The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed district court decisions ordering the Department of State to reserve and adjudicate diversity visa cases from the DV-2020 and DV-2021 program years.

Key Points:

  • The D.C. appellate court issued its opinion on June 25, reversing the district court decisions in Goodluck v. Biden, Gomez v. Biden, Rai v. Biden, and Goh v. Biden.
  • The court found that the district courts had no authority to order the Department of State to keep processing and issuing diversity visa applications beyond the end of the relevant fiscal years (FY2020 and FY2021).
  • The Department of State will not process diversity visa cases associated with the above court decisions from DV-2020 or DV-2021 program years.
  • Individuals from eligible countries wishing to submit a new diversity visa entry may do so during the registration period for the DV-2026 program year. Application instructions can be found here when the program opens in October 2024.

Additional Information: In the opinion, the D.C. appellate court wrote, “Once Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 ended, the plaintiffs lost their eligibility for diversity visas. The district courts erred in asserting an equitable authority to override these clear statutory deadlines.”

BAL Analysis: BAL will continue to monitor appeals in this case for relevant changes in status and provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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