The Diversity Visa Instructions page on the State Department’s official website had the following notice posted for up to two years: “All DV-2021 diversity visa program applicants must be found eligible for, and obtain, their visa or adjust status by the end of fiscal year 2021 (September 30, 2021).”
Well, the end of Fiscal Year 2021 has come and gone. So has the DV 2021 program – as indicated by the above notice which established an end to official processing of DV 2021 cases.
With that reality, what’s the fate of DV 2021 applicants?
Two groups of Applicants
The Coronavirus took a toll on the last two DV programs – 2020 and 2021. From denial of entry to Diversity visa immigrants to banning of certain countries to outright suspension of the DV program. The entire Diversity visa process was plunged into chaos.
Based on the above, several 2020 and 2021 applicants – with the help of well-meaning U.S. lawyers – filed a number of lawsuits to ensure that their hope of achieving the American dream remained intact.
Other 2020 and 2021 applicants were either not aware or not capable of adapting the legal option.
Just A Lucky Few
The judge viewing the cases has since ordered that a few visas be reserved for the plaintiffs.
Certainly not every plaintiff will receive one of the reserved visas. The number of those who joined the lawsuits is far higher than the visas which will eventually be set aside. But this act by the judge constitutes a beacon of hope for some whose American dreams would have otherwise been over.
Just a few DV 2021 applicants – the luckiest of the plaintiffs – will be the ones to eventually receive one of the reserved visas.
After reading thus far, one may still be tempted to ask:
Are all DV 2021 Applicants concerned?
No. Not all of them.
As indicated above, only those who ‘registered’ as part of the lawsuits against the U.S. government Diversity Visa stance are concerned by the visas to be set aside.
In previous years, the traditional response one got from KCC when requesting information about a Diversity Visa case from a just-ended fiscal year mainly consisted of a reminder of the above notice – the September 30th deadline has passed – as well as information on the upcoming Lottery. However, for DV 2021 cases, that traditional response seems to have been modified – referencing the court cases – as seen in the email below:
Not all of those who are a part of the lawsuits will eventually benefit from the ruling. It is yet to be determined how the visas set aside will be distributed among the plaintiffs.
For those who did not join the legal fight and have so far not been issued visas as well as those whom the reserved visas will not reach eventually, one can now say for sure that they’ve just lost the DV 2021 opportunity.
“What do I do now?”
(That’s the question I’m currently getting from hopeless DV 2021 applicants, but which I already addressed some time ago).
As the above email from KCC indicates, you may enter the ongoing DV Lottery if you so decide. Otherwise, there’s no reason to continue hoping in the case of DV 2021.
This is the general state of affairs of applicants of the DV program who do not receive their visas after the fiscal year ends. 2021 applicants are no exception (apart from the very few lucky ones mentioned above, who – I believe – will forever be grateful for this kind gesture on the part of the U.S. justice system).
The rest who have not been issued their visas and who are not plaintiffs in any of the lawsuits have been ‘abandoned by the way side’ in a rather hopeless situation. They will not be scheduled for interview nor be issued visas.
They have lost that chance of emigrating to the United States as part of the DV-2021 Program. And there’s actually nothing one can do to change that.