January 14, 2023
U.S. judges are expected to make rulings on multiple immigration-related cases in 2023 that have the potential to reshape American immigration policy. Among the cases before the courts in 2023 is one concerning Diversity Visa winners.
The case, Goodluck v. Biden, involves tens of thousands of DV winners who are fighting to get visas that were awarded to them in 2020 and 2021. They won their visas through the Diversity Immigrant Visa program—commonly referred to as the Green Card Lottery—but because of delays and shutdowns created by the Coronavirus pandemic, their visas expired before they could get authorization from the U.S. State Department to travel to the U.S. Consequently, these winner were not able to obtain their green cards, which grant permanent resident status in the U.S.
DV Lottery winners sued and eventually a U.S. District Court judge ordered President Biden’s administration to keep 7,000 of the expired Diversity Visas for the winners whose applications were not processed after U.S. consulates started to reopen when pandemic restrictions started to drop.
U.S. federal courts have told the Biden Administration that a solution must be found for these visa applicants and their families, which potentially number 30,000 people. But the U.S. State Department has insisted that it believes the courts were wrong to find that the Department acted unlawfully by not processing these now expired visas.
A decision has not yet been made and the Goodluck case is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
The Immigration Act of 1990 created the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, with the goal of increasing diversity among American immigrants. You can learn more about the program and apply here.
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