The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ordered the U.S. State Department to make good-faith efforts to process Diversity Visa (DV) applications by Sept. 30.

Key Points:

  • The State Department said it would prioritize and adjudicate as many additional DV-2021 cases as possible by Sept. 30.
  • DV cases will continue to be processed in rank order as required by law, and applicants must:
    • Be documentarily qualified.
    • Have paid all requisite application fees.
    • Be able to obtain the required medical exam by a panel physician.
    • Demonstrate that they are eligible for a visa before visa issuance.
  • If a consular section has the capacity to schedule a DV-2021 case, individuals will receive a notification by email to check the Entrant Status Check site.

Background: On Sept. 9, the U.S. District Court ruled that the Department could not prohibit staff from processing, reviewing or adjudicating 2021 DV applications based on the Nov. 2020 prioritization guidance. However, the court clarified that the November 2020 prioritization guidance “does not prevent any embassy personnel, consular officer, or administrative processing center from prioritizing the processing, adjudication, or issuance of visas based on resource constraints, limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or country conditions.” More information on how the Department generally prioritizes immigrant visa applications can be found here.

BAL Analysis: BAL will continue to monitor Diversity Visa updates and will provide important updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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