Are You Eligible ?

Alternate Chargeability

There are two exceptions to the Country-of-Birth Requirement.

1. You were born in an ineligible country and are married to a spouse born in a country that is eligible. In that case you can participate based on your spouse’s country of nativity.
There are some extra rules that apply then:

  • You must already be married when each of you submits his/her Entry. You cannot marry after one of you is selected.
  • If you are the Selected Entrant your spouse must be issued his/her Derivative Visa first. Only then will you receive the Primary Visa.
  • The first time you travel to the U.S. after the visas are issued you must enter the U.S. at the same time (together).

2. You were born in an ineligible country. However your father AND your mother were each born in a country that is eligible. At the time of your birth your parent(s) did not officially reside in the ineligible country but were visiting or stayed temporarily for study or were stationed there by an agency of their government.
In that case you are eligible based on the country of nativity of one of your parents.

If you use one of the exceptions your visa is ‘charged’ to the Visa Numbers available for your spouse’s country or for your parent’s country. This is called Alternate Chargeability.

Nota Bene. If you want to claim Alternate Chargeability you must do so on your Entry Form. You cannot make this claim later on.