Recently, the US District Court of Columbia instructed the US Department of State, or “State Department” to process 9,905 Diversity Lottery Visas allocated in the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery 2020. This decision comes after the lawsuit filed by nearly 10,000 Diversity Visa winners who were unable to secure a consular interview to process their US Visa on time due to pandemic-related restrictions.
The US District Judge Amit P. Mehta has ordered the department to continue the processing of these visa applications as soon as possible and conclude the processing by the end of the 2022 Fiscal Year or September 30, 2022.
What Is the Diversity Visa Lottery Program?
Every year, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services allocates 55,000 immigrant visas to the Diversity Visa Lottery program. The DV lottery allows these visas to the winners of the lottery selected randomly by a computer from among the entries. According to the program’s guidelines, these immigrant visas must be issued by the end of the fiscal year or September 30, in this case, September 30, 2020, or they will expire.
Why Was the Lawsuit Filed by the 2020 DV Lottery Winners?
The DV Lottery 2020 Winners filed this lawsuit since they were unable to get their visas on time due to chronic delays at US embassies and consulates around the world. Pandemic-related restrictions hindered the winners from completing mandatory consular processing to get their immigrant visas. This is the reason DV winners filed several class-action lawsuits against the US Department of State under the Trump and Biden Administrations.