my country of birth which is Poland. Both countries are in EU region. I’m just not sure if he “gained” anything by selecting Ireland instead of Poland and he can be forgiven in case of winning.
November 12, 2022 at 15:42
Yes that mistake can be forgiven since he gained no advantage. However, a really stubborn CO would point out he should have selected Poland AND should have explained why in the entry. It’s a small risk, but it is a risk. However, the chance of selection is small….