US Immigration News

US District Court Orders the State Department to Process 9,905 Diversity Visas

1.7 minute read
"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."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Nov 16, 2021
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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.

What Is the State Department Doing to Process These Visas?

The State Department said in a statement that it was aware of the various court orders related to the processing of the DV-2020 Lottery visas and the DV-2021 edition since many winners were unable to get these visas on time. The State Department is working on complying with the court orders and will release further guidelines on the same on the State Department’s website. 

The US District Court of Columbia has already instructed the department to process 9,905 reserved diversity visas in random order. However, there is no established time frame in place for the processing. While the court understands that the winners will be disappointed to wait another year to secure a DV-2020 visa, they must balance their interests with the resource constraints of the State Department, along with the interests of thousands of others who are patiently waiting for their immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to be processed.

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