Diversity Visa Program Opens Next Week Despite Administration’s Efforts
The entry period for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program will open on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and will close at noon EDT on Tuesday, November 10, 2022. There is no cost to register.
Individuals born in the following countries are not eligible to apply because more than 50,000 natives of those countries have immigrated to the United States in the past five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Individuals born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible. It is notable that last year individuals born in Hong Kong SAR were also eligible, but this year, they are not.
Although there is no cost to register, individuals may not submit more than one application. Doing so will lead to disqualification. Eligibility requirements are set out on the Diversity Lottery website. The Department of State (DOS) recommends that applicants apply early and not wait until the last week when heavy demand could lead to website delays. Applicants must apply online. No late or paper entries will be accepted.
The DV Program is continuing despite the Administration’s long-stated intention to eliminate it and this year’s Presidential Proclamation that made it impossible for all of the 2020 DV Program winners to apply for immigrant visas. Those DV Program lottery winners sued the Administration and gained some relief. They recently asked Judge Amit P. Mehta, the presiding federal judge in the District of Columbia, to preserve 30,000 visas for 2020 DV applicants beyond the September 30, 2020 deadline. Judge Mehta did so but lowered the figure to 9,095 based upon his estimate of the number of visas DOS reasonably could have processed during the six months in which it illegally refused to process DV Program applications. With the additional 9,095 visas, the total number issued for the 2020 Program would be about 24,000 – still far short of the close to 50,000 usually issued.