Court Orders DOS to Process Diversity Visas Faster

Practice Areas

By: Kirti Kalra

A United States District Court has ordered the Department of State (DOS) to make an effort to expedite diversity visa (DV) 2021 application processing by September 30, 2021. Consular sections have been instructed to prioritize the scheduling and adjudication of additional DV-2021 applications.

DV cases will be processed in rank order.[1] DV applicants must be qualified, pay all applicable fees, meet the medical exam requirements, and demonstrate their eligibility.

 If a consular section has the ability to schedule an applicant’s DV-2021 case, it will send them an email notification to check the Entrant Status Check website.

Policy background

This policy stems from November 2020 prioritization policy guidance. According to the US District Court for the District of Columbia, DOS may not use the prioritization guidance to block any embassy, consular, or administrative processing center from reviewing a 2021 diversity visa. The court further clarified the order will not affect any other visa categories, nor does it stop any employees from prioritizing visa processing, adjudication, or issuance based on resource issues, the COVID-19 pandemic, or country conditions. 

DOS will not prioritize the adjudication of DV-2021 over other visa applications and does not expect processing centers to sideline other visa categories.


This Diversity Visa court ruling should lead to faster DV-2021 application processing. To remain updated on their case, applicants should check the Entrant Status website. For individual questions related to  the Diversity Visa application or processing, contract your trusted Chugh, LLP Immigration Specialist.

[1] Per the Immigration and Nationality Act.


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