The U.S. State Department has posted updated information regarding litigation over the adjudication of fiscal year 2020 and 2021 Diversity Visas.

Key Points:

  • Between Aug. 17 and Sept. 30, 2021, four separate federal courts ordered the State Department to reserve or process Diversity Visas awarded in FY 2020 or 2021. Diversity Visa processing was significantly impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions. Consequently, many applicants were not able to receive a visa before the Diversity Visa program periods for 2020 and 2021 ended.
  • The State Department is appealing all four court orders.
  • The courts have stayed their orders until the appeals are resolved. This means the State Department does not currently have to adjudicate any of the visas in question; however, the Department is required to make certain adjustments to its visa adjudication software so that it can process the visas if it is ordered to do so.
  • For more information on the four cases in question, visit this website.

BAL Analysis: BAL will continue to monitor the Diversity Visa cases and will provide 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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