The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) accepts 55,000 applications each year! Each recipient comes from a country that doesn’t typically send immigrants to the United States.
It was developed under the Immigration Act of 1990 to increase diversity within the U.S. So far, it has helped many families immigrate to embark on a new life and obtain a green card down the road.
A couple of months ago, the U.S. Department of State announced this year’s recipients of the 2021 lottery. From October 7, 2020, to November 10, 2020, over 13 million people applied worldwide. Immigration Services granted recipients entry from the following countries (Boundless):
Egypt: 6,005 visas
Sudan: 6,001 visas
Russia: 6,001 visas
Algeria: 6,001 visas
Uzbekistan: 6,001 visas
Iran: 5,739 visas
Ukraine: 4,949 visas
Morocco: 4,138 visas
Nepal: 3,802 visas
The Democratic Republic of the Congo: 3,347 visas
Now, thousands of applicants are in jeopardy. Harsh new immigration policies and restrictions have affected as many as 40,000 winners from getting their visas. Our immigration attorney in Los Angeles has also seen a spike in processing delays due to COVID-19.
The Hill recently reported the recent change and its impact on applicants for the Fiscal Year 2020. The U.S. District of Columbia urged the State Department to admit 10,000 diversity visas in 2020, but it will not be enough or keep the promise to all lottery winners. Government officials encourage Congress to immediately pass the “Keeping Our Promise Act” (H.R. 3584).
*If passed, it would help every applicant denied a visa due to COVID restrictions or previous immigration bans. That means if you are unable to come to the U.S. now, you will later.
The legislation has not yet passed. If you have not yet been able to claim your diversity visa by the end of the fiscal year, you will lose your eligibility and be unable to claim your diversity visa. If you are looking for alternative green card options or need help locating your visa status, our immigration law firm is here to help!