GOOD NEWS FOR SOME DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY WINNERS: District Court Orders DOS to Reserve Diversity Visa Lottery Numbers.


The court ordered DOS to reserve 9,095 of the approximately 40,000 unused diversity visa numbers for future processing of both the named plaintiffs’ and class-members’ diversity visa applications, pending final adjudication of the matter. 

Highlights from the Decision: 

  •  In a Memorandum Opinion and Order issued on September 4, 2020, the court ordered Defendants to “undertake good-faith efforts, directly and through their designees, to expeditiously process and adjudicate DV-2020 diversity visa and derivative beneficiary applications and issue or reissue diversity and derivative beneficiary visas to eligible applicants by September 30, 2020, giving priority to the named diversity visa Plaintiffs,” in these consolidated actions. Though Defendants have issued more than 3,000 diversity visas since the court’s order, many of the Plaintiffs’ applications have still not been finally adjudicated, and approximately 40,000 of the 55,000 diversity visas Congress has made available for Fiscal Year 2020 remain unissued. 
  • The court will order the State Department to reserve 9,095 diversity visa numbers after September 30, 2020, pending final adjudication of this matter. Adding that number to the number of diversity visas already issued in FY 2020—15,401 through September 24, 2020, could result in the issuance of a total of 24,496 DV-2020 visas, if Plaintiffs ultimately were to prevail. That is approximately 51% of the average of diversity visas issued over the last eighteen years (24,496 / 47,404). That percentage is slightly below the percentage of IR-1 (65%) and IR-2 (59%) visas issued in FY 2020 relative to FY 2019, but is nevertheless a reasonable estimate. 
  • The court certified the following class: 
    • Individuals who have been selected to receive an immigrant visa through the U.S. Department of State’s FY2020 Diversity Visa Lottery and who had not received their immigrant visa on or before April 23, 2020, when the Presidential Proclamation 10014, later extended by Presidential Proclamation 10052, took effect.