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Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

U.S. Visas

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Diversity Visa Program

Confirm Your Qualifications

The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program requires the principal DV applicant to have a high school education, or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience as defined under provisions of U.S. law.

If you do not have either the required education or qualifying work experience, you are not eligible for a diversity visa. (Only you, as the principal applicant, must meet this requirement. Your spouse and children do not have to meet this requirement.) You should consider not pursuing a DV application if you do not meet the qualifying education or work experience requirements explained below as you may not be eligible for a diversity visa and any fees you pay for the visa application will not be refunded.

High School Education: A high school education means successful completion of a formal course of elementary and secondary education comparable to a 12-year course in the United States.  Only formal courses of study meet this requirement; equivalency certificates (such as the G.E.D.) are not acceptable.

Work Experience: If you are qualifying with work experience, you must have two years of experience in the last five years, in an occupation which, by U.S. Department of Labor definitions, requires at least two years of training or experience that is designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating of 7.0 or higher. 

The U.S. Department of Labor provides information on job duties, knowledge and skills, education and training, and other occupational characteristics on their website http://www.onetonline.org/. The O*Net online database groups work experience into five "job zones." While many occupations are listed, only two years of experience in certain specified occupations qualify an individual for a Diversity Visa.

How to Find the Qualifying Occupations on the Department of Labor Website: Qualifying DV Occupations are shown on the Department of Labor O*Net Online Database. Follow these steps when you are in O*Net Online to find out if your occupation may qualify you for a Diversity Visa:

  • Under "Find Occupations" select "Job Family" from the pull down;
  • Then Browse by “Job Family”. (For example, select Architecture and Engineering) and click "GO";
  • Then click on the link for your specific occupation. (As an example, select Aerospace Engineers. At the bottom of this Summary Report for Aerospace Engineers, under the Job Zone section, you will find the designated Job Zone 4, SVP Range, 7.0 to < 8.0. This means using this example, Aerospace Engineering is a qualifying occupation.)

Again, you should consider not pursuing a DV application if you do not meet the qualifying education or work experience requirements explained above, or if you provided an invalid passport number with your entry or selected an exemption for which you do not qualify.  Such errors may render you ineligible for a diversity visa and any fees you pay for the visa application will not be refunded.

For more information, see the DV-2024 Instructions and the DV-2025 Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions.