Diversity Visa 2020 and 2021 Update

Last Updated: June 27, 2024

On June 25, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the district courts’ decisions in Gomez v. Biden, Rai v. Biden, Goodluck v. Biden, and Goh v. Biden, which had ordered the State Department to reserve and adjudicate diversity visa (“DV”) cases from the DV-2020 and DV-2021 program years.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that:

“The district courts had no authority to order the State Department to keep processing applications for diversity visas and issuing the visas beyond the end of the relevant fiscal years. . . . [C]ourts cannot order relief that conflicts with a clear and constitutionally valid statute. . . . Once Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 ended, the plaintiffs lost their eligibility for diversity visas. The district courts erred in asserting an equitable authority to override these clear statutory deadlines, which foreclose the prospective relief sought in these cases. Accordingly, we reverse the remedial orders challenged by the government, reject the Goh cross-appeal, and remand the cases with instructions to enter judgment for the government.”  Goodluck v. Biden, No. 21-5263 (D.C. Cir. June 25, 2024).”

Accordingly, the State Department will not process DV cases associated with the above district court decisions from the DV-2020 or DV-2021 program years.  Impacted individuals from an eligible country who wish to submit a new DV entry may do so during the registration period for the DV-2026 program year, which will open in October 2024 and close in early November 2024.  For additional details regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision, please refer to the Court’s opinion.

In the event there are further appeals in these cases, the State Department will update this notice if there is a relevant change in the status of these cases.  The State Department will continue to preserve case records related to the DV-2020 and DV-2021 programs until the litigation has concluded.