Visa wait continues...

Money glitz | 28 Oct 2021

Nearly 10,000 winners of the visa lottery last year - or the FY 2020 Diversity Visa Program - were frustrated after waiting over a year for their visas.

Chronic delays at American embassies and consulates around the world, due in large part to the Covid-19 pandemic, have led to the winners being unable to complete the mandatory consular process.

However, there was finally good news earlier this month when the US district court of Columbia ruled that the Department of State must process the 9,905 visas allocated in the lottery. This came after the winners filed several class-action lawsuits against the Department of State, under both the Trump and Biden administrations.

US district judge Amit P Mehta ordered the department to "commence processing the 9,905 DV-2020 visas as soon as is feasible and to conclude such processing no later than the end of the 2022 fiscal year, or September 30, 2022."

He added that the extended deadline may be disappointing to many as it means the lottery winners may have to wait another full year, but "this court must balance the interests of the class 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 issued."

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