The Diversity Visa Lottery Program for 2023 began the registration process for the new fiscal year on October 6, 2021. This comes in the wake of thousands of past winners still waiting for their US permanent residence applications to be processed.
What Is the Diversity Visa Lottery Program?
Every year, the US Congress assigns 55,000 Green Cards to be allotted to immigrants from countries with low immigration rates to the US. These immigrants are selected via a random lottery known as the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. The registration process for the lottery starts well before the next fiscal year, that is September 2023 to allow time for processing applications.
Why Is There a Diversity Visa Backlog?
The winners of the previous Green Card Lottery are facing chronic processing delays dimming their hopes of starting a new life in the US. Most of the applications for the previous lottery were submitted under the Trump administration and had to face slow processing during the peak of the pandemic. In fact, according to the State Department, due to pandemic-related restrictions, only 3% of the total 55,000 Green Card applications had been processed until June 2021.
If the US government fails to process the remaining visas by September 30, 2021, the winners will lose their chance of immigrating to the US since visa eligibility does not transfer to the next fiscal year. There are several ongoing federal lawsuits against the US Department of State to process the reserve visas after the deadline.